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Courtney Love Biography


Home > Music > L > Love, Courtney > Biography


Birth Name: Courtney Michelle Harrison
Born: 1964/07/09
Birth Place: San Francisco, California, U.S.
Years Active: 1985–present
Genres: Alternative Rock, Punk Rock, Grunge, Post-grunge


Courtney 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 as the lead vocalist and rhythm guitarist for alternative rock band Hole, which she formed in 1989 with lead guitarist Eric Erlandson. 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. Love was married to Kurt Cobain, frontman of the grunge band Nirvana, with whom she has a daughter, Frances Bean Cobain

Hole formed in Los Angeles in 1989 when Love put an ad in the newspaper for a lead guitarist. Erlandson answered the ad and Hole began. The band reached the height of their commercial and critical success throughout the 1990s.

The band stared out with a punk-rock gritty sound that morphed into a more controlled, melodic power pop/rock sound with each successive album. Hole originally was a trio of Love, Erlandson, and bassist Lisa Roberts, before adding drummer Caroline Rue and third guitarist, Mike Giesbrecht. They began to play shows in and around Hollywood, primarily showcasing a punk/experimental rock sound. As the band began to build momentum at their live shows, as well as Love gaining a reputation for being loud and aggressive on stage, A&R reps from major record labels began to show up in their audiences.

In 1991 the band signed with Caroline Records and their debut album, “Pretty on the Inside,” which was produced by Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, was released. The band embarked on an extensive tour of the U.K., Europe and the U.S. While on Tour, Hole performed with Mudhoney and The Smashing Pumpkins and Love began a relationship with Kurt Cobain of Nirvana.

1992 marked the band's return to the studio to work on their second album, Love's pregnancy, and marriage to Cobain. Emery left the band and drummer Caroline Rue quickly followed in Emery's shoes. Hole signed with Geffen Records later that year; and 1993 marked bassist Kristen Pfaff joining the band. Their sophomore effort, “Live Through This,” released in 1994 was a major financial success, selling over two million copies worldwide and going multi-platinum within just a year of its release. It also spawned four singles, including “Doll Parts” and “Violet.”

Around this time, Love and her husband, Cobain, checked into rehab clinics in Los Angeles for heroin addiction. Upon Cobain's self-release in April 1994 he shot and killed himself four days before Hole's second album was released.

The next few years saw instability from Hole, mostly due to Love's reaction to her husband's death and her up-and-coming movie career as an actress. The band re-emerged in 1997 with the EP “The First Session” and the compilation album, “My Body, The Hand Grenade.” Hole's third studio album, “Celebrity Skin” arrived in 1998 and was a throwback to the band's grunge and punk rock roots. The album was a huge success, amidst controversy that Love ex-boyfriend, Bill Corgan of the Smashing Pumpkins, had actually written the majority of the album.

The band embarked on a tour with Marilyn Manson in 1998 and 1999 to promote the album, though Hole eventually dropped out of the tour. That same year, Melissa Auf der Maur quit Hole and went on to become a touring bassist for The Smashing Pumpkins and drummer Samantha Maloney also quit a few months later. Love and Erlandson, being the only two remaining members, officially disbanded Hole in 2002.

With Hole in disarray, Love began a “punk rock femme supergroup” called Bastard during autumn 2001, enlisting Schemel, Veruca Salt co-frontwoman Louise Post, and bassist Gina Crosley, whom Post recommended. Though a demo was completed, the project never reached fruition. In 2002, Love began composing an album with Linda Perry. The record, “America's Sweetheart,” released on Virgin Records in February 2004, was embraced by critics with mixed reviews.

2010 saw a new incarnation of Hole, with Love at the helm and the release of a new album, “Nobody's Daughter,” which was followed by television performances in England and one off live shows. In 2012, Love, Erlandson, Auf der Maur, and Schemel reunited on stage in New York for a two-song set, including “Miss World” and “Over the Edge,” to celebrate Schemel's “Hit So Hard” documentary. It was the first time the four members performed together live since 1995.





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