Nirvana’s game-changing single “Smells Like Teen Spirit” has surpassed one billion streams on Spotify, a rare feat for a heavy rock song. The achievement comes just a few months before the band’s landmark 1991 album Nevermind celebrates its 30th anniversary.

“Smells Like Teen Spirit” changed the face of rock music as the first single released from Nevermind. The song and its iconic music video helped open the floodgates for grunge and alternative rock at a time when hair metal and pop ruled the MTV and radio airwaves.

The song joins Linkin Park’s “In the End” among the more than 150 tracks that make up Spotify’s “Billions Club”, most of which are of the modern pop and hip-hop variety. A few songs from Queen (“Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Another One Bites the Dust” and “Don’t Stop Me Now”) are also on the list, and closing in on the 1 billion mark are Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine“ (roughly 975 million plays) and AC/DC’s “Back in Black” (more than 800 million plays).


This is not the first time that “Smells Like Teen Spirit” has joined a “billion club.” At the end of 2019, the song’s video hit 1 billion views on YouTube. It has since added roughly 300 million more YouTube views.

A couple of Kurt Cobain-related auctions put Nirvana in the news recently. Six strands of the late frontman’s hair sold for more than $14,000, while a self-portrait doodle drawing by the singer garnered $281,000.

Watch Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” video and stream the song on Spotify below.