Cobain (l) and McCartney collects French honour
Cobain (l) and McCartney collects French honour

Paul McCartney is to front iconic grunge rock group Nirvana in what many believe to be among the most bizarre collaborations of the year.

Macca revealed he will step into the shoes of dead lead singer Kurt Cobain at a charity gig in New York later today (Wednesday).

Cobain shot himself in the head in 1994 at the height of Nirvana's popularity, after the band's intense music and his tortured lyrics had struck a chord with young people around the world.

His sudden death at the age of 27 sparked an outpouring of grief which saw Cobain elevated to the first rank of 20th century artists whose work defined a generation.

In contrast, Beatles legend McCartney has developed a very different image as a chirpy scouser who is fond of flipping thumbs-up signs and making millions via business ventures.

Tonight's benefit concert for Hurricane Sandy survivors will be the first time in 20 years that surviving Nirvana members Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic have played together as Nirvana.

McCartney, 70, told The Sun that the idea of a collaboration came when he phoned Grohl, who asked him to come along and "jam with some mates."

"I didn't really know who they were. They are saying how good it is to be back together. I said 'Whoa? You guys haven't played together for all that time?" he added.

"And somebody whispered to me 'That's Nirvana. You're Kurt.' I couldn't believe it."

Tonight could see the man who penned easy listening classics with Wings turn his hand to Nirvana tunes like 'Rape Me,' Heart Shaped Box' and 'Territorial Pissings,' penned by Cobain before he committed suicide.