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These Bands Only Broke Up Because A Member Died

Unfortunately, no amount of success can stop the worst from happening and some of the biggest bands in music history have been forced to split up when a member passed on. Here are some successful groups that only broke up because a member died.

Nirvana was Kurt Cobain’s band through and through. He was the primary songwriter and lead singer, had formed the band, was in charge of personnel decisions, and dictated the direction of the music. It was Cobain’s leadership that would make Nirvana one of the most vital rock bands of the 1990s if not all time. Cobain’s fierce ownership of the group’s creative spirit threatened to derail their rise as often as it fueled it: In 1992, he wrote an angry letter to the president of his record label threatening to end the band, and drummer Dave Grohl almost walked away in 1993 after he heard Cobain criticize his drumming abilities. Cobain also struggled with addiction and depression, and in 1994, he took his own life at his home in Seattle.

The surviving members of Nirvana did eventually reunite in a sense, two decades after their heyday. In 2012, Grohl,Krist Novoselic, and Pat Smear performed with a member of another important band that famously never reunited serving as ex-Beatle Paul McCartney’s backing band on Saturday Night Live. The three also performed together at a Hurricane Sandy benefit, after hooking up with him in the studio for a new song, “Cut Me Some Slack.” When Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, Grohl, Novoselic, and Smear also played with a series of female rock stars past and present taking on vocals, including Joan Jett, Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth, and Lorde.

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