Kurt Donald Cobain (February 20, 1967-April 5, 1994) was the lead singer and guitarist for Nirvana. Cobain was born in Aberdeen, Washington and helped establish the Seattle music scene, as well as the style known as Grunge. He was married to the Lead Singer of the band Hole Courtney Love in which in 1992 the couple had a daughter named Frances Bean Cobain. In 1994 Cobain committed suicide in his home’s greenhouse, despite all of the rumors spoken about his death the police deemed it suicide and left the case closed until briefly reopening it in 2014.

In 2014, Cobain along with his band mates Krist and Dave were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of fame during the first year they were eligible.

Early Life

Kurt Cobain was born on February 20, 1967 in Grays Harbor County Hospital in Aberdeen, Washington. His parents were Wendy Fradenburg (born 1948), a waitress, and Donald Leland Cobain (born 1946), a mechanic. The family lived in Hoquiam, Washington. On April 24, 1970 his sister Kimberley was born. In 1976 his parents divorced after 11 years of marriage. Kurt lived with his dad in Montesano, Washington. Both of his parents got remarried and Kurt had step siblings In 1979 he went to live with his mom in Aberdeen.

Kurt attended Aberdeen High School and befriended a gay student there. He later stated he was gay, just to “piss off homophobes. He dropped out when he realized he didn’t have enough credits to graduate.

Later in 1985, Cobain formed his first band “Fecal Matter”, with Dale Crover, Greg Hokanson, Buzz Osborne, and Mike Dillard. The band lasted for a year. The group’s sole recording was issued as the Illiteracy Will Prevail demo tape, which remains unreleased officially with exception of the song “Spank Thru”.

Kurt and Krist had a Creedence Clearwater Revival cover band that was not successful. They later founded Nirvana in 1987.

Nirvana Years

During the early days of the band Kurt was very unhappy with the band’s inability to draw in large crowds that lead he band to rotate drummers on almost a regular basis. Eventually after sometime the band settled on Chad Channing, whom they recorded their first album with Sub Pop Records in 1989, titled Bleach. It was however after the recording of this album Cobain became unhappy with Channing’s drumming style which eventually lead them to let him go and hire Dave Grohl in his place. The band didn’t return to the studio to record again until April of 1990 where they recorded the song “Polly” that was to take its place on their next studio album Nevermind that was to be released the next year.

In 1991, of May 2nd through June of the same year the band would return to the studio once again to create the album that would change the Seattle music scene forever. It was during this period the Album Nevermind was created that put out the star single “Smells like Teen Spirit” that became a hit song upon its release. It was this album that pushed Micheal Jackson’s Dangerous album off the number one spot on the Billboard 200 chart. Along with the star single “Smells like Teen Spirit” the album also produced three other top hit singles “Come as you are”, “Lithium”, and “In Bloom”. Upon the release of the album in September 24, 1991 the album opened up a whole new audience for the new genre of music opening the pathway for bands such as Alice in Chains, Pearl Jam, and Soundgarden. During this period Nirvana was considered the “Flagship band of Generation X” and frontman Cobain found himself reluctantly anointed by the media as the generation’s “spokesman.” Cobain’s discomfort with the media attention prompted him to focus on the band’s music and, believing their message and artistic vision to have been misinterpreted by the public, challenged the band’s audience with its third studio album In Utero.

Political Views

Cobain struggled to reconcile the massive success of Nirvana to his underground roots. He also felt persecuted by the media, comparing himself to Frances Farmer. He began to harbor resentments for people who claimed to be fans of the band yet refused to acknowledge, or misinterpreted, the band’s social and political views. A vocal opponent of sexism, racism and homophobia, he was publicly proud that Nirvana had played at a gay rights benefit supporting No-on-Nine in Oregon in 1992, in opposition to Ballot Measure Nine, a ballot measure, that if passed, would have prohibited schools in the state from acknowledging or positively accepting LGBT rights and welfare.

Cobain was a vocal supporter of the pro-choice movement, and had been involved in Rock for Choice from the campaign inception by L7. He received death threats from a small number of anti-abortion activists for doing so, with one activist threatening Cobain that he would be shot as soon as he stepped on stage.

Personal Life

In 1990, Cobain started dating Courtney Love after they have met at a club. Two years later, Cobain and Love got married after learning that Love was pregnant with their only child, Francis Bean Cobain. The couple remained married until Cobain committed suicide in 1994.

Legal Issues

In 1985, Cobain was arrested for spray painting the words “God is gay” on a building in a town near Seattle.

A year later, Cobain was arrested again for spray painting. Instead of spraying words, he painted Shaggy and Scooby-Doo have “relations”.

In 1993, Cobain was arrested for assaulting his then-wife, Courtney Love, at their Seattle house. Police reports said that they found guns at the time of the arrest. Courtney Love denied Cobain ever assaulted her.


On April 5, 1994 Kurt Cobain died in his Seattle home. His body remained in his home for three days before it was discovered. The truth of his death remains unknown. Many people speculate that he did not commit suicide and was murdered. Many people also believe that Kurt did commit suicide. However, facts surrounding his death strongly point to his wife murdering him for the money. In a note found in his wallet, he talks about how he hates his wife and calls her bad names. He died from a shot gun wound, but it is not known if he shot himself in the head or somebody else killed him.


“I’d rather be hated for who I am than loved for who I am not.” -Not from Kurt Cobain, True source unknown

“Wanting to be someone else is a waste of who you are.” -Not from Kurt Cobain, True source unknown

“It’s better to burn out than fade away.” -On Suicide Note, but from the song “Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black)” by Neil Young.

“Nobody’s a virgin. Life f*cks us all” -Not from Kurt Cobain, True source unknown

“I’m a much happier guy than a lot of people think I am.” -From Kurt