Kurt Cobain died 19 years ago today

The Nirvana singer performs an unplugged set for MTV in this photo.
(Getty Images North America)

Nineteen years ago Friday, the singer for the most important American rock band of the ‘90s died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound in his Seattle home. Kurt Cobain was only 27, leaving behind his wife Courtney Love and daughter Frances Bean Cobain.

His legacy includes recording one of the most influential catalogs in rock music, upending the music business by proving an indie-inspired act could become a blockbuster, defining a generation’s style and proving that the loudest, heaviest band in rock could also be one of its most feminist and introspective. His death prompted an outpouring of grief and tributes from fans that continues today.


As his bandmate Dave Grohl makes the rounds promoting his “Sound City” documentary - which featured extensive footage of Nirvana recording “Nevermind” - Friday is a sad but worthy occasion for a deep dive into some classic Nirvana.

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You don’t need Pop & Hiss to remind you of the hits - the intro drum fill to “Smells Like Teen Spirit” is perhaps the most instantly rousing sound in the last 20 years of music.

So instead let us send you to their “Live at Reading” concert film, the famed 1992 show where Cobain performed in a hospital gown to a sea of fans with nothing more than his songs and presence to carry that huge stage. It’s hard to imagine anyone will reach these heights of fame influence sounding as brutal and thoughtful as this again.



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