Nirvana's 10 Biggest Billboard Hits

Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic, Inc

The iconic Seattle trio's top 10 Alternative Songs chart triumphs.

Nirvana didn't invent alternative rock, but they were one of the bands foremost in bringing it to the masses. The Seattle trio had an unmistakeable sound - a genius blend of Kurt Cobain's raspy voice and gnashing guitars, Dave Grohl's relentless drumming and Krist Novoselic's uniting bass-work that connected with fans in a hail of alternately melodic and hard-charging songs that would become signature classics. As the band enters the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the world reflects on the 20th anniversary of Cobain's tragic death, we're celebrating the great music of the band's all-too-brief run with a look at their 10 biggest hits on Billboard's Alternative Songs chart.

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This ranking is based on actual performance on the weekly Billboard Alternative Songs chart. The ranking is based on an inverse point system, with weeks at No. 1 having the greatest value and weeks at lower ranks proportionately less. Due to various changes in chart rules, methodology and depth through the years, songs have had reigns at No. 1 and on the chart of varying average lengths. To ensure equitable representation of the biggest hits from all years, certain time frames were weighted to account for the differences in song turnover rates.

  1. 10

    "Lithium" Alternative Songs Peak: No. 25 | Peak Date: 2/8/1992

  2. 9

    "Sliver" Alternative Songs Peak: No. 19 | Peak Date: 1/23/1993

  3. 8

    "Aneurysm (Live)" Alternative Songs Peak: No. 13 | Peak Date: 10/19/1996

  4. 7

    "The Man Who Sold the World" Alternative Songs Peak: No. 6 | Peak Date: 3/4/1995

  5. 6

    "Come As You Are" Alternative Songs Peak: No. 3 | Peak Date: 2/15/1992

  6. 5

    "You Know You're Right" Alternative Songs Peak: No. 1 (Four Weeks) | Peak Date: 10/26/2002

  7. 4

    "Heart-Shaped Box" Alternative Songs Peak: No. 1 (Three Weeks) | Peak Date: 10/16/1993

  8. 3

    "About a Girl" Alternative Songs Peak: No. 1 (One Week) | Peak Date: 12/10/1994

  9. 2

    "All Apologies" Alternative Songs Peak: No. 1 (Two Weeks) | Peak Date: 1/22/1994

  10. 1

    "Smells Like Teen Spirit" Alternative Songs Peak: No. 1 (One Week) | Peak Date: 11/23/1991


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