Nirvana was an American rock band formed in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1987. Founded by lead singer-songwriter and guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic, the band went through a succession of drummers before recruiting Dave Grohl in 1990. Characterized by their punk aesthetic, Nirvana's fusion of pop melodies with noise, combined with their themes of abjection and social alienation, made them hugely popular during their short tenure. Their music maintains a popular following and continues to influence modern rock and roll culture.
In the late 1980s, Nirvana established itself as part of the Seattle grunge scene, releasing its first album, Bleach, for the independent record label Sub Pop in 1989. They developed a sound that relied on dynamic contrasts, often between quiet verses and loud, heavy choruses. After signing to major label DGC Records in 1991, Nirvana found unexpected mainstream success with "Smells Like Teen Spirit", the first single from their landmark second album Nevermind. A cultural phenomenon of the 1990s, the album went on to be certified Diamond by the RIAA.