Nirvana was an American grunge band formed by Kurt Cobain (Singer/Guitarist) and Krist Novoselic (Bassist) in Aberdeen, Washington in 1987. The band have had a number of drummers throughout their existence; the most commonly known of these, the longest-lasting being Dave Grohl (1990-onward). After releasing the bands debut album Bleach (1989) through independent record label SubPop they established themselfs as part of the Seattle grunge scene. Eventually Nirvana came to develop the “Grunge” sound, it relied on dynamic contrasts between quiet verses and heavy choruses. In 1991, after signing to major label DGC Records found unexpected success with "Smells Like Teen Spirit", the first single from the band's second album Nevermind (1991). The success of Nevermind (1991) not only popularized the genre/culture of grunge, but also established "the cultural and commercial viability of alternative rock in general" As a result Alt. Rock/Grung became widely known and the band's frontman Cobain found himself referred as the "spokesman of a generation". With the release of a third studio album In Utero (1993) their mainstream audience were challenged as the album had an abrasive, ess-mainstream sound. The album didn't match previous sales but was still a commercial success. Nirvana disbanded in 1994 as a result of the death of Kurt Cobain. November 1994, MTV Unpluggedwas releasedfeaturing live material from before Kurt’s passing. The following year, MTV Unplugged in New York earned Nirvana a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album. Since the band’s debut, they have sold over 30 million records in the US and over 75 million worldwide.
Allmusic’s journalist Stephen Thomas Erlewine stated that: Nirvana "broke down the doors forever" in relation to the genre of Alternative Rock.
They also stated that Nirvana's breakthrough "didn't eliminate the underground", but rather "just gave it more exposure".
He also quoted that they "popularized so-called 'Generation X' and 'slacker' culture"