Kurt Donald Cobain (February 20, 1967 – c. April 5, 1994), was an American musician, best known for his roles as lead singer, guitarist, and songwriter for the Seattle-based rock band Nirvana.
Cobain formed Nirvana in 1987 with Krist Novoselic. Within two years, the band became a fixture of the burgeoning Seattle grunge scene. In 1991, the arrival of Nirvana's "Smells Like Teen Spirit" marked the beginning of a dramatic shift of popular rock music away from the dominant genres of the 1980s (glam metal, arena rock, and dance-pop) and toward grunge and alternative rock. The music media eventually awarded the song "anthem-of-a-generation" status, and, with it, Cobain was labeled a "spokesman" for Generation X.
During the last years of his life, Cobain struggled with drug addiction and the media pressures surrounding him and his wife, Courtney Love. On April 8, 1994, Cobain was found dead in his home in Seattle, the victim of what was officially ruled a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head. In ensuing years, the circumstances of his death became a topic of fascination and debate.