Playing the iconic grunge band’s hits “Smells Like Teen Spirit,” “All Apologies,” “Lithium” and “Aneurysm,” the ladies gave a new twist to old hits while still honoring the greatness of the songs.
Watch Joan Jett perform with Nirvana
R.E.M. lead singer Michael Stipe, a close personal friend of Cobain and wife Courtney Love (she is said to have inspired the song “Crush with Eyeliner”), gave a heartfelt speech about the band’s musical legacy.
“Nirvana were artists in every sense of the word,” Stipe said. “Nirvana tapped into a voice that was yearning to be heard. Nirvana were kicking against the mainstream. They spoke truth and a lot of people listened.”
“They were singular and loud and melodic and deeply original,” Stipe continued. “And that voice. That voice. Kurt, we miss you. I miss you. This is not just pop music. This is something much greater than that.”
Courtney Love, for one, kept things short, sweet and classy. “You know, I have a big speech, but I’m not going to say it,” she explained before hugging everyone on stage, including Nirvana band members Dave Grohl — with whom she has famously feuded — and Krist Novoselic, as well as Cobain’s mother, who she once blamed for pushing daughter Frances Bean into filing a restraining order against her.
“That’s it,” Love said. “I just wish Kurt was here to hear this. Feel this. Tonight, he really would have appreciated it.”
Cobain died of a self-inflicted gunshot wound 20 years ago.
The iconic grunge band was inducted in their first year of eligibility, joining Kiss, Peter Gabriel, Hall & Oates, Cat Stevens and Linda Ronstadt in the Class of 2014.