Frances Bean Cobain, born August 18, 1992, was the first — and, as it would turn out, only — child of [artist id=”1165312″]Courtney Love[/artist] and [artist id=”1002″]Nirvana[/artist] frontman Kurt Cobain. From the minute she came into the world, she was famous.
Photographers clamored to snap her picture. Journalists lined up to crown her as the heir to the throne, the princess of rock and roll. Even her godparents — [artist id=”330″]R.E.M.’s[/artist] Michael Stipe and actress Drew Barrymore — were famous. And, yet, very little is actually known about Frances Bean. She’s given only a handful of interviews. She interned at Rolling Stone magazine. And, by all accounts, she’s tried very hard to live a normal life. At least as normal a life as the daughter of rock royalty can have.
In her first-ever interview — a 2005 conversation with Teen Vogue — Frances told the magazine she didn’t want to be known as the daughter of Courtney Love and Kurt Cobain, but “thought of as Frances Cobain.” She described her personal style (“I don’t like to look sloppy. I’m a girly-girl”) and said she was making attempts to distance herself from her mother’s rocker attitude.
“I prefer when she’s [a] more classy starlet,” Cobain said. “I don’t really like her hard-metal stuff or when she doesn’t brush her hair.”
But she was also quick to come to her mother’s defense. In a January 2006 interview with i-D magazine, she railed against the tabloid portrayals of Love, saying, “When you see a lot of lies about her in the tabloids … it can be hurtful.” In August of that year, she was photographed for Elle wearing one of her father’s famous cardigans, tattered blue Converse All-Stars and the pajama pants he was married in.
To date, Frances’ most revealing interview was a March 2008 feature in Harper’s Bazaar, in which she said that she didn’t understand the media’s fascination with her.
“These people are fascinated by me, but I haven’t done anything,” she told the magazine. “I’m famous by default. I came out of the womb, and people wanted to know who I was because of my parents. If you’re a big Nirvana fan, a big Hole fan, then I understand why you would want to get to know me, but I’m not my parents. People need to wait until I’ve done something valid with my life.”
In the same interview, she declared her love for musical theater and “Sex and the City,” called herself “a shoe junkie” and talked about the possibilities of an internship with Rolling Stone in the summer. She also credited her grandmother, Wendy O’Connor, with helping her remain rooted.
“We’ve moved so much, and my life has been so inconsistent,” Frances said.”[She’s] the most constant thing I’ve ever had. I’m really lucky, because I’ve been able to go places and meet people you can only dream of, but she’s probably the person I respect most out of anybody in the world.”
O’Connor would also play a central role in the drama that surrounds Frances’ life. In 2003, following Love’s overdose — and subsequent arrest — O’Connor was awarded custody of her granddaughter, and both sides would engage in a lengthy court battle over who would retain guardianship. At the time, Frances lived in her mother’s house — though Love was ordered to move out — under the supervision of a nanny and Love’s stepfather, Frank Rodriguez, and aunt. During the trial, Love and O’Connor would come to blows outside a Los Angeles courthouse, but ultimately, in 2005, the court ruled in favor of Love .
On Friday, a filing gave temporary guardianship back to O’Connor , and on Tuesday (December 15), news broke that the decision was made because Frances prefers to live with her grandmother and that Love’s past history of substance abuse had nothing to do with the court’s filing.