Music fans are quite familiar with Courtney Love. Some people love the work she’s done with the band Hole (“Doll Parts” is an alternative rock classic), and others just find her to be entertaining.
She’s also made the news due to her past relationship with Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. The two were compared to Sid and Nancy — two very talented individuals who were bound to self-implode if they kept living a life filled with drugs and destruction. Of course, Kurt’s fate is well known — he committed suicide on April 5, 1994, at the age of 27.
Some fans were quick to blame Courtney for what happened. That in itself was a lot to bear — sure, the two both made irresponsible decisions in their lives, but at the time of Kurt’s death, he was a father.
He was also an adult and a highly successful musician. Blaming suicide on anyone, especially someone who loved him dearly, is the wrong move to make.
Since then, Courtney’s dealt with other pains in her life. But the good news is, she’s working hard on staying sober, which is a commendable achievement. Courtney Love’s sobriety might open up even more opportunities for the star.
Courtney revealed her sobriety while she was receiving the Icon Award at the NME Awards in London. She revealed the fact in her acceptance speech, which she admitted she didn’t prepare ahead of time. “I didn’t prepare any speech, sorry, I didn’t mean to be disrespectful,” she noted. But she revealed that part of that might be due to another event from the same day.
“I woke up this morning and I asked a friend like ‘Is it the 11th?’ because also today, the honor of picking up this wonderful thing … I also have 18 months sober today.” Upon getting applause, Courtney added, “I can’t believe that. That’s pretty wild. Thank you so much, I’m very honored.”
Courtney has had sober periods throughout her life. Even when she hasn’t been intoxicated, she has still created memorable moments on television based on her generally outsized personality. She’s always been loud and mostly unapologetic. It’s obvious as to why so many people are charmed by her. In a story by Interview Magazine, she shared one of her most outrageous sober moments.
“I remember the night of the Golden Globes in, like, 2000, when I was asked to read the winner for Best Song,” she said. “I had gone on that show sober and been really angry that R.E.M. hadn’t been nominated for ‘Man on the Moon.’ Phil Collins won the award, and I was very rude. I made him beg for his Golden Globe, and they never asked me back. I even sang a little R.E.M. at the podium.”
Courtney and Kurt’s daughter, Frances Bean, has also struggled with addiction. She revealed on Instagram back in 2018, in a now-deleted post, that she had lived a sober life for two years. “This moment is a representation of who I am on February 13th, 2018,” she wrote, according to Rolling Stone. “It feels significant here, now because it’s my 2nd sober birthday.”
“It’s an interesting and kaleidoscopic decision to share my feelings about something so intimate in a public forum,” she then added. “The fact that I’m sober isn’t really public knowledge, decidedly and deliberately. But I think it’s more important to put aside my fear about being judged or misunderstood or typecast as one specific thing.”
“I want to have the capacity to recognize & observe that my journey might be informative, even helpful to other people who are going through something similar or different,” she concluded. “It is an everyday battle to be in attendance for all the painful, bazaar, uncomfortable, tragic, [expletive] up things that have ever happened or will ever happen.”
In 2019, Frances said that since she got sober, she started figuring out the right way to live. She inherited much of Kurt’s money — which she feels slightly guilty about — and realized later on that a lavish lifestyle wasn’t something that made her happy. So sobriety really changed everything for her.
“I’d say in the last two years, I’ve taken real accountability at looking at every little thing and talking with the people in charge of my money,” she once said on RuPaul’s podcast, per Yahoo. “And also realizing that you don’t have to live lavishly to live well. … The one way that I was shown how to live was to … live beyond your means and live in excess. It took me stepping away from that and getting sober in order to realize that no matter how much money you think you have, it’s not permanent.”
Without a doubt, Kurt would be proud of her. Frances has excelled in the arts, and even though she likely doesn’t remember her father, she still seems to understand him. “Kurt got to the point where he eventually had to sacrifice every bit of who he was to his art, because the world demanded it of him,” Frances told Rolling Stone. “I think that was one of the main triggers as to why he felt he didn’t want to be here and everyone would be happier without him.”
Her relationship with Courtney seems much more complicated. She told RuPaul that while she loves her mother, she knows she can often go down destructive paths. “I had a transformative shift in thinking,” Frances told RuPaul. “When bad stuff happens, as opposed to thinking, ‘why is this happening to me?’ I started to think, ‘what is this trying to teach me?'”
It would be nice if Courtney used Frances as her motivation to get sober. This hasn’t been her first attempt. Back in 2005, Courtney was court-ordered for rehab after being hospitalized. “I’ve got to stop drinking. It’s gonna be fun,” she told fans waiting outside the courthouse, per Billboard. “It’s profound … it’s deep.”
But 18 months is a big deal. And unlike her other attempt, it seems like she’s doing this all on her own. She’s already passed some of the toughest hurdles and is on the right track to having a healthy life. While Hole is no longer actively recording or performing, perhaps it may be time for a comeback. As someone who’s also done a fair share of acting work, Courtney hasn’t been in a film since 2013 — so maybe that’s something else she can work toward.
Now that Courtney and Frances Bean are both healthy and in a good place, their relationship can only grow from here. Frances had a tough upbringing, with a famous father and a mother who notoriously got herself into trouble. They owe it to Kurt to grow stronger together. Both of them deserve to be happy.