Courtney Michelle Love (born Courtney Michelle Harrison; July 9, 1964) is an American singer, songwriter, actress, and visual artist. A notable presence in the punk and grunge scenes of the 1990s, Love has enjoyed a career that spans four decades. She rose to prominence as the frontwoman of the alternative rock band Hole, which she formed in 1989. Love has drawn public attention for her uninhibited live performances and confrontational lyrics, as well as her highly publicized personal life following her marriage to Kurt Cobain.
The daughter of Hank Harrison and psychotherapist Linda Carroll, Love had an itinerant early life. She spent her formative years in San Francisco and Portland, Oregon, where she was in a series of short-lived bands before being cast in two films by British director Alex Cox. After forming Hole in 1989, she received substantial attention from underground rock press for the group’s debut album, produced by Kim Gordon. Hole’s second release, Live Through This (1994), gave her high-profile renown with critical accolades and multi-platinum sales. In 1995, Love returned to acting, earning a Golden Globe Award nomination for her performance as Althea Leasure in Miloš Forman’s The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996), which established her as a mainstream actress. The following year, she saw further mainstream success with the release of Hole’s third album, Celebrity Skin (1998), which was nominated for multiple Grammy Awards.
Love continued to work as an actress into the early 2000s, appearing in big-budget pictures such as Man on the Moon (1999) and Trapped (2002), before releasing her first solo album, America’s Sweetheart, in 2004. The next few years were marked by publicity surrounding Love’s legal troubles and drug addiction, which resulted in a mandatory lockdown rehabilitation sentence in 2005 while she was in the process of writing a second planned solo album. That project became Nobody’s Daughter, which was released in 2010 as a Hole album but without any other members of the former lineups. Between 2014 and 2015, she released two solo singles and returned to acting in the network series Sons of Anarchy and Empire.
Love has also had endeavors in writing, co-creating and co-authoring three volumes of a manga, Princess Ai, between 2004 and 2006, as well as a memoir, Dirty Blonde: The Diaries of Courtney Love (2006). In 2012, she premiered an exhibit of mixed media visual art titled And She’s Not Even Pretty.