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Nirvana lead singer dies in apparent suicide

Kurt Cobain performs on "MTV Unplugged." YouTube screenshot
Kurt Cobain performs on "MTV Unplugged." YouTube screenshot

SEATTLE, April 8 -- Lead singer Kurt Cobain of the grunge rock band Nirvana was found dead Friday of an apparently self-inflicted shotgun blast at his home in the U.S. city of Seattle, authorities said.

The body was discovered shortly before 9 a.m. by an electrician who went to the house to do some work.

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King County Medical Examiner Donald Reay said the singer died of a shotgun blast to the head and was identified through his fingerprints. Reay said the wound 'appears to be self-inflicted.'

Cobain's wife, pop star Courtney Love and their infant daughter, Frances, were reported to be in California.

'We are all devastated by the unbelievable tragedy of Kurt Cobain's death,' Geffen Records President Ed Rosenblatt said in a statement. 'The world has lost a great artist and we've lost a great friend -- it leaves a huge void in our hearts. Obviously Kurt will be missed by all.'

Distraught fans gathered outside Cobain's Seattle home. Radio call-in shows were deluged by tearful callers mourning another death in the music industry.

In Aberdeen, in the state of Washington, Cobain's mother told a local newspaper that he had been missing for six days and she had feared he might be found dead.

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'Now he is gone and joined that stupid club,' she is quoted as saying in a reference to the deaths of Jim Morrison and Jimi Hendrix. 'I told him not to join that stupid club.'

Cobain, 27, was hospitalized in early March in Italy for a drug overdose, and the band recently pulled out of a summer tour amid rumors it was splitting up.

Nirvana launched the 'grunge rock' phenomenon from Seattle with the success of its second album 'Nevermind' in 1991.

'Everybody is upset and disappointed that we lost a charismatic and colorful figure in the local arts scene,' said Danny Housmann, music editor of The Stranger, an alternative weekly newspaper in Seattle. 'There was so much more that he was going to contribute.'

Gold Mountain Entertainment said itsstaff was 'deeply saddened by the loss of such a talented artist, close friend, loving husband and father.'

'The intensity and creativity of Kurt's music and his thoughts will always be treasured. Kurt's art has transcended beyond the popular to speak to millions around the world.

'Painfully, Kurt's passions and feelings about his fame overwhelmed him. We will miss him, his music and his friendship deeply,' Gold Mountain's statement said.

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