Kurt Cobain


Cole Brandt, Writer

Kurt Cobain was an American musician, artist, and songwriter who rose to fame as the lead vocalist and guitarist of the Seattle-based rock band, Nirvana. Cobain was one of the most influential musicians of the 20th century, with his music and persona shaping the grunge movement of the 1990s. 

Cobain was born on February 20, 1967, in Aberdeen, Washington. He grew up in a dysfunctional family, with his parents divorcing when he was only seven. Cobain struggled with his parent’s separation, which left him feeling disconnected and alone. This feeling of isolation would later find its way into his music and lyrics. 

Kurt discovered music at a young age and was drawn to punk and alternative rock bands. He formed Nirvana in 1987 alongside bassist Krist Novoselic and drummer Dave Grohl. Nirvana’s raw and intense sound characterized its music, featuring heavy distortion and emotionally charged lyrics. 

The band’s breakthrough came in 1991 with the release of their second album, Nevermind. The album’s lead single, “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” became an anthem for the disaffected youth of the time and propelled Nirvana to international stardom. Cobain’s signature vocal style, alternating between soft, melodic singing and aggressive screams, became synonymous with the grunge movement. 

Despite Nirvana’s success, Kurt struggled with drug addiction and mental health issues throughout his life. He was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) as a child and later developed a dependence on heroin. Kurt’s struggles with depression and anxiety also became apparent, and many saw him as a tortured artist. 

Tragically, Cobain died by suicide on April 5, 1994, at age 27. His death shocked the music world and left millions of fans mourning the loss of one of rock’s most iconic figures. Cobain’s legacy lives on today, with his music continuing to inspire and influence new generations of musicians. 

In addition to his music, Cobain was also an accomplished artist and writer. He created a series of drawings and paintings, which were often dark and expressionistic. Cobain also wrote poetry and journals, later published in the book “Journals.” 

Kurt Cobain’s impact on music and culture cannot be overstated. His music and lyrics spoke to a generation of disaffected youth and offered a voice for those who felt unheard. Despite his tragic end, Cobain’s legacy as a musician, artist, and cultural icon lives on today.



A&E Networks Television. Biography.com. Retrieved March 15, 2023, from https://www.biography.com/musicians/kurt-cobain 

Azerrad, M. (2021, September 22). My Time with Kurt Cobain. The New Yorker. Retrieved March 15, 2023, from https://www.newyorker.com/culture/personal-history/my-time-with-kurt-cobain