Kurt Cobain‘s iconic 1969 Fender Mustang guitar sold for a cool $4.5 million on May 22nd. The famed guitar was but one of the many instruments that went under the hammer at Julien’s Auctions’ three-day, “Music Icons” sale. The Cobain guitar — used most famously in Nirvana’s groundbreaking 1991 “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video — was purchased by Jim Irsay, owner and CEO of the NFL’s Indianapolis Colts. The guitar, which was originally listed with an estimate for only $600,000, caused a bidding war, which led to the exorbitant final price.

Blabbermouth reported, “In honor of Mental Health Awareness Month, the Cobain family is donating a portion of the proceeds of the legendary guitar and select Kurt Cobain items to Kicking The Stigma, the Irsays’ initiative to raise awareness about mental health disorders and remove the stigma associated with these illnesses. Through grants, as well as personal donations by the Irsay family, more than $16 million has been committed to local and national organizations to expand treatment and research and raise awareness in Indiana and beyond.”

Jim Isray said in a statement: “I am thrilled to preserve and protect another piece of American culture that changed the way we looked at world. The fact that a portion of the proceeds will go toward our effort to kick the stigma surrounding mental health makes this acquisition even more special to me.”


  • Nevermind was released on September 24th, 1991.
  • The album was Nirvana‘s second album and major label debut. It marked the recording debut with the band of drummer Dave Grohl.
  • Almost four months after its release, Nevermind hit Number One on the Billboard album chart, turning the “grunge” genre into a phenomenon.
  • Just 46,000 copies of Nevermind were shipped to record stores when it came out. The record debuted on the Billboard 200 albums chart at Number 144 and hit Number One on January 11th, 1992.
  • Nevermind was eventually certified Diamond in the U.S. for sales of more than 10 million copies. It has sold more than 30 million copies worldwide.

CHECK IT OUT: Nirvana’s 1991 video for “Smells Like Teen Spirit”: