Nirvana was an American rock band formed by singer and guitarist Kurt Cobain and bassist Krist Novoselic in Aberdeen, Washington, in 1987. Nirvana went through a succession of drummers, the longest-lasting being Dave Grohl, who joined the band in 1990. Despite releasing only three full-length studio albums in their seven-year career, Nirvana has come to be regarded as one of the most influential and important rock bands of the modern era. Though the band dissolved in 1994, their music continues to maintain a popular following and to inspire and 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. The band eventually came to develop a sound that relied on dynamic contrasts, often between quiet verses and loud, heavy choruses. After signing to major label DGC Records, Nirvana found unexpected success with "Smells Like Teen Spirit", the first single from the band's second album Nevermind (1991). Nirvana's sudden success widely popularized alternative rock as a whole, and the band's frontman Cobain found himself referred to in the media as the "spokesman of a generation", with Nirvana being considered the "flagship band" of Generation X. In response, Nirvana's third studio album, In Utero (1993), released to critical acclaim, featured an abrasive, less mainstream sound and challenged the group's audience.
Nirvana's active career ended following the death of Kurt Cobain in 1994, but various posthumous releases have been issued since, overseen by Novoselic, Grohl, and Cobain's widow Courtney Love. Since its debut, the band has sold over 25 million records in the United States alone, and over 75 million records worldwide, making them one of the best-selling bands of all time. Nirvana was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, in its first year of eligibility.
Pearl Jam is an American rock band formed in Seattle, Washington in 1990. Since its inception, the band's line-up has comprised Eddie Vedder (lead vocals), Mike McCready (lead guitar), Stone Gossard (rhythm guitar) and Jeff Ament (bass). The band's fifth member is drummer Matt Cameron (also of Soundgarden), who has been with the band since 1998. Boom Gaspar (piano) has also been a session/touring member with the band since 2002. Drummers Dave Krusen, Matt Chamberlain, Dave Abbruzzese and Jack Irons are former members of the band.
Formed after the demise of Gossard and Ament's previous band, Mother Love Bone, Pearl Jam broke into the mainstream with its debut album, Ten, in 1991. One of the key bands in the grunge movement of the early 1990s, over the course of the band's career, its members became noted for their refusal to adhere to traditional music industry practices, including refusing to make proper music videos or give interviews, and engaging in a much-publicized boycott of Ticketmaster. In 2006, Rolling Stone described the band as having "spent much of the past decade deliberately tearing apart their own fame."
To date, the band has sold nearly 32 million records in the United States and an estimated 60 million worldwide. Pearl Jam has outlasted and outsold many of its contemporaries from the alternative rock breakthrough of the early 1990s, and is considered one of the most influential bands of that decade. Stephen Thomas Erlewine of AllMusic referred to Pearl Jam as "the most popular American rock & roll band of the '90s".
Ben Haggerty (born June 19, 1983), known by his stage name Macklemore (// MAK-lə-mor) and formerly Professor Macklemore, is an American rapper and songwriter from Seattle, Washington. His stage name originated from his childhood; it was the name of his made-up superhero. Since 2000, he has independently released one mixtape, three EPs, and four albums. He has significantly collaborated with producer Ryan Lewis as Macklemore & Ryan Lewis.
Macklemore and Lewis' single "Thrift Shop" reached number one on the US Billboard Hot 100 in 2013. The single was premiered on commercial radio by radio personality Jay Postal on September 2, 2012, and was soon dubbed by Billboard as the first song since 1994 to top the Hot 100 chart without the support of a major record label, although Macklemore, in a slightly unusual recording contract, pays a nominal percentage of sales to use Warner Bros. Records' radio promotion department to push his singles. Their second single, "Can't Hold Us" also peaked at number one of the Hot 100 Chart, making Macklemore and Lewis the first duo in the chart's history to have their first two singles both reach the peak position. Macklemore and Lewis released their debut studio album The Heist on October 9, 2012, which charted at number 2 on the US Billboard 200. The pair won four Grammy Awards at the 2014 ceremony, including Best New Artist, Best Rap Album (The Heist), Best Rap Song and Best Rap Performance ("Thrift Shop"). Their second album, This Unruly Mess I've Made was released on February 26, 2016.