Almost 20 years after his death, Nirvana singer/guitarist/songwriter Kurt Cobain is still widely recognized as one of the most influential musicians of all time.
Kurt Donald Cobain was born on February 20, 1967 in Aberdeen, Washington. He showed a love of music and art at an early age, but his parents' divorce when he was seven has a tremendous impact on a young Cobain.
Cobain developed a love for punk and classic rock. His influences ranged from The Clash to Led Zeppelin. The Pixies had a tremendous impact on his writing style, but the band that likely had the most influence on Cobain was The Melvins. The Melvins were led by fellow Aberdeen native Buzz Osborne who was also Cobain's close friend.
While hanging out at a Melvins practice, Cobain met bassist Krist Novoselic. Eventually, Cobain convince Novoselic to start a band. That band became Nirvana. The duo went through several drummers before hiring Chad Channing. The trio recorded the first Nirvana album, Bleach, on Seattle's Sub Pop Records in 1989.
Nirvana added a second guitarist, Jason Everman, for a short period of time following Bleach. Not long after Everman left the band, Channing was released. Buzz Osborne suggested the band hire drummer Dave Grohl to replace Channing. The trio of Cobain, Novoselic, and Grohl then signed to DGC Records.
Cobain and Nirvana recorded Nevermind at Sound City Studios in early 1991. The album exceeded everybody's expectations and has gone on to sell over 30 million copies worldwide.
But, Kurt Cobain was never comfortable with his fame. Nirvana had helped launch the popularity of "grunge" and Seattle music. Many considered him to be the defiant voice of Generation X.
He also met and married Courtney Love.
Cobain spent the last two years of his life in and out of rehab. He overdosed on heroin on more than one occasion.
His daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, was born in August of 1992. About a year later, Nirvana released their last studio album, In Utero.
Nirvana was forced to cancel their after Cobain continued to struggle with addiction. He went to rehab, but quickly left and took a plane to Seattle.
Kurt Cobain committed suicide on April 5, 1994. He was 27.