Pearl Jam climbed the charts with their single Jeremy about a young, troubled boy. Learn about the events that inspired the hit song.

In the early 1990’s, Pearl Jam released their debut album, Ten and it wasn’t long before the band became a worldwide sensation. Ten was the kind of album you could listen to from start to finish and love every song in between. One of those songs, Jeremy, became an instant hit after it’s single release in 1992.

When the song was topping the charts, and the video was playing all over MTV (back when the “M” stood for Music and the channel actually played music videos), not many questioned the inspiration behind the song. The video shared snippets of a classroom where a troubled kid is beginning to act out in a questionable way. But still, only a few wondered where the images and lyrics came from.

The Suicide of Jeremy Wade Delle

On January 8, 1991, not long before the release of Ten, Jeremy Wade Delle committed suicide by shooting himself in front of his English class at Richardson High School in Richardson, TX. He was only 16 years old. It has been stated that Delle came to class late and was asked to get a note from the office. When he returned, he held a gun and shot himself in front of his classmates and teacher. It is assumed his actions were thought out in some respect, he had prepared a suicide note which he left with another student. His actions not only stunned the school but had such an impact that Pearl Jam’s lead singer, Eddie Vedder, wrote a song about it.

Watch the video and find links to learn more below: