This April marks the 20th anniversary of the suicide of rock legend Kurt Cobain. To commemorate the anniversary, LIFE Books will release "Remembering Kurt Cobain 20 Years Later" in softcover; 112 pages, $13.99.
Here, he performs at Seattle's Beehive Music & Video in 1991. Charles Peterson
In this undated photo a young Kurt Cobain plays piano in his childhood home in Aberdeen, Wash."Even when he was a little kid, he could sit down and just play something he'd heard on the radio," his sister, Kimberly, told LIFE. Family photo via AP
A piece of Cobain's childhood artwork is displayed at his grandfather Leland Cobain's home near Aberdeen, Wash. Cobain painted this harbor scene when he was 13. AP
Nirvana in 1988: Drummer Chad Channing, left, bassist Krist Novoselic and Cobain. Dave Grohl replaced Channing on drums after Nirvana's debut album, "Bleach," was released in 1989.Nirvana wasn't the first name of the band. A number of contenders included Fecal Matter and Ted Ed Fred. Charles Peterson
Cobain smashes his guitar during a 1990 performance.He was known to smash guitars and drum kits when he was frustrated during a set. One of the guitars -- a Fender Mustang used on one of the band's first U.S. tours -- later went on the auction block, selling for $100,000. Steve Double, Camera Press/Redux
Nirvana member Channing, left, Novoselic and Cobain in April 1990. Steve Double, Camera Press/Redux
Grohl, Cobain, (back to camera), and Novoselic recording in Hilversum Studios in the Netherlands in Noc. 1991.Cobain said that Smells Like Teen Spiritwas inspired by the Pixies' quiet-loud-quiet style. Michel Linssen, Redferns
Nirvana play the main stage at Reading Festival in Aug 1991. The band played midway down the bill in the afternoon. After the success of their breakthrough seminal album "Nevermind" released in October 1991 the band went onto the headline the main stage in 1992. Ed Sirrs, Camera Press/Redux
Cobain with wife Courtney Love and baby Frances Bean Cobain in Los Angeles in 1993."We knew we could give her what we didn't get: loyalty, compassion, encouragement," Love told "Spin"magazine. "We knew we could give her a real home and spoil her rotten." Paul Harris, Hulton Archive/Getty Images
Cobain and Courtney Love perform for a Rock Against Rape benefit at Club Lingerie in Los Angeles on Sept. 8, 1993.
At one point, Cobain said that he would rather be a sideman in Love's band Hole than be in Nirvana. Lisa Johnson, Idols/Photoshot/Everett Collecti
Nirvana recording "MTV Live and Loud: Nirvana Performs Live" in December 1993 at Pier 28 in Seattle. Cobain's drug problems were a constant on their 1993 tour. Jeff Kravitz, FilmMagic
Nirvana recording "MTV Live and Loud: Nirvana Performs Live." Jeff Kravitz, FilmMagic