The daughter of The Grateful Dead devotee and first manager Hank Harrison and psychotherapist Linda Caroll, Courtney Love was born Courtney Michelle Harrison in San Francisco, California in 1964. Love spent her early years living in hippie communes in Oregon and at schools in Europe and New Zealand, under the care of her mother and other family members.
By age 16, Love became legally emancipated and traveled throughout Europe, living off of a small trust fund left behind by her grandmother. Love eventually returned to Portland, Oregon, still pursuing music, and then moved around to various locations in the United States before making her break into the industry.
As a musician, she played in early incarnations of Babes In Toyland and Faith No More, as well as acting in bit parts for some Alex Cox films. In 1989, she started her own band, Hole, and in 1992 married Nirvana singer Kurt Cobain, giving birth to their daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, that same year. After Cobain's suicide in 1994, and the release of Hole's second album "Live Through This", Love continued to thrill her fans and enrage her detractors with her on- and off-stage antics.
By 1998, Hole had released their third studio album, "Celebrity Skin", and Love had attracted cinematic notoriety for her performance in The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996), which not only garnered her a Golden Globe nomination, but recognition as a serious performer.
Early into the millennium, Hole broke up, and Love took some supporting roles in films such as Trapped (2002), but her rocky past and propensity toward drug addiction eventually caught up with her, sending her through a whirlwind of numerous health and legal issues.
After unsuccessful stints in and out of drug rehabilitation centers, Love was ordered by the L.A. county court to three months in lock down rehab, which came to an end in 2006. Love soon after released a scrapbook-like diary recounting her life, titled "Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love", and continued writing music, testifying her sobriety to the press and public.
In 2009, after losing custody of daughter Frances Bean Cobain for unrelated reasons, Love re-formed Hole with an entirely new lineup, and soon after released the band's first album in ten years, titled "Nobody's Daughter".
|Kurt Cobain||(24 February 1992 - 5 April 1994) (his death) 1 child|
|James Moreland||(14 February 1989 - 15 June 1989) (divorced)|
Messy blonde hair
Bright red lipstick
Deep raw edged vocals
Different colored blue and green contacts
Hippie grunge style
Nightlife columnist Belissa Cohen sued Love for "assault, battery, negligence, and intentional infliction of emotional distress" resulting from an incident involving Cohen's attempt to photograph Love at an LA fashion show. [28 May 1998]
Daughter of Hank Harrison.
Has one daughter, Frances Bean Cobain, (b. 18 August 1992).
Linked romantically to Edward Norton. [1996-1998]
Auditioned for the role of Nancy in Sid and Nancy (1986) but was given the small role as Gretchen instead.
Love's biological grandmother is children's author Paula Fox.
Has admitted to having extensive plastic surgery on her face and body.
Love suffered a miscarriage. She refused to name the father. [15 May 2001]
Her legal name since February 24, 1992, has been Courtney Michelle Cobain, though she uses the name Courtney Love professionally.
It was announced that Love's band, 'Hole', has broken up. [May 24, 2002]
Arrested at Heathrow airport in London for disorderly conduct on an aircraft flying from L.A. She was given a caution. She had flown to London for a performance at The Old Vic Theatre. [4 February 2003]
Took ballet as a child through her teens and has had extensive surgery done on her feet (due to injuries).
Was in the early weeks of pregnancy during the filming of Trapped (2002) but miscarried.
Her mostly female band Hole ranked #68 on VH1's 100 Greatest Women of Rock N Roll
October 2003: Lost custody of her daughter after her arrest in Los Angeles on cocaine and illegal-prescription drug charges. Court officials placed 11 year old Frances Bean Cobain into the custody of her paternal grandmother, Wendy.
Though the band denies it, she insists she inspired the song "Crush With Eyeliner" that appeared on the 1990s R.E.M. album "Monster".
Was a member of the band Sugar Babylon
Released her solo album "America's Sweetheart" in February 2004.
The Nirvana song "Heart-Shaped Box" is about her.
The song "Malibu" (1998) was written specifically for Kurt Cobain.
20 October 2004 - Pled guilty in a NYC court to disorderly conduct for striking a concert-goer, Gregory Burgett, in the head with a microphone during a concert. She was ordered to pay $2,236 in medical expenses, to attend a drug-treatment program, remain drug-free and commit no crimes for a year.
Contrary to rumor, there is no evidence that Kurt Cobain was in the process of divorcing Love at the time of his death. The two had been living apart immediately before his death due to Cobain touring with his band Nirvana, and later, after Love staged an intervention to convince Cobain to check into a drug rehab program. When Cobain escaped from the rehab facility, Love had investigators track Cobain down, but by the time the singer was located, he was already dead.
11 January 2005 - An LA court ruled she could regain custody of her daughter, Frances Bean Cobain. She lost custody to her mother-in-law in October 2003 as a result of drug charges.
10 February 2005 - An LA court gave her three years probation after she pled no contest to attacking a woman at her ex-boyfriend/manager's house. Although accepting the plea, she maintained she did nothing wrong.
According to her mother Linda Carroll, her stage name originated because Linda called her "Courtney, love" as a child.
Her band Hole was part of the "Riot Girl"-movement in the '90s.
Ranked #67 on VH1's 100 Sexiest Artists.
Was considered for the role of Dorothy Boyd in Jerry Maguire (1996).
A distant relative of Douglas Fairbanks (her biological grandfather was his cousin).
Turned down the role of "Madison Lee" in Charlie's Angels: Full Throttle (2003), because she didn't want to perform any stunts.
Mentioned in the song "You Only Get What You Give" by the New Radicals.
Good friends with Winona Ryder.
Gargled whiskey while recording "Pretty On The Inside" to give a raw edge to her vocals.
Was rejected from The Mickey Mouse Club at age 12 after reading a Sylvia Plath poem for her audition.
After a lengthy audition process, beat out actresses Liv Tyler and Meryl Streep, among others, for the role of Lady Macbeth in a filmed version of "Macbeth" to be directed by Luc Besson. After several production delays, the film was never made.
The songs "Doll Parts", "Best Sunday Dress (1998 version)", "Dying", "Northern Star", "Malibu", "Playing Your Song", "Honey", "Pacific Coast Highway" are about Kurt Cobain, her late husband.
The songs "Hold On To Me", "Plump", "I Think I Would Die", and "Heaven Tonight" are about Frances Bean Cobain, her daughter.
Was voted "Best Female Performer" in the 1994 Metal Edge Readers' Choice Awards, upsetting Lita Ford, who had previously won the title seven years in a row.
Credits NJOY electronic cigarettes with helping her to give up smoking. Love had smoked three packs a day for almost thirty years and had tried repeatedly to quit. After switching to the electronic cigarette, she rapidly reduced her smoking to only half a pack a day, and hopes to eventually give up the habit altogether. Appropriately, NJOY hired Love as their spokesperson.
I'm not a woman, I'm a force of nature.
"Cocaine is like really evil coffee." (What she told her daughter about drugs.)
"You're no one in the rock industry unless you've feuded with me or slept with Winona Ryder.
"Being famous is just like being in high school. But, I'm not interested in being the cheerleader. I'm not interested in being Gwen Stefani. She's the cheerleader, and I'm out in the smoker shed. And plenty of you are out there in the smoker shed too. When it comes to rock 'n' roll, it's just like high school" (From an interview in the August 2004 Seventeen magazine).
"Knowing me, I'd probably end up at a bar, asking some guy to get me another martini. Still bleaching my hair at 59." (her response to what she thinks she'll be like when she's old.)
[on the changing state of the music industry] It's a radical time for musicians, a really revolutionary time, and I believe revolutions [like Napster] are a lot more fun than cash, which, by the way, we don't have at major labels anyway, so we might as well get with it and get in the game.
If I write a song about being a teenage prostitute, that doesn't mean that I was a teenage prostitute, any more than it means Kurt raped Polly.
Drugs have nothing to do with the creation of music. In fact, they are dumb and self indulgent. Kind of like sucking your thumb.
[on her father] He managed the Grateful Dead for five seconds, and he was an amateur acid-maker.
I surrounded myself with women when I was growing up because I had this horrible psycho father. Now I'm trying to really appreciate and like men more.
I think Andy Kaufman is to comedy what The Velvet Underground was to music- it's like, 80 thousand records sold, but everybody who bought one started a band.
If you treat a girl like a dog, she's going to piss on you.
[Commenting to NME on the hypocritically differing attitudes towards male and female rockstars]- You've got to be prepared for the names they are going to call you compared to your male peers... You will be a floozy and a slattern. He will be virile and a ladies' man. You will be a freakshow, a retching wretch, a sloppy drunk. He will be charismatic, vainglorious, a ferocious drunk and Dionysian. You will be indiscriminate and desperate. He will be generous, tortured and driven.
I am just the classic person who wants to learn stuff. I want good tutors, and with Kurt I had the best.
[on clinging to all of her late husband's belongings in 2007] "My house is like a mausoleum. My daughter doesn't need to inherit a giant hefty bag full of flannel shirts....A sweater, a guitar and the lyrics to 'Teen Spirit'--that's what my daughter gets. And the rest of it we'll just sell."
[on Hole's successful second album, Live Through This (1994)] "It was so easy to make that I get surprised by the effect it had on people. But, you know, all good rock is easy. The riffs just came, and they were fresh from chords that I'd learned from [Billy] Corgan and Kurt [Cobain]. I wrote 'Doll Parts' in five minutes."
There's a kind of appeal in vulnerability, and there's an appeal in sort of a quantum vulnerability, where you really are exposing something. It's like, a "haha, what are you gonna do?" kind of thing. "Yeah, come here, screw with me, I'm only, like, hanging upside down on a cross."
How can any woman be the female Jim Morrison? What Jim Morrison was was a sexual object. Women - we invented rock and roll, and sexualized men so that we could go and scream at these unattainable football captains.
I wanted to be something when I grew up, and I grew up in the '70s. What was I gonna be, a movie star? Movie stars say other people's words. A writer- I'm undisciplined. A rock star- that's what I wanted to be when I was a kid.
 I'm sober. I'm fabulous. I have a few character defects, but I'm not dishonorable and I'm not a liar. I have a good heart...I've never claimed to be anyone's role model. I'm not Mother Teresa.
I like to mentor young women and encourage them to play music. It's like teaching someone to play a sport; it doesn't matter if they grow up to be a professional athlete. It is a skillset you can use for the rest of your life and it keeps people out of trouble. Every girl should know how to play three chords on a guitar; it should be mandatory. It will keep them out of trouble, and they'll get any guy they want [laughs].
[commenting on her brief relationship with Trent Reznor] "Trent and I had this torrid whatever-you-want-to-call-it...he said in "Details" that my alleged pregnancy would have to be immaculate conception, so I said in "Spin" 'Don't call your band "Nine Inch Nails" if you have a three inch one!' My band is called "Hole." It's not called "big hole," it's not called "little hole," it's not called "flapping nony", it's not called "teeny rosebud", it's not called "Barbie pussy." It's called "Hole.""
[on her music career with Hole] "I said this band is going to be ten times bigger than Sonic Youth but not as big as Jane's Addiction. What was the but for?! It's like a fucking curse! The gods were listening that day! I could have said 'this band will be ten times bigger than Sonic Youth and The Beatles' and that's where we'd be right now."
(1997) Release of the book, "Courtney Love: The Real Story" by Poppy Z. Brite.
(2006) Release of her book, "Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love".
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