"It was like I had just fallen in love - and he was dead." Evanescene star Amy Lee reveals how the death of one legendary rock star broke her heart

A photograph of Amy Lee leaning towards the camera
(Image credit: Travis Shinn)

Evanescence frontwoman Amy Lee has opened up on the moment she found out that Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain had taken his own life in April of 1994. The singer and lifelong Nirvana fan, who was just 12 years old at the time of Cobain's death, was watching TV at home when the tragic news began to break across various networks.

"I remember it was a school day," she tells The Telegraph. "A normal, sunny day, kids running around the house, when it came on the news. I felt it so hard, I was crying, watching in total disbelief. In Utero was the first album I ever had and Nirvana were my favourite thing in the whole world. So it was like I had just fallen in love - and he was dead. It was so shocking to me, but it made me dive deeper into the music and start listening to the lyrics [as written] from the perspective of somebody who was crying out in pain."

Kurt Cobain's death at the age of 27 shocked the music world. His Nirvana bandmate and eventual Foo Fighters founder and frontman Dave Grohl would later describe the devastating impact Cobain's passing had on him, telling BBC Radio 4: "After Kurt died, I really couldn’t even turn on the radio, and I put the instruments away – even hearing music hurt, And it was that way for a few months."

Amy Lee, meanwhile, was only just beginning her journey into the music industry; a few months following Cobain's death, Lee would meet guitarist Ben Moody, and the two would start Evanescence together. Nirvana, and their 1993 album In Utero in particular, would remain hugely inspirational to Lee and her work. In 2011, she told Metal Hammer that the album's iconic cover, depicting a transparent, anatomical angel manikin, is amongst her favourites.  “I really love the In Utero artwork," she explained. "The anatomy of that weird but beautiful angel; dirty, internal and raw. It’s very striking, and I love the record, too – that album was big in my life.”

Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He has also presented and produced the Metal Hammer Podcast, presented the Metal Hammer Radio Show and is probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.