Today marks the 25th anniversary since the untimely death of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, who committed suicide on April 5, 1994. Although it seems impossible to believe that event occurred so many years ago as the songs he penned continue to remain relevant to today’s listeners, Cobain’s body of work stands alone as one of the greatest and most raw of contributions ever made to modern music.
CNN reported that Nirvana and Cobain ushered in rock’s grunge era of the early 1990s, a time in music which featured artists such as Soundgarden, Alice in Chains, Stone Temple Pilots, and Pearl Jam. The unfiltered sound effectively closed the door on an era dominated by 80s New Wave, hair metal bands, and the dance genre. The site Revolution Come and Gone explained that grunge music contained “high levels of distortion, feedback, fuzz effects, and a fusion of punk and metal influences.”
After his death, piles of journals and artwork were found, showcasing a man who had so much to say in a life that was ultimately cut too short and a final note that dove into the issues he felt conflicted over. The New York Times reported that one year before his death, Cobain painted on the wall of his Seattle home, in large red block letters, “None of You Will Ever Know My Intentions.”
History reported that Cobain was found dead in his home outside Seattle, Washington. He allegedly had injection marks in both arms and had suffered a fatal wound to the head that appeared to have come from a 20-gauge shotgun found between his knees.
Cobain wrote in a note left before his death, reported History, “I have it good, very good, and I’m grateful, but since the age of seven, I’ve become hateful towards all humans in general….Thank you all from the pit of my burning, nauseous stomach for your letters and concern during the past years. I’m too much of an erratic, moody baby! I don’t have the passion anymore and so remember, it’s better to burn out than to fade away.”
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To honor his short life and legendary body of work, here are just five of the many amazing pieces of music that Cobain created in 13 years of writing music, which began when he was 14-years-old after he was offered a bike or a used guitar for his birthday from his uncle. Music fans are eternally grateful he chose the latter.
“Smells Like Teen Spirit”
“About A Girl”
“Come As You Are”
If you or someone you know is in crisis, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255) or contact the Crisis Text Line by texting TALK to 741741. For readers outside the U.S., visit Suicide.org or Befrienders Worldwide for international resources you can use to find help.