Nirvana, one of the most influential rock bands in music history, were last inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in their first year of eligibility for the honour, on the same week which marked the 20th anniversary of frontman Kurt Cobain's death.

Surviving members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic were on hand to accept the award and perform a selection of Nirvana songs with singing duties shared by the likes of Lorde, St Vincent, Joan Jett and Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon.

REM's Michael Stipe inducted the band and praised the indelible mark they made on music and culture, saying "This is not pop music. This is something much greater than that."

"Nirvana tapped into a voice that was yearning to be heard", said Stipe. "Nirvana were kicking against the mainstream. They spoke the truth and a lot of people listened."

Taking the podium, Grohl made sure to pay tribute to the drummers he succeeded in Nirvana - particularly Chad Channing who performed on the band's first album 'Bleach'.

Novoselic too made a brief statement, saying that "Nirvana fans walk up to me every day and say 'thank you for the music'. When I hear that I think of Kurt Cobain."

Cobain's ex-wife Courtney Love was also in attendance. "You know, I have a big speech, but I'm not going to say it. That's it. I just wish Kurt was here to do this", Love said before hugging Novoselic and Grohl, with whom she's had a famously fractious relationship with since Nirvana's demise.

Grohl and Novoselic, along with guitarist Pat Smear, performed a selection of Nirvana songs with the four female vocalists sharing the singing duties. Joan Jett took on 'Smells Like Teen Spirit', Kim Gordon performed 'Aneurysm', St Vincent performed 'Lithium' and Lorde sang 'All Apologies'.

It was a fitting tribute to one of popular music's most original voices, though marked with more than a tinge of sadness as it celebrated the popularity and uncontrollable nature of Nirvana - a sentiment which some believe led to Cobain's self-inflicted downfall.

Kiss, Cat Stevens, Peter Gabriel, Linda Ronstadt and Hall & Oates were also inducted to the Hall of Fame at the ceremony in Brooklyn, New York. 

Images: Getty
Source: BBC