"The lead singer of Nirvana, a rock group especially popular with young people in their teens and twenties, shot and killed himself at his home in Seattle, Washington today."
That was the report of Dan Rather on the "CBS Evening News" on April 8th, 1994, the day the body of Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain was found in his Seattle home.
Initial news reports said that Cobain had shot himself on that day, but a medical examiner later determined that he had been dead for three days when his body was discovered. It is estimated that he actually died on April 5th, 1994 at the age of 27.
"Kurt Cobain pioneered what's been called the 'Seattle Sound,' also known as grunge rock, including the hit song 'Smells Like Teen Spirit,'" Rather reported.
Cobain was hospitalized the month before he died for an overdose on drugs and alcohol. He checked out of a rehab center just days before his death, and photographs from the scene show he was still wearing a medical bracelet.
Cobain's suicide note seemed to suggest he no longer felt excited or inspired about making music, and that he was afraid of letting down his fans.
"I haven't felt the excitement of listening to as well as creating music along with reading and writing for too many years now," the letter said. Then, towards the end of the note, "I don't have the passion anymore, and so remember, it's better to burn out than to fade away."
In the years that have followed, a number of conspiracy theories have emerged -- despite the medical examiner officially ruling his death a suicide. Some fans and observers have suggested that Cobain's death was actually plotted by his wife Courtney Love, or that she fudged the suicide note found at the scene.
In the spring of 2014, 20 years after his death, the Seattle police department released dozens of photos and new clues from the scene as part of a review of the case. One of those clues was a receipt for the bullets for the shotgun Cobain was shot with, dated a few days before his death, which could suggest he was planning a suicide.
That review again concluded that Cobain's death was a suicide, but the conspiracy theories persisted. That includes a theory that the shotgun found at the scene had been altered to hide evidence in a supposed Seattle police department cover up of a potential murder.
Last month, the SPD released photos of the gun in response to a public records act request from CBS News to demonstrate the gun has not been tampered with, and hopefully put an end to that theory.
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