Frances Bean Cobain (born August 18, 1992) is the only child of the late Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain and Hole singer Courtney Love.
Frances Bean Cobain was born at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center in Los Angeles, California at 7:48 am, August 18, 1992. She was named after Frances McKee, the guitarist for the Scottish indie pop duo The Vaselines. The middle name 'Bean' was chosen because Kurt thought she looked like a kidney bean on the ultrasound. Her godfather is R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe, and Drew Barrymore is her godmother. She is an only child, raised solely by her mother after her father's death when she was twenty months old.
Starting in August 2010, Cobain will be attending Bard College in Upstate New York.
April 1, 1994 was the last time Cobain saw her father alive. She was visiting him at Exodus Recovery Center, a rehab center in Marina Del Ray, California, he had entered the previous day. According to sources, the two of them played and Kurt sang to her.
On the morning of April 8, 1994, Kurt Cobain was found dead at his home in Seattle. A final ceremony was arranged for Cobain by his mother on May 31, 1999, attended by both Courtney Love and Tracey Marander. As a Buddhist monk chanted, Cobain scattered her father's ashes into McLane Creek in Olympia, Washington, the city where he "had found his true artistic muse". The following autumn, Love enrolled Cobain at Happy Medium School in Seattle, now called Giddens School. During her kindergarten year, she attended Highland Hall (a Waldorf school) in Northridge, California.
According to her mother, Cobain is set to inherit "a sweater, a guitar, and the lyrics to 'Smells Like Teen Spirit'" from her father's possessions. Love intends to hold an auction of many other possessions, with a portion of the proceeds going to charity. According to Rolling Stone magazine, the title and cover photograph for Sliver: The Best of the Box, were chosen by Frances. The cover photograph shows a pile of Nirvana and Cobain tapes strewn about, including a copy of the "Fecal Matter" demo.
Before Love gave birth to her daughter, there were rumors suggesting that she used heroin during her pregnancy. This scandal intensified when Vanity Fair published Lynn Hirschberg's article "Strange Love" that alleged Love admitted to taking heroin even after learning of her pregnancy. The response to this article caused serious damage to Love's public standing, and many parenting groups called for their child to be removed from her parents' custody immediately after birth. Along with Cobain, Love maintained that Vanity Fair took her words out of context. After her birth, tabloid reporters questioned if the couple's daughter was born addicted to drugs. Eventually, child welfare services launched an investigation questioning their parenting abilities. The investigation was eventually dismissed, but not without a significant amount of legal wrangling and being removed from her parents' custody for a short time, beginning when she was two weeks old.
During Love's hospital stint in 2003, Cobain was put into the care of her grandmother. Cobain was returned to the custody of Love several months later. In late 2005, Hank Harrison, Cobain's maternal biological grandfather, prepared a brief petitioning the Los Angeles court for visitation rights to the minor child, but the petition was denied. A similar petition was prepared in late 2009 and will be filed pending the final outcome of a 2010 custodial hearing.
On December 11, 2009, a California Superior Court in Los Angeles appointed Wendy O'Connor; her paternal grandmother, and Kimberly Cobain; her father's only biological sibling; as temporary co-guardians of Frances. On December 16, 2009, TMZ reported that a judge had issued a related temporary restraining order, prohibiting Love from having any direct or indirect contact with her daughter.
The custody battle regarding the Cobain Estate is currently ongoing.
To date, Cobain has given four official interviews. In September 2005, a thirteen-year-old Cobain gave her first interview to Teen Vogue where she discussed her personal style and mentions her parents.
Another appeared in the January 2006 issue of i-D, where she expressed negativity over tabloid portrayals of her mother and was quoted as saying, "When you see a lot of lies about her in the tabloids, it can be hurtful."
In August 2006, she was photographed for Elle magazine in her father's famous brown cardigan and pajama pants as part of an article of rock star offspring in their parent's clothing. She explained, "I wore his pajamas because he got married in them to my mom in 1992 in Hawaii so I thought they would be cute if I wore them today. He was too lazy to put on a tux so he got married in pajamas!".
In February 2008, she appeared in a photo spread for Harper's Bazaar.
RIP Childhood Birthday Party
In September 2008, Cobain hosted a suicide-themed party at the House of Blues in Los Angeles to celebrate a "RIP Childhood" 16th birthday. The event was funded by Love, and included a performance from Mindless Self Indulgence. The party was intended to represent the move from childhood to adulthood, creating controversy as to Love's influence and the effect of her late father's death.
Cobain worked as an intern for Rolling Stone magazine from June to August 2008.
Cobain appeared as a guest vocalist on the song "My Space" from the album Evelyn Evelyn by Evelyn Evelyn, which was released March 30, 2010. Amanda Palmer from Evelyn Evelyn clarified that Cobain was one of some 20 artists who sang the same line and whose voices were mixed together in the recording.
In July 2010, Cobain debuted a collection of her artwork titled "Scumfuck" under the pseudonym of "Fiddle Tim" at the La Luz de Jesus Gallery in Los Angeles.