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Frontwoman of early 90s Grunge band Hole, widow of Kurt Cobain, currently a few notches short of Ax Crazy. Here's a reasonably quick rundown of her career:

  1. Born in 1964, she auditioned for The Mickey Mouse Club at age 12... using a poem by Sylvia Plath.
  2. Moved around a lot in The Eighties and was in various bands. At one point she joined Faith No More as a temporary vocalist, but was kicked out for clashing too much with the others.
  3. Started Hole in 1989 with guitarist Eric Erlandson and a rather alarming inability to hang onto drummers and bass players. With Hole she made the following albums:
    1. Pretty on the Inside (1991), a harsh Noise Rock album produced by Kim Gordon and Don Fleming. The lineup was Love, Erlandson, Jill Emery on bass and Caroline Rue on drums.
    2. Live Through This (1994), a more obviously Grunge album produced by Sean Slade and Paul Kolderie (previously producers for Radiohead's Pablo Honey). This became their most successful album, and brought about rumors that it was ghostwritten by Kurt Cobain.[1] For this album, Emery and Rue were replaced by Kristen Pfaff (who died of an accidental overdose two months after the album's release) and Patty Schemel.
    3. My Body, the Hand Grenade (1997), a compilation of early (and recent) material released while the band's attempt to record a third album collapsed. Included a Nirvana song called "Old Age" which was rewritten and credited entirely to Love, fueling the Fan Dumb and Hate Dumb.
    4. Celebrity Skin (1998), a much more accessible Power Pop-influenced album produced by Michael Beinhorn and with some contributions by Billy Corgan. To prevent a repeat of Live Through This, the album contained extensive liner notes and writer's credits just so people would know exactly who did what. Melissa Auf Der Maur played bass on the album (and quit in 1999 to join the Smashing Pumpkins), while Schemel controversially left during the sessions for unclear reasons and was replaced by a session drummer in the studio and Samantha Maloney for the tour.
  4. Married Kurt Cobain. You know the rest.
  5. Disbanded Hole circa 2002 after a period of inactivity, became slightly more known for drug addiction, erratic behaviour and a talent for annoying/insulting various other Alternative Rock figures than her music.
  6. Did not endear herself to Nirvana fans by starting a long legal pissing match with Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, delaying the release of the With the Lights Out box set for three years.
  7. Recorded a solo album, America's Sweetheart (2004). This was not as well received as her Hole material due to the weaker songwriting and overly commercial production, and even she admitted she was mostly out of it during recording. This album featured Emilie Autumn, and launched her non-classical career.
  8. Resurrected the Hole name in 2009 with an entirely new lineup, annoying Erlandson and surprising Auf Der Maur in the process (both of them only found out about it after they saw the announcement; the latter was baffled by the announcement saying that she would be the bassist). This lineup (Love, Micko Larkin, Shawn Dailey and Stu Fisher) put out a new album, Nobody's Daughter (2010). People are still mostly on the fence about it. Fisher left a year after the release, being replaced with Scott Lipps.

All things considered equal, as a female singer she is still able to perform a rare feat: conveying anger and rage without sounding or acting like a man and being perfectly credible in her anger.

She also has a Self-Insert Fic Manga called Princess Ai.

Discography:

  • With Hole:
    • Pretty On The Inside (1991)
    • Live through This (1994)
    • Celebrity Skin (1998)
    • Nobody's Daughter (2010)
  • Compilations With Hole:
    • My Body The Hand Grenade (1997)
    • Icon (2011)
  • As A Solo Artist:
    • America's Sweetheart (2004)

Courtney Love provides examples of the following tropes:

  • Arch Nemesis: Dave Grohl, although their "rivalry" is entirely one-sided; Grohl has never instigated any of their conflicts and whenever she picks a fight with him, his response is always just something along the lines of, "Oh, it looks like Courtney has gone off on another tangent again."
  • Careful with That Axe: Jesus, Courtney... (Violet is the go to example of this)
  • Cloudcuckoolander: In her "good" public appearances, she comes off as one of these. See Split Personality below.
  • Drone of Dread: Pretty frequently. "Pretty on the Inside/Clouds" comes to mind, but it happens a lot.
  • Early-Bird Cameo: Before becoming famous with Hole, she made a cameo appearance in the video for "I Wanna Be Sedated", and was a temporary vocalist for Faith No More.
  • Football Fight Song: Invoked in "Be A Man."
  • Grief Song: She has at least one over Kurt's death.
  • Harsh Vocals: Apparently Courtney was gargling whiskey while recording "Pretty on the Inside" for this effect. Her vocals later evolved into this more naturally over the years (bordering on Vocal Decay), especially on Nobody's Daughter.
  • Hidden Depths: Her speech about how artists are unfairly treated by the record industry is surprisingly insightful, informative and well-written. Also, let's face it, her talent as a musician and a frontwoman is greatly underrated, possibly because it's easier to notice her... not-so-likeable public behaviour.
  • I Am the Band: Former guitarist and only other constant member Eric Erlandson criticised the resurrection of the "Hole" name, saying he "had a contract" with Love that neither of them would reunite Hole without the other's involvement. Love responded by declaring that Hole is "MY band", and continued with the reunion. Erlandson did not pursue any further legal action (a decision Auf Der Maur attributed to his considerably mellower personality).
  • Identical Stranger: Her younger, non-surgically-altered self is a dead ringer for Katee Sackhoff.
  • Image Song: "Letter to God".
  • Indecipherable Lyrics: When Courtney isn't screaming or genuinely singing, she gets to this. Though on Pretty on the Inside, it's mostly the fault of the production.
  • Jerkass: Early in The Eighties she was the lead singer in Faith No More for a short amount of time, being sacked due to her domineering behaviour (her replacement turned out to be so bad a magazine commented on the band's "internal warfare").
  • Misogyny Song: Things like "Baby Doll" and "Samantha" feel like this.
  • New Sound Album: Celebrity Skin is much more pop than the last three Hole albums.
  • Precision F-Strike: "I Think That I Would Die" is a a pretty slow and melancholy song, however it just makes the vitriol when she screams all the more powerful.
  • Record Producer: Rather influential for the album's overall sounds - Kim Gordon and Don Fleming's work on Pretty on the Inside is more Noise Rock-oriented and harsh, Sean Slade and Paul Kolderie gave Live Through This a more straightforward Grunge sound, and Michael Beinhorn contributed to Celebrity Skin's more pop leanings.
    • Beinhorn also counts as an Acrimony Producer: in a retrospective documentary on Celebrity Skin, Love called Beinhorn a "Nazi" and Schemel accused him of forcing her out of the band in favour of working with a session drummer.
  • Revolving Door Band: The only constant members of Hole were Love and guitarist Eric Erlandson - they cycled through drummers and bassists at a pretty fast rate (with the odd Author Existence Failure, such as Kirsten Pfaff's heroin overdose). The recent reformation with an entirely-new lineup hasn't helped.
  • Rockstar Song: The original version of "Awful," which was several pages long, included things like this.
    • In her solo album America's Sweetheart, "Mono" feels like this.
  • Split Personality: Love has had a mixture of "good" and "bad" public appearances. In her "good" public appearances she comes off as a kind, approachable, intelligent, well-meaning Cloudcuckoolander. In her "bad" public appearances she comes off as an insane, abrasive, destructive, drug-addled nutcase who is two steps away from being Ax Crazy. This had lead many to believe that she has bipolar disorder, a condition that Kurt Cobain also had.
  • Unkempt Beauty: reinvented this for the early 90s, with tattered little dresses, smeared makeup and unbrushed hair. Still considered highly attractive anyway.
    • The look in question, Kinderwhore, was the attempt to look like a prostitute crossed with a child playing dress-up. She was accused of stealing it from Kat Bjelland of Babes in Toyland.

Notes

  1. Cobain's contributions to the album were uncredited, nearly inaudible backing vocals to "Asking for It" and "Softer, Softest".
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