Twenty years after his death at age 27, Kurt Cobain’s life and career still speak to issues ranging from rock stardom to our attitude toward depression to the advancement of gay rights. Next month, only five days after the anniversary of his suicide, he and his band will be honored at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn.
Two decades after his death, Kurt Cobain is as much of a symbol as a star.
It was a death unlike any music fans have ever mourned.
When Kurt Cobain killed himself, 20 years ago this April 5, he became the sole top-level rock star ever to take his own life at the crest of his fame. The long list of other megawatt stars gone by his age — Jimi, Janis, Jim Morrison — fell by drug-related accidents. Or they were murdered, like Biggie and Tupac.
But Cobain’s violent act put him into a sad club of one, a decision that adds a special chill and mystery to an already rare mythology.
The liner material for Nirvana’s 1991 album ‘Nevermind,’ which Rolling Stone has dubbed the best album of the decade.
Next month — a scant five days after the anniversary of Cobain’s suicide at age 27 — Kurt and his band will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at Brooklyn’s Barclays Center. They got fast-tracked in, during their very first year of eligibility. So swift an anointment should surprise no one, considering the stature of Nirvana and Cobain.
FRANK MICELOTTA/GETTY IMAGES
Kurt Cobain performs with his group Nirvana at a taping of ‘MTV Unplugged’ in New York on Nov. 18, 1993.
“Kurt now stands in a line with John Lennon, Bob Marley, Bruce Springsteen and Bono — among music’s greatest icons,” says Charles Cross, author of the new book “Here We Are Now: The Lasting Impact of Kurt Cobain.”