Kurt Cobain's 'Smells Like Teen Spirit' guitar sells at auction for almost $5 million

Kurt Cobain guitar
(Image credit: Rob Pinney/Getty Images)

A guitar famously used by Kurt Cobain has sold at auction for almost $5 million, and some of the proceeds will benefit an important cause.

Indianapolis' Jim Irsay Collection purchased the guitar used by the late Nirvana singer at Julien's Auctions for $4.5 million in a bidding war, Variety reports. The original estimated price was between $600,000 and $800,000.

Cobain used the 1969 Fender Mustang in the iconic music video for "Smells Like Teen Spirit." He also played it during recording sessions for Nevermind and In Utero and some live performances, according to Julien's Auctions. The guitar was described as being in good condition.

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A portion of the proceeds from the auction will be donated to Kicking The Stigma, which seeks to fight the stigma surrounding mental illness. Cobain died by suicide in 1994 at age 27. He described the Fender Mustang as his favorite guitar.

"To have this legendary guitar, one of the most culturally significant and historically important guitars of Kurt Cobain and in all of rock music history return to my home state of Indiana to be part of Jim Irsay's renowned memorabilia collection is a great honor and personal highlight of my life," Julien's Auctions CEO Darren Julien said.

Irsay, owner of the Indianapolis Colts, also said he was "thrilled" to have purchased the guitar, and "the fact that a portion of the proceeds will go toward our effort to kick the stigma surrounding mental illnesses makes this acquisition even more special to me."

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