Kurt Donald Cobain, born on February 20, 1967, and past on April 5, 1994, was an American singer-songwriter, musician and artist, best known as the lead singer and guitarist of the grunge band Nirvana. Cobain formed Nirvana with Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington in 1985. After signing with major label DGC Records, the band found breakthrough success with Smells Like Teen Spirit from its second album Nevermind in 1991. Following the success of Nevermind, Nirvana was labeled the flagship band of Generation X, and Cobain hailed as the spokesman of a generation.
Cobain however was often uncomfortable and frustrated, believing his message and artistic vision to have been misinterpreted by the public, with his personal issues often subject to media attention. He challenged Nirvana’s audience with its final studio album In Utero in 1993. During the last years of his life, Cobain struggled with heroin addiction, illness and depression. He also had difficulty coping with his fame and public image, and the professional and lifelong personal pressures surrounding himself and his wife, musician Courtney Love. On April 8, 1994, Cobain was found dead at his home in Seattle, the victim of what was officially ruled a suicide by a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. The circumstances of his death have become a topic of public fascination and debate. Since their debut, Nirvana, with Cobain as a songwriter, have sold over 25 million albums in the US alone, and over 50 million worldwide.
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