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Tuesday, 4 February, 2003, 17:30 GMT
Courtney Love: Force of nature
Courtney Love
Love spent her childhood living among hippies
Courtney Love's arrest for alleged verbal abuse of flight staff add another chapter to the singer and actress's life of hell-raising antics.

The former stripper who ended up marrying one of rock music's biggest icons has earned a reputation for being volatile and unpredictable.

Whether threatening to punch Christina Aguilera or mocking Russell Crowe, Love is probably better known for her provocative behaviour and aggressive sexuality than her music and acting abilities.

In December she was photographed running along a central London street during a naked cover shoot for the latest Q magazine.

Courtney Love
Love lived in Liverpool before moving to Los Angeles
At the same photo session she had an intimate bikini wax in a room full of people and poured a bottle of champagne over her head.

The 38-year-old singer-actress once described herself by saying: "I'm not a woman, I'm a force of nature."


Born Love Michelle Harrison, the daughter of a Grateful Dead-loving father and psychologist mother, she spent her formative years in hippy communes and schools in Europe and New Zealand.

She attracted the attention of the law from a tender age, and she claims to have ended up in a reform school when she was 16 for stealing a Kiss T-shirt.

During her late teens and early 20s she sampled the burgeoning European post-punk scene while living in Liverpool and Dublin.

Love moved to Los Angeles to begin her own musical career while working as an erotic dancer to pay her rent.

Kurt Cobain
Love and husband Cobain were grunge's golden couple
She played in early line-up of US alternative rock group Babes In Toyland before forming her own band, Hole.

In 1989 she married a transvestite musician known as Falling James, but within months the relationship had ended in divorce.

She would later fall for Nirvana's troubled singer, Kurt Cobain, and the pair were married in Hawaii in February 1992, as his band were starting to become worldwide stars.

Their daughter, Frances Bean, was born six months later.


The couple's usage of heroin has been well documented, although Love flew into a rage at a Vanity Fair journalist who reported she had injected the drug while pregnant.

She did manage to get Cobain into a clinic in 1994 in an effort to beat his addiction.

But he escaped, and killed himself with a shotgun at their Seattle home.

Later, warning her daughter about drugs, she said: "Cocaine is like really evil coffee."

Courtney Love
Love has been praised for her acting work
Since Cobain's death she has been linked to a number of men - and women - including Brad Pitt, Smashing Pumpkins singer Billy Corgan and former TV presenter Amanda de Cadenet.

She claims to have had a relationship with Oasis singer Liam Gallagher shortly after his split from Patsy Kensit.

Away from her colourful personal life, Love has won some admirers for her music and film work.

As the explosive singer with Hole, she recorded three well-received albums that tapped into the disaffection so keenly felt by many fans of her late husband's work.

After bit parts in the 1980s Alex Cox films Sid and Nancy and Straight To Hell, she landed a Golden Globe nomination for her starring role alongside Woody Harrelson in The People vs Larry Flynt.

It is her performances off the screen and stage, though, that have brought her the greater recognition.

See also:

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