See Frances Bean Cobain at 28, a Year Older Than Her Dad Was When He Died
She grew up without her famous father, but says Kurt's been around her "every day" of her life.
Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain was at the height of his career when he died by suicide in 1994. More than just a grunge rock superstar, he was a voice of his generation, and his untimely death only further cemented the icon among the ranks of music royalty.
Of course, beyond the gaping hole his death left in the music world, there was the more private impact felt by his family. In particular, the rockstar left behind a daughter, Frances Bean Cobain—then just 20 months old—whom he shared with musician Courtney Love. Now 28 years old, Frances has begun to open up about all the ways her life has been shaped by a father she has no memory of. "I didn't have a dad, and that's horrible. I wouldn't wish that on anyone, but I also wouldn't change the dynamics of anything in my life because it's informed the person I am, and I like the person I am," she shared in a recent interview.
These days, she's balancing the complicated business of managing her father's legacy (she reportedly owns the publicity rights to her father's name and image) and pursuing her own interests in art, music, and more. Read on to find out what Frances Bean Cobain has been up to recently, and to see what she looks like now.
Following in her famous parents' footsteps, Frances has become a musician and artist—though her style is all her own. In fact, she famously told Rolling Stone that while she connects with some of the band's songs, she doesn't "really like Nirvana that much." You can hear her mournful folk-rock melodies—including "Angel," which she famously wrote for her late father—on Soundcloud and YouTube.
"I'm working really hard to make—to come to fruition—what I envision for myself as an artist, and music is totally included in that. But I don't want to limit myself to just music. It's visual, and it's musical, and it's audio, and it's soulful," she said in an interview at Daily Front Row's fourth annual Fashion Los Angeles Awards. "I'm working towards making all of that my daily life," she added.
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Frances famously controls the publicity rights to her famous father's name and image, so she's been involved in several projects commemorating Kurt's career, including art shows and an HBO documentary called Montage of Heck.
"For 20 years, my dad has been like Santa Claus, this mythical figure," Frances said in an interview with Rolling Stone. "I want to present the man," she said of her part in the production of the documentary. While she shared that she had no personal memories of her father, she said at the time of the film's release that she got to know him better through the documentary.
However, she later told NME that "the movie ended up not being what I wanted it to be." She added, "I regret not being in a headspace to be more involved. I was on a lot of drugs. I was not present. I was not capable of having authentic input."
Frances has modeled for Marc Jacobs, and is often photographed at fashion events and runway shows alongside her famous mom. At one recent fashion awards event, she was spotted sporting her dad's signature dyed pink hair.
Glamour South Africa reports that Frances has also channeled her interest in apparel into a merchandising venture for The End of Music, the business arm of her father's estate. The unisex clothing collection, which features Kurt's original artwork, was designed under her creative direction, and is now being sold in Barneys in the U.S., Selfridges in the U.K., and online at KurtCobainShop.com.
In his suicide note, Kurt described his infant daughter as "full of love and joy, kissing every person she meets." He added, "I can't stand the thought of Frances becoming the miserable, self-destructive, death rocker that I've become."
While it seems she's largely avoided the pitfalls that Kurt feared most, it's no surprise that Frances has had her own personal struggles. Growing up, she lived in the shadow of her father's world-famous career and death, had a reportedly difficult relationship with her mother, battled drug addiction, and navigated a contentious divorce of her own at a young age.
In 2018, Frances shared via Instagram that she had turned a corner in finding health and happiness. She opened up about reaching a meaningful milestone of being two years sober, saying, "Becoming present is the best decision I ever made."