Kurt Cobain Day in Aberdeen hometown

ABERDEEN, Wash. - The city of Aberdeen is celebrating Kurt Cobain's 47th birthday with a new exhibit honoring his contributions to music.

Aberdeen city officials declared February 20th Kurt Cobain Day, and is also finally accepting and dedicating a statue it refused 20 years ago.

Some residents feel the city mostly shunned Cobain for negative comments he made about it, and because of his drug addictions.

But now, Mayor Bill Simpson says, "We want him to be known for his music. This has been a long time coming; we should have done it long ago."

Cobain committed suicide almost 20 years ago, and that's when Randi Hubbard started constructing a cement statue of the singer. Local art students helped her along the way and she offered it to the city, but it refused.

So it sat in her muffler shop all these years. Despite its obscure location, people from all over the world came to see it. The city's finally accepting it, placing it in the Aberdeen Museum of History.

Clint Mullins doesn't have to come very far to see it or Cobain's other Aberdeen haunts. He also grew up in Aberdeen and remembers the following in Cobain's footsteps on the banks of the muddy Wishkah River.

It's a stretch of waterfront where Cobain sought refuge, sometimes sleeping under the bridge. Fans flock to this area, now maintained as a park.

"It's really cool that our community's coming out as a city," Mullins says.

Like so many other budding musicians, Mullins wanted to follow in Cobain's footsteps. He and his buddies also came here when they needed an escape.

"It was all sticker bushes. You'd go down and sit under the bridge and play guitar and hang out that was something we did right out of high school," says Mullins.

And now - on the anniversary of Cobain's birth - the city officially dedicates a day and a statue to him.

"This has been a long time coming; we should have done it long ago. Paul McCartney said Kurt Cobain was a genius, that said a lot for me. We want him to be known for his music," Mayor Simpson says.

Complete with a concrete tear that runs from his eye, the larger-than-life statue moves from the muffler shop to the city's Museum of History.

Approximately 5,000 people visit the museum every year. Last year alone, those visitors came from 32 states and 28 counties.

With a permanent fixture dedicated to Cobain, the number of museum visitors is expected to increase.

Nirvana will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in April.