Courtney Love

From Academic Kids

Courtney Love (born Love Michelle Harrison on July 9, 1964 in San Francisco, California) was the singer and guitarist for the now-defunct band Hole. Currently performing solo, Love is also an occasional model and actress. Love is the widow of Kurt Cobain (19671994), singer in the band Nirvana, with whom she has one daughter, Frances Bean Cobain.


Early Life

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Courtney Love

The daughter of onetime Grateful Dead manager Hank Harrison and therapist Linda Carroll, Love spent her childhood in hippie communes throughout Europe and New Zealand. Love later claimed to have been given LSD as a toddler. A troubled, angry child, Love was a veteran of reform schools and juvenile halls by the time she was a teenager. She broke away from her family and traveled around the US, living off of a trust fund established for her by her grandmother. In her early twenties she lived in Portland, Oregon and briefly worked as a stripper. A notorious social climber, she befriended many musicians who would later become alternative rock icons, among them Michael Stipe of R.E.M. and Billy Corgan of Smashing Pumpkins.

Musical career and marriage

Love began her professional music career with a brief stint as the lead singer of Faith No More in the early 1980s. About this time she also played in an all-female pop-rock band called Sugar Baby Doll with Kat Bjelland and Jennifer Finch. None of their Bangles-influenced material has ever been released. Love had more early success as an actress; appearing as the best friend of Nancy Spungen in Alex Cox's Sid Vicious biopic Sid and Nancy in 1986, and in Cox's Straight to Hell in 1987.

Returning to music in her adopted hometown of Minneapolis, Minnesota, Love co-founded the all-female rock band Babes in Toyland with Kat Bjelland; acrimony between the two led to Love's quick exit from the band. In 1991 Love formed her own band, Hole; the band's debut album garnered little critical or popular attention; Hole's fortunes improved considerably following Love's marriage to Cobain and the publicity following Cobain's death.

Unpopular with many Nirvana fans (comparisons to Yoko Ono were made early on and persist to this day), Love's image was further tarnished by a 1992 article in Vanity Fair in which she admitted to using heroin in the early stages of pregnancy. As a result, Child Welfare Services briefly investigated the Cobains' fitness as parents. Love claims to this day that she was misquoted, saying she had told author Lynn Hirschberg that she had stopped using once she learned she was pregnant.

She was often ridiculed in the press for her abrasive, sometimes erratic behavior, such as cursing at papparazzi (hardly original for a celebrity) and publicly harassing Cobain's former girlfriend, folksinger Mary Lou Lord.

Shortly before the release of Hole's breakthrough album Live Through This in April 1994, Cobain committed suicide. Love read his suicide note at a televised memorial a few days later, sobbing hysterically and alternately cursing her husband as a "fucking asshole" and pleading with him to come back.

Hole bassist Kristen Pfaff died of a drug overdose three months later. She was replaced by Melissa Auf Der Maur a year later...

Life After Cobain

Love was a fashion trendsetter; in her early career, she modelled a "kinderwhore" look, which she was accused of having ripped off of Bjelland, although other sources suggest the rip-off was in fact in the opposite direction. Love stated that the look was inspired by Christina Amphlett of 1980s rock group The Divinyls. Love's style has since evolved, and she has modelled for more sophisticated designer labels.

Love received considerable acclaim for her role as Larry Flynt's wife, Althea, in Milos Forman's 1996 film The People vs. Larry Flynt, opposite Woody Harrelson as Flynt. She was also praised for her supporting role in the 1998 Andy Kaufman biopic Man on the Moon, which starred Jim Carrey as Kaufman. Other notable film credits include Basquiat and 200 Cigarettes.


Since Cobain's death, rumors have circulated that he was in fact murdered at Love's instigation. Director Nick Broomfield's 2000 documentary Kurt and Courtney interviewed forensic experts who claimed that Cobain was too intoxicated with heroin to even hold a gun, let alone shoot himself twice with one, as well as people claiming to be Cobain's intimate friends who said the Cobains' marriage was on the rocks and that Love wanted to get rid of him. One of these "insiders" was Love's own father, whom Love had severed ties with years earlier. Love has steadfastly denied these allegations.

The fact that Love's musical career skyrocketed after she married Cobain has fueled some speculation among Nirvana fans that it was in fact Cobain who wrote most of the songs featured on Live Through This. Further accusations have been made that Billy Corgan wrote most of the songs for 1998's Celebrity Skin. At present, none of these allegations have been proven.

Love has been a strong critic of the music industry, especially the RIAA. In 2000, she publicly announced her admiration for Napster which, at the time, was being accused of fostering illegal file-sharing. She became known for her criticism of unfair record contracts and mistreatment of artists.

With Hole having fallen into disarray, Love attempted to begin a "punk rock femme supergroup" called Bastard during Summer/Autumn of 2001, though this project never reached fruition. Hole broke up that year amid continuing litigation. Love in October 2001 performed in some solo shows as an opening act.

In 2003, Love pleaded not guilty to felony drug charges related to possession of painkillers. In February of 2004, an arrest warrant was issued for Love after she failed to appear at a preliminary hearing; the warrant was subsequently rescinded when she appeared in court on February 18. She released her first solo effort America's Sweetheart just eight days earlier on February 10.

Early on the morning of March 19, 2004 Love was arrested in New York City for allegedly throwing a microphone stand and hitting a man on the head. Earlier in the night, she appeared on The Late Show with David Letterman and flashed her breasts at David Letterman six times.

On her 40th birthday, July 9, 2004, she missed a scheduled court appearance relating to an attempted break-in at a boyfriend's house and was found in contempt of court. Her attorney later said she missed the appearance due to medical problems; later in the month she appeared in court and was sentenced to an 18-month probation and drug rehabilitation program.

In August of 2004 Love alienated some fans when she allowed a bill for a message board tied into her website to go unpaid. Love had agreed to pay (and had been paying) the bill though the board was registered to the head of her fanclub. A lawsuit is pending.

Love was cast to star as legendary cowgirl Texas Guinan in the story of her life, called Hello Sucker!. This role was revoked due to her problems with narcotics, and instead was given to Madonna.


When Love lived in Japan, she became a fan of the manga animation style. She has co-created a manga series called Princess Ai. Princess Ai features the character design of Ai Yazawa. Dialogue for Princess Ai's main character, Ai, is taken from Love's song lyrics.

Princess Ai: Volume I was released by TokyoPop in the United States on July 6, 2004.



External links


fr:Courtney Love nl:Courtney Love no:Courtney Love ja:コートニー・ラブ pl:Courtney Love sv:Courtney Love


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