Dead Person You Should Know About: Kurt Cobain

Kurt Cobain was the lead singer of a well-known grunge band called Nirvana. He was born in Aberdeen, Washington to Wendy and Donald Cobain and lived with his two sisters and a brother. Before he passed, he married fellow singer, Courtney Love. They had a daughter together named Frances Bean Cobain.

Before Kurt became a rock legend, he grew up in a small town with a passion for writing and drawing, as well as pressure from his father to join little league. His parents ended up divorcing when he was only  nine, so he moved in with his father and saw his mother and sisters on the weekends. Cobain’s father eventually remarried a woman named Jenny, who Kurt resented, along with her two children. One thing to help him get through this tough time was the beat up guitar that his uncle had given him.

Due to his father’s neglect and always choosing his wife’s side, Kurt turned to drugs in his mid-teens, as he pushed away from his father. He then literally moved away from his father, living with different family members for a few months at a time until he decided to move in with his mother. Once Kurt started listening to punk rock, his life changed. He met The Melvins, a local band, who offered him a practicing space. He continued in high school, turning to more drugs and adding drinking to the mix. He would always fight with his mother, who was addicted to alcohol.

After getting into some trouble, Kurt joined his first band, Fecal Matter. They recorded a few songs at his aunt’s house but never played any gigs. Finally, in 1988, Cobain settled on a name for his group, Nirvana. After an unpopular album, a few years later Nirvana released their hit song, “Smells Like Teen Spirit” on the album Nevermind, which has sold over 10 million copies.  Cobain was being called “the best writer of his generation.”  Cobain stressed out about how people were looking at his music, and he turned to heroin in the 1990’s as an escape from the stress.  

Cobain was doing well with commercial success, but he was failing in his personal life with a straining relationship with his wife Courtney Love, who was a singer in the band Hole.  He had depression, which resulted in suicide attempt at his hotel room while on tour in Rome during 1994. Cobain’s wife took him to the hospital and once they returned to Los Angeles, she convinced him to try and get clean with her. He went to a rehab center but only lasted a few days. On April 5, 1994, twenty-seven-year-old Kurt Cobain committed suicide using a gun in his Seattle home, leaving behind a note addressing his wife, daughter, and fans.

It’s been years since the singer’s death and his sincerity still inspires other performers like Lana Del Rey and Fall Out Boy with his music, spreading the message that seemed very important to him and to many others. “The worst crime is faking it.”

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