On February 20, 1967, rock legend Kurt Cobain was born in Aberdeen, Washington. Just 27 years later, he would die a controversial death in nearby Seattle — the city which he essentially put on the map thanks to the his trailblazing grunge movement.
Nearly 20 years since he has passed away, tons of questions and suspicions still surround Cobain’s alleged suicide. He has left a legacy behind, which in addition to fantastic music includes a crazed widow, Courtney Love, and a stunning daughter, Frances Bean. The former is no stranger to the press and her antics have been tabloid fodder for years.
However, on this day we chose to ignore all hearsay. Instead, we focus on one of the greatest songwriters who ever lived — and one of the most prolific members of the “27 Club.” Click through the gallery above for five things we learned from Kurt Cobain.
On a completely superficial level, Kurt was a fashion icon. His penchant for plaid, denim, and stripes have inspired millions of us to continue to keep these as wardrobe staples.
Also on a superficial level, Kurt's trademark hair (messy, half-bleached with overflowing roots) became not only something for men to copy, but for women. Frankly, it seems to me that Carrie Bradshaw took a cue from the Cobain haircare playbook.
Kurt taught us that if you really want to see how good an artist is, you have to watch them unplugged. Nirvana's 1993 album MTV Unplugged in New York was proof that the band could transcend grunge, and it showed multiple facets of their talent. Additionally, it set a new standard for rock artists everywhere.
Nirvana, thanks to Cobain, became the "spokesband" of Generation X. While some of the lyrics would today border on "emo," Kurt's poetic lyrics were beyond powerful. Growing up in the 1990s and being a sensitive lad myself, Kurt's words taught me that I didn't have to hide what I feel. We all have ugly emotions and there is a way to convey them beautifully. Kurt was not afraid to shy away from any topics and he made it known that whatever you were going through was okay.
On a similar note, Kurt also showed us that we could speak our minds on a grander scale. For example, he is responsible for Nirvana playing at many pro-choice benefits, as well as involving themselves with gay rights. This was long before these were moneyed pet causes. Kurt had a genuine passion for civil rights at a time when being involved could receive negative backlash. Well, f*ck the haters. If you believe in it, stand up for it. Thank you, Kurt.