Late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain would have turned 50 today.
He was born on February 20th, 1967 in Aberdeen, Washington and died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound on April 5th, 1994 in a Seattle home. (His body was not found until April 8th.) And while his music career only covered the last seven years of his life and included just three studio albums with Nirvana, he left an impact that has lasted for more than two decades.
Here are five interesting things about Kurt you may not have known:
- In the early months of 1987, before settling on the Nirvana name, the group was using the name Skid Row. A hard rock band from New Jersey would use that name two years later and have hits with "18 and Life" and "I Remember You."
- A sonogram of Kurt and Courtney Love's then unborn child, Frances Bean Cobain, was included in the artwork for Nirvana's single, "Lithium"
- Michael Stipe of R.E.M. is the godfather of Frances Bean Cobain.
- Nirvana's MTV Unplugged appearance included a version of the folk song "In the Pines" (which they titled "Where Did You Sleep Last Night"). The band used Lead Belly's arrangement of the song. Cobain was introduced to Lead Belly's work after reading an interview with writer William S. Burroughs.
- Rolling Stone ranked Cobain as the 45th greatest singer of all-time in 2008. Then in 2011 they named him the 73rd greatest guitarist of all time.