Kurt Cobain would have turned 50-years-old on February 20. The Nirvana frontman died on April 5, 1994, and his sudden death was magnified during MTV’s heyday when his widow, Courtney Love, joined mourners at a vigil in Seattle and later read Kurt’s suicide note to the crowd. Cobain’s only child, Frances Bean Cobain, posted a message to her father on Instagram on his 50th birthday. Frances thanked her famous dad for giving her the gift of life.
A post shared by Frances Bean Cobain (@space_witch666) on
In honor of the day that would have been Kurt Cobain’s 50th birthday, fans also took to social media to remember the late music icon.
Kurt Cobain would have turned 50 this week. Missed by so many — deeply pic.twitter.com/CivIvGjTBV
— Pete DeMola (@pmdemola) February 15, 2017
— Weirdchester (@NolTheWeird) February 19, 2017
— MaytheROCKbewithYOU (@MTRBWY) February 20, 2017
today is kurt cobain's birthday nothing else matters pic.twitter.com/l8aslO7Ffq
— chanel (@delreybish) February 19, 2017
Happy Birthday Kurt Cobain
Thanks for the inspiration pic.twitter.com/Em9eJ5TqSR
— Nervedeless (@Nervedeless) February 20, 2017
In an interview posted by the Daily Mail, Cobain biographer Charles R. Cross says the late singer remains “the most important musician of the last two decades in music.” Cross cites Nirvana’s breakout 1991 album Nevermind as “one of the last great rock records.”
“His impact on songwriting was that he made it okay for songs to be about painful emotions, angst, depression — even something as awful as rape,” Cross told the Daily Mail.
Even if Cobain had lived, many rock journalists speculate that Nirvana wouldn’t have made it to 2017. Cobain was vocal about the fact that he didn’t want to live the rock star life.
On the miniseries The ’90s: The Last Great Decade? Kurt Cobain was shown talking about the Seattle band’s rise to fame.
“I’m too stubborn to allow myself to ever compromise our music or turn us into big rock stars,” Cobain said. “I just don’t feel like that.”
Even in his suicide note, Cobain revealed that the roar of the rock ‘n’ roll crowds didn’t move him the way that he felt it should have. Kurt revealed that he envied late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury for his appreciation of the adulation.
“The fact is, I can’t fool you, any one of you,” Cobain wrote. “It simply isn’t fair to you or me. The worst crime I can think of would be to rip people off by faking it and pretending as if I’m having 100% fun. Sometimes I feel as if I should have a punch-in time clock before I walk out on stage.”
According to Newsweek, while Kurt Cobain helped pave the way for the huge success of fellow grunge acts Pearl Jam, Soundgarden, and Alice in Chains, the Nirvana frontman never took his band as seriously as his fans did.
“I’m the first to admit that we’re the ’90s version of Cheap Trick,” Kurt once wrote.
— E-MUTE (@emutemusic) February 4, 2017
But in The ’90s: The Last Great Decade? miniseries, Courtney Love said her late husband secretly relished his fame and set out to be “the biggest rock star in the world.” Love even alleged that Kurt wrote to every major record label and begged to be signed.
Once he was signed, Cobain may have changed his tune. In the liner notes to Nirvana’s 1992 album Incesticide, Cobain penned an angry message to a certain segment of Nirvana’s audience.
“I have a request for our fans,” Kurt wrote. “If any of you in any way hate homosexuals, people of different color, or women, please do this one favor for us—leave us the f**k alone!… Last year, a girl was raped by two wastes of sperm and eggs while singing…our song ‘Polly.’ I have had a hard time carrying on knowing there are plankton like that in our audience.”
Sadly, two years later, Kurt Cobain decided not to carry on anymore. After Kurt Cobain committed suicide at the age of 27, his mother, Wendy O’Connor, famously told the Associated Press that she warned her son about the doomed “27” club, which includes Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, Jim Morrison, and Rolling Stones founder Brian Jones, all famous musicians who died at that age.
“Now he’s gone and joined that stupid club,” Kurt’s mom said at the time. “I told him not to join that stupid club.”
Cobain’s widow has also been vocal about her feelings on her husband’s decision to commit suicide in their Seattle home. More than 15 years after his death, Courtney told Vanity Fair she was still mad at Kurt for ending his own life. More recently, Love shared nostalgic posts of Kurt with their daughter, Frances Bean Cobain.
In one post she wrote: “My greatest love and our precious Bean #missyou #memories.”
— Courtney Love Cobain (@Courtney) August 20, 2015
The Hole lead singer also captioned an Instagram pic of the family with a direct message to Kurt:
“Makes me feel so sad,” she wrote. “Our baby is all grown up now. Jesus Kurt look at her face, what on earth were you thinking. God, I miss you, we all miss you #family #memories #turnbacktime #lovehim.”
A post shared by Courtney Love Cobain (@courtneylove) on
If Kurt Cobain hadn’t died, what would he be doing now? Cross has speculated that Cobain would have likely focused on acoustic music and his love of art.
“Towards the end of his life, Kurt was already talking about moving his musical sound away, he said, from quote ‘screaming’ and more towards blues-based acoustic music,” Cross told The Pulse Of Radio. via Blabbermouth. “My guess is that he would be crafting albums that were of a more acoustic nature, that maybe reflected Americana. You know, he also was very interested in art, so I could have seen him, you know, with a career developing that more.”
Take a look at the video below to see one of Kurt Cobain’s last recorded interviews before his 1994 death.
[Featured Image by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]