Name at birth: Courtney Michelle Harrison
Courtney Love is a rock singer and former frontwoman for the band Hole, but she's better known as the widow of Nirvana's Kurt Cobain. She grew up in California, New Zealand and Oregon, and began her rock career on the West Coast, in California, Oregon and Washington. She co-founded Hole in 1989 and in 1992 married Cobain as the band Nirvana was achieving international success. Shortly after Cobain's death in 1994, Hole's first major-label album, Live Through This, met with critical and popular success, making Love a rock star in her own right. A sometime actress, she earned favorable reviews for her performance in The People vs. Larry Flynt (1996) and appeared in the 1999 films 200 Cigarettes (with Casey Affleck) and Man on the Moon (the Andy Kaufman biopic starring Jim Carrey). Hole's second album, Celebrity Skin (1998) got good reviews but by the end of the 1990s Love was getting more attention as a tabloid figure than as a rock celebrity. She released a solo album in 2004 (America's Sweetheart), but her legal and drug problems overshadowed her career and invited more scorn from Nirvana fans, many of whom seemed to never like her in the first place.