Courtney Michelle Love is an American singer-songwriter, musician, actress and artist. Love initially gained notoriety in the Los Angeles indie rock scene with her band Hole, which she formed in 1989 with Eric Erlandson.
- July 9, 1964 (age 53), San Francisco
- 5' 10" (1.77 m)
- Nobody's Daughter, America's Sweetheart
Courtney Michelle Love (born Courtney Michelle Harrison; July 9, 1964) is an American singer-songwriter, musician, actress and artist. Love initially gained notoriety in the Los Angeles indie rock scene with her band Hole, which she formed in 1989 with Eric Erlandson. Their debut album, Pretty on the Inside (1991) garnered them critical praise, and they went on to achieve international critical and commercial acclaim for their following albums, Live Through This (1994) and Celebrity Skin (1998).
Love also had a career in acting, originally landing small roles in Alex Cox films in the 1980s. In 1996, Love starred in The People vs. Larry Flynt and was nominated for a Golden Globe for her performance. She later had a brief solo career in the early 2000s after the dissolution of Hole, releasing America's Sweetheart (2004), and went through several rehab sentences and run-ins with the law until achieving sobriety. In 2009, Love reformed Hole with new members and released Nobody's Daughter (2010). In 2012, she debuted an art exhibit featuring a collection of her own paintings and drawings titled "And She's Not Even Pretty".
Love was married to Kurt Cobain, frontman of the grunge band Nirvana, with whom she has a daughter, Frances Bean Cobain. Throughout her career, Love's wild stage antics and subversive feminist attitude have polarized audiences and critics, with Rolling Stone once calling her
"the most controversial woman in the history of rock."
Courtney Michelle Harrison was born in 1964 in San Francisco, California, to Linda Carroll, a psychotherapist, and Hank Harrison, a publisher who had some association with the Grateful Dead; at five years old, Love was included in a group picture on the back of the band's third album, Aoxomoxoa (1969). Her parents divorced in 1969, with custody being awarded to Carroll after she alleged that Harrison had fed LSD to Love when she was three years old, an allegation which he denied. Carroll then remarried, eventually giving birth to two more daughters and adopting a son. Carroll, in an autobiography, claimed to be the daughter of Marlon Brando, alleging that she had DNA tests done to prove it. Love's biological grandmother, Paula Fox, had an affair with Brando in the 1940s.
Love had a nomadic and troubled childhood. She moved with her family to Marcola, Oregon in 1970, and then briefly lived in New Zealand before being sent back to live with her stepfather in Oregon. At age 14, Love was arrested for shoplifting a t-shirt and was sent to Hillcrest Youth Correctional Facility. According to the Oregon's Children's Services Division, Love was then moved to over 20 different facilities and foster homes between 1978 and 1980. At age 16, Love moved to Portland, where she began working illegally as an exotic dancer, and briefly as a DJ at Portland's community radio station, KBOO. She also took job opportunities working briefly at dance halls in Japan and Taiwan, and wrote missives under the name "Courtney Michelle" in punk-zine Maximum rocknroll on local Portland bands Poison Idea and Rancid Vat.
Love has said that she "didn't have a lot of social skills" as a teenager, and that she learned a lot of them while frequenting gay clubs with friends. In 1981, a social worker discovered a trust fund established for Love by her mother's adoptive parents, which provided her with a $500 monthly stipend, and she gained legal emancipation. She subsequently traveled to Ireland where she took two semesters at Trinity College studying theology, and relocated briefly to England, moving into the Liverpool home of Julian Cope and befriending Ian McCulloch.