This Saturday, Nirvana's "Nevermind" -- the landmark album that brought alternative music crashing into the mainstream -- celebrates its 20th anniversary. If it's hard to believe it's been two decades since Kurt Cobain, his cardigan and his crew challenged the idea of what a pop star could be, it's equally surprising to realize Cobain's only child, Frances Bean Cobain, is already 19 years old.
Born August 18, 1992, to Kurt and his wife and fellow grunge rocker Courtney Love, Frances Bean's name was a tribute to the singer/guitarist of an obscure Scottish rock band the couple adored (Frances McKee of the Vaselines) as well as stemming from Kurt's impression that his daughter looked like a "kidney bean" in ultrasounds.
No longer resembling a kidney bean -- but eerily evoking both of her famous parents simultaneously -- the rock 'n' roll daughter is just beginning to step into the limelight as a model. Her piercing eyes, striking dark looks and tattooed back were highlighted in a recent series of black and white photos taken by renowned fashion photographer Hedi Slimane.
Judging by the pics, Frances Bean is either a Trekkie, a pessimist or both: Several shots show her in a midriff-baring tee that reads, "Beam me up Scotty, there's no intelligent life down here." She has also posed for Rocky Schenck, who shot her for a series of soft-focus photographs that cast her as a distant, alluring Hollywood star from the 1950s. (Even her estranged mom Courtney Love found the photos to be stunning, telling a concert audience: "How beautiful is my daughter," adding: "I'm so glad she never got that nose job.")
Ms. Cobain's interests extend well beyond fashion, though. In keeping with the philosophy inked across her back ("Art is the solution to chaos"), Frances Bean premiered a collection of drawings last year in Los Angeles. She also provided backup vocals on a track recorded by the unusual indie band Evelyn Evelyn (a male/female duo who pretend to be conjoined twin sisters onstage). She even interned at Rolling Stone during the summer of 2008.
Sadly, Frances' relationship with her headline-making mother Courtney Love has remained strained. In 2009, a judge put 17-year-old Frances in the custody of Kurt Cobain's mother and sister -- and smacked a restraining order against Love, the details of which were sealed to protect the teen's privacy. At least as recently as Bean's 18th birthday, contact has not resumed between the mother and daughter, in spite of Love's lengthy Twitter rants.
Although Frances Bean rarely talks to the press, when Interview magazine got a hold of her last year in conjunction with her art show, all she had to say about her mother was that questions regarding Courtney Love were "irrelevant to the [art] work."
[Photos: top: Ron Galella/WireImage; courtesy Hedi Slimane]
- Kurt Cobain
- Frances Bean Cobain
- Courtney Love