Nirvana’s Kurt Cobain + Alice in Chains’ Layne Staley – Remembering the Legacy


Story by Anne Erickson

Two grunge rock greats passed away on April 5, just 8 years apart

April 5 always marks a sad day in rock ‘n’ roll history. Even casual fans of the ‘90s Seattle scene know what April 5 means in the book of rock– the loss of two great frontmen. On April 5, 1994, Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain passed away—an apparent suicide with a gunshot that brought thousands – actually, millions – to tears. On April 5, 2002, Alice in Chains frontman Layne Staley died following a long battle with – something many rockers have struggled with over the years – a heroin addiction.

In February, Cobain would have turned 50 years old. His daughter with wife Courtney Love, Frances Bean Cobain, was only 20 months old when he passed away.

Cobain created Nirvana in the late-1980s and it often credited with bringing grunge to the masses with Nirvana’s early-1990s hit, “Smells Like Teen Spirit.” That song, along with hits like “Come As You Are,” “Lithium” and “Polly,” have made Nirvana a household. Whether you’re in your teens or over 60, chances are, you know the Nirvana story.

While professionally he shined, personally, Cobain dealt with some major issues with drug addiction, including heroin and depression.

Founding Alice in Chains frontman Layne Staley, another highly influential force in the Seattle grunge and rock scene, also had his struggles. Notably, he dealt with a heroin addiction for years and rarely came out in the public from the late-1990s up until his death.

Staley and Cobain were both exceptionally gifted musicians. They were simply gone too soon. Each year, their legacy is remembered when this April 5 date comes around.

Pictured: Alice in Chains and Nirvana album art




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