Kurt Donald Cobain was born on February 20, 1967 at Grays Harbor Hospital in Aberdeen, Washington. Cobain was for most his childhood a sickly bronchitic child. Matters were made worse when Cobain's parents divorced when he was seven years old. By his own account, he never felt loved or secure again. He became increasingly difficult, anti-social and withdrawn after his parents’ divorce. He was constantly placed with one relative to the next, living with friends, and at times even homeless.
Kurt was not the most popular person in high school as he was in public school, getting picked on by "jocks" and being labeled as "queer". In the mid 1980s, Cobain started his first band called Fecal Matter. They recorded a few songs together at his Aunt Mari’s house, but they never played any gigs. In 1985, Kurt left Aberdeen for Olympia where he formed the band Nirvana in 1986. The band was an uneasy alliance between Cobain, bassist Krist Novoselic and eventually drummer and multi-instrumentalist Dave Grohl. In 1989, Nirvana recorded their debut album Bleach under the independent label Sub-Pop records. They became very popular in Britain and by 1991 they signed a contract with Geffen, a mega-label, and became the first non-mainstream band to do so Two and a half years after Nirvana's first CD Bleach was released, in 1991, they made the album Nevermind, a series of crunching and screaming songs. The album, among others, featured one of their greatest hits ever, Smells Like Teen Spirit. Cobain was shocked at the reception of his highly personal and passionate music, repeatedly telling reporters that none of the band ever expected anything like this. It quickly became obvious that the obsessively sickly and sensitive 24 years old musician was not going to cope well with the rock’n’roll lifestyle. "If there was a rock star 101 course, I'd really have like to take it," Cobain once observed.
In February 1992, Kurt married the edgy rock star Courtney Love who was already pregnant with his child, Frances Bean Cobain.
Cobain was distressed to find out that what he wrote and how it was interpreted could quite often be miles apart. He was appalled when he found out that Polly, a heavily ironic anti-rape song, had been used as background music in a real gang-rape. He later appealed to fans on the Incesticide liner notes "If any of you don't like gays or women or blacks, please leave us the fuck alone." This appealed to many fans due to Kurt's expression of open-mindedness. In September 1993, Nirvana released their next album In Utero, which topped the charts.
On March 4, 1994, Kurt was taken to hospital in a coma. It was officially stated as an accident but many believe it to have been an unsuccessful suicide attempt. Family and friends convinced Kurt to seek rehab, which he allegedly fled only few days later.
On April 8, Kurt's body was found in his Seattle home. In his arms was a shotgun, which had been fired into his head. Near him laid a suicide note written in red ink. It was addressed to his wife Courtney Love and their daughter.
Two days after Kurt Cobain's body was found, about 5,000 people gathered in Seattle for a candlelight vigil. The distraught crowd filled the air with profane chants, burnt their flannel shirts and fought with police. They also listened to a tape made by Cobain's wife in which she reads from his suicide note ending with Kurt’s words “I love you, I love you”.
1967 — 1994
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