Kurt Cobain died 25 years ago today (April 5th, 1994).
The body of the Nirvana singer and guitarist was not actually discovered until three days later, when an electrician who'd come to install a home security system found it in a room above the garage of his Seattle home. According to a police investigation, the 27-year-old killed himself with a 20-gauge shotgun.
Cobain's death followed a harrowing month during which he'd attempted suicide a number of times. On March 25th, 1994, family and friends staged an intervention that was initially unsuccessful, but which five days later led him to a detox facility near L.A. However, he left it shortly after and flew back to Seattle, coincidentally sitting next to Duff McKagan of Guns n' Roses on the flight.
For much of his life Cobain suffered from depression, chronic bronchitis and an undiagnosed chronic stomach condition that left him in pain much of the time. Those ailments led him to self-medicate with all sorts of drugs and he eventually became a heroin addict. A relative also later revealed a family history of mental illness, alcoholism and suicide -- two of his uncles had killed themselves using a firearm.
Cobain was survived by his widow, Courtney Love, and their daughter Frances Bean Cobain. Nirvana, the band he'd started just seven years earlier had become one of the biggest groups in the world and he'd become a rock and roll icon.
A public memorial service held for him on April 10th at a park at Seattle Center drew around seven thousand. Prerecorded messages by Nirvana bassist Krist Novoselic and Love were played to the crowd, including Love reading portions of a suicide note Cobain had left. Love herself eventually turned up, wheeling a shopping cart full of Kurt's clothes, which she gave away.
Five years later, his mother arranged a final ceremony in Olympia, Washington in which his ashes were scattered.