Nirvana was an American rock band that was formed by singer/guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington in 1987. Nirvana went through a succession of drummers, the longest-lasting being Dave Grohl, who joined the band in 1990.
Nirvana released its first single, "Love Buzz", in November 1988 on the Seattle independent record label Sub Pop. The following month, the band began recording its debut album, “Bleach,” with local producer Jack Endino. Since its release in 1989, "Bleach" has sold over 1.7 million units in the United States alone, and over 4.0 million units worldwide. It is Sub Pop's best-selling release ever.
Produced by Butch Vig, “Nevermind,”released in September 1991, was the group's first release on DGC Records. The album debuted on the Billboard 200 at number 144. Largely due to the popularity of its first single, "Smells Like Teen Spirit” in January 1992, it replaced Michael Jackson's album “Dangerous” at number one on the Billboard charts. The RIAA has certified the album ten times platinum (10 million copies shipped), and the album has sold over 26 million copies worldwide. “Come As You Are" was released as the second single in March 1992 and it peaked at number 32 on the Billboard Hot 100 singles chart. Two more singles, "Lithium" and "In Bloom", were released from the album.
“In Utero,” was their third and final studio album, released on September 13, 1993, on DGC Records. To capture a more abrasive and natural sound, the group hired producer Steve Albini to record “In Utero” during a two-week period in February 1993 at Pachyderm Studio in Cannon Falls, Minnesota. Upon release, “In Utero” entered the Billboard 200 chart at number one and received critical acclaim. The record has been certified five times platinum by the RIAA, and has sold over four million copies in the United States alone. The first single, "Heart-Shaped Box" received much American radio airplay, reaching number one on the Billboard Modern Rock Tracks chart. "All Apologies" was released as a split single with "Rape Me" in December 1993. "All Apologies" was the band's third number one Modern Rock hit and reached number thirty-two on the UK Singles Chart, while “Rape Me” reached number thirty-two on the UK Singles Chart.
On Friday, April 8, 1994, Cobain was found dead of a self-inflicted shotgun wound to the head at his Seattle home.
“MTV Unplugged in New York,” which was recorded at a performance for the television program in November 1993, debuted at number one on the Billboard charts upon release in November 1994 and has become the group's most successful posthumous release, selling five million copies in America by 1997.