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Exploring the incredible friendship of Kurt Cobain, Nirvana and RuPaul


Back in 1993, Kurt Cobain and his Nirvana bandmates formed what is now known as an iconic friendship with drag queen royalty RuPaul.

RuPaul, who built his legacy in the clubs of New York, went on to dominate popular culture and now holds the acclaim of being included in the annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world such has been his impact.

Remembering a time he joined Cobain, the members of Nirvana and Courtney Love on the red carpet of the 1993 MTV Awards, RuPaul explained how he was taken back as members explained their love for his art. Speaking in an interview with the AV Club, RuPaul explained the story behind the now famous pictures: “I literally met [Nirvana] on the step-and-repeat red carpet at the MTV Awards, and Kurt Cobain told me, ‘You know, we went to see you perform in Seattle, but you had already performed and left by the time we got there.’ Because it was one of those gigs where I think I may have gone on at like 10 or something like that, and that tickled me,” he reminisced.

At a time when some people chose not to appreciate RuPaul’s act, Nirvana couldn’t get enough: “These are kids who come from the same irreverent, hippie, bohemian mentality that I came from,” he continued to explain. “So of course they’re going to gravitate toward what I’m doing. And a lot of people don’t get that. A lot of people don’t have that computer program to understand what that is, that irreverence, that wink that drag is. A lot of people are offended by it and that’s the end of it.”

Keeping a brief friendship in the years commencing, Nirvana appeared as guests on RuPaul’s VH1 talk show and performed their own rendition of ‘We Wish You a Merry Christmas’.

The show went on to be aired just months before Cobain killed himself in April 1994.

Clearly still part of RuPaul’s thoughts, he invited Courtney Love to appear as a guest on his hit show RuPaul’s Drag Race.

The Cobain significance came as Love’s episode was aired on the 26th anniversary of Cobain’s death.

And, on top of that, RuPaul’s link to Cobain family went full circle when he finally met Frances Bean-Cobain, the daughter of Love and Cobain.