June 15, 1989: a trio of young musicians known collectively as Nirvana would released their debut studio album – an independent release titled Bleach. While the album would prove to be a critical success, sales were less-than-stellar and Nirvana would become known as more of a local flavor in the Pacific Northwest. Two years later, a new drummer, the support of a major label, and the release of Nevermind and life would quickly change for Nirvana as the band would become the hottest rock band in the world – helping the grunge movement (for better or worse) infiltrate the mainstream and making Kurt Cobain the reluctant face of the movement.
December 13 1989: a young girl was born in Reading, Pennsylvania – named Taylor as an homage to singer-songwriter James Taylor and her future was already set in stone. Taylor Swift would grow up longing for the luster of Nashville – where her and her family would relocate during her early teenage years in order for Taylor to pursue her musical aspirations. It wouldn’t take long for Taylor to achieve those goals; taking over the country music scene and introducing a brand new fanbase to the genre. The evolution of Taylor Swift has taken her away from cowboy boots and three-chord love songs to the world of pop as she is now the alpha-female of the music industry.
Twenty years has past since the tragic end of Kurt Cobain at the tender age of twenty-seven, but his legend lives on through new generations and fresh sets of ears being turned on to the music of Nirvana. Meanwhile, Taylor Swift continues to rule the scene without any signs of slowing down. While Cobain and Swift may seem like polar opposites at first glance, the two musical icons actual have quite a bit in common. This article will explore those comparisons as we take a look at 10 shocking similarities between Taylor Swift and Kurt Cobain.
Taylor Swift has a face that resembles porcelain. With piercing blue eyes and golden blonde hair. The slender beauty captivates with her looks as much as with her music. Swift is undeniably gorgeous.
Kurt Cobain – while presenting himself as a dirt-bag – was also viewed in a sexual light during the height of his fame. Cobain was himself a blue eyed beauty with his own set of blonde locks and a lack of muscle tone.
Kurt Cobain was the biggest rock star of the ’90s whether he liked it or not. Cobain defined the culture – leaving an indelible impression on the music industry. However, along with his greatness came great drama. Cobain was known to be bitchy and apathetic with a flare for the dramatic.
Taylor Swift loves being a pop idol – almost to a point of delusion. It seems nearly impossible for someone to remain so cheerful while in the spotlight. However, Swift is followed by her own dramatic shadows; cast mostly by internet rumour-mills. Such is the toll that must be paid for America’s Sweetheart.
Taylor Swift first graced the music world as a sweet, innocent, down-home, country girl – wearing boots and dresses and long blonde curls. That was then … this is now. Swift has grown up and adopted her own high-end fashion sense – styles which have been mimicked by young females far and wide.
Kurt Cobain was the quintessential grunge kid from Washington State: torn jeans, Converse, flannel shirt, dishevelled hair, scraggly five o’clock shadow. Cobain may not have intended to be a fashion icon but in a strange way helped create the uniform of modern ’90s culture.
While his time as a celebrity was short, Kurt Cobain managed to find himself in the middle of a few celebrity feuds. Most notably with Axl Rose of Guns N’ Roses – a feud that may have stemmed from Cobain delivering the death-blow to the “feel good” rock and roll of the ’80s.
Taylor Swift has shared a number of her personal rivalries through her music – having beef with ex-boyfriends, critics, and former friends. Most recently, Swift has developed a feud with fellow pop star, Katy Perry. (Reference “Bad Blood”)
6. Guitar Skills
Taylor Swift is a musician, no doubt, but certainly not a great musician. Swift is OK at what she does instrumentally. She possesses enough guitar-playing ability to get through a song while her band provides all the real and necessary sounds.
Kurt Cobain played guitar the only way he knew how: loudly, poorly, and carelessly. Which worked to his advantage in the long run but any beginning guitar player can learn the tabs to a Nirvana song in no time. To quote the man himself: “I’m worst at what I do best and for this gift I feel blessed.”
Kurt Cobain remains a great mystery – a man who was never fully understood while he was alive and has become more misunderstood in death. The best artists are always the most confusing and nobody will ever truly understand Kurt Cobain.
The same can be said for Taylor Swift. Many years from now, when future generations attempt to understand the appeal and the true message that Swift attempted to convey; they will not understand.
4. Troubles with Love
It has been well documented that Taylor Swift has had problems with love and affairs of the heart. In fact, said subject has often been the focal point of her music. Taylor has been unlucky in love for quite a while.
Kurt Cobain may have found love (at least according to his definition) with the ever-controversial Courtney Love but the couple were anything but a fairytale romance. Cobain and Love – both heavy drug users – were often at odds and in dire need of distance from one another while always finding their way back again.
3. Inspiration for the Youth
Kurt Cobain helped shape Teen Spirit into more than just a song or a catchphrase but a full-on movement. Cobain gave the disenchanted youth of the early ’90s something to believe in during those awkward teenage years.
Taylor Swift has given a world of young girls and women hope that life is not all that bad. While she has also inspired males, it is her impact of female youth that sets her above many of today’s “role models.”
Kurt Cobain wins any songwriting battle here but there is still reason to compare. Cobain wrote from a deep, dark, and often disturbing place – creating the anthems that would soon dominate radios all over the world.
Taylor Swift writes from a deeply personal place as well. While Swift will never compose a song along the lines of “Rape Me,” her tunes manage to resonate with modern issues – not as dark as Cobain but with much of the same intent.
1. Voice of a Generation
Taylor Swift has taken over the world and is the reigning queen of the music industry. (Move over, Beyonce).
Kurt Cobain was the defiant leader of an entire generation – leaving his troops far too soon but leaving an impact.
Both artists have proven to be the voice of their generation. Kurt Cobain: the voice of Generation X. Taylor Swift: the voice of the Millennials.
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