It's official: Courtney Love has found Nirvana.
The rocker-actress has settled lawsuits with label giant Universal Music Group, earning her freedom from the conglomerate and clearing the way for the release of rare tracks from the vault of her late husband, Nirvana icon Kurt Cobain.
Love blabbed about the settlement on the September 20 edition of Howard Stern's radio program. Today's joint statement from Love and Universal is the first formal confirmation of the deal.
While the polite press release declined to get into the financial bottom line, Love, on Stern, flat out said it involved "a lot of money."
The settlement ends more than two years of legal wrangling between Love and Universal, the music home to both Nirvana and her now disbanded band Hole.
Per the pact, Love has signed off on new Nirvana releases, including: a compilation (think greatest hits, featuring a never-released track, the playing-on-a-file-sharing-site-near-you "You Know You're Right"); the long-planned multi-disc set, Heart-Shaped Box; and an album's worth of rarities.
Cobain's surviving bandmates, Foo Fighter Dave Grohl and Krist Novoselic, also have given their blessings to the plan.
In a joint statement with Love, the rockers said, "We have settled our legal dispute. We are all pleased that these issues have been resolved positively and we can move on."
Universal Music will release the best-of compilation CD Nirvana on November 12. A music video for "You Know You're Right" is also in the works, featuring unreleased footage of the band.
The Love-Nirvana wars date back to June 2001, when Love sought to block the release of Heart-Shaped Box, saying she didn't like the way the collection was to be marketed.
Now, the box set, originally slated for a December 2001 release, has been pushed back to 2004. No word on when the Nirvana rarities disc will be issued.
Love says she's pleased to have worked out, with Grohl and Novoselic, "a long-term plan that will protect my family's legacy."
As for Love's music, well, she's also pleased about that.
"I'm excited to be releasing music again and rock music is starting to become very fun," Love says in the statement.
Universal says Love is currently recording new material in Los Angeles, with sessions in Europe to follow. The first single from a new solo album will be released in January by the London-based label Poptones Records.
On Stern, Love said the album could have been ready to go for Christmas, but she didn't want to compete with the Nirvana box set.
Love has got all the time in the world now to map out her music life--the notes are all hers. Per the settlement, Love gets ownership of all unreleased Hole recordings. She also can re-record previously released Hole songs (something that Universal previously was trying block). For her freedom, Universal will rake in royalties on "some" of her future recordings.
Officially, Universal, which sued Love in January 2000 for not delivering five contractually obligated Hole albums, now has nothing but kind words for the outspoken rocker.
"We're glad that we have resolved this amicably and wish Courtney well in all her future endeavors," Universal Music Group president Zach Horowitz says in a terribly diplomatic statement.
Love had painted her battle with Universal as an exploited artist taking on the arm-twisting corporate baddie. And while this supposed fight of principle appears to have been settled with cash, as Love herself said, she maintains that she has not forgotten what she was fighting for.
Love says she plans to lobby lawmakers in California's state capital, as well as Washington, D.C., on the issue of recording artists' rights.
"We must all work together through lobbying and collective bargaining to create the opportunities that have been lacking in our careers," Love says in today's statement.
One thing lacking in Love's career is a band. Or, at least, her old one. In May, she and guitarist Eric Erlandson dissolved what was left of Hole.
Acting-wise, Love, currently on screen in the little-seen Trapped, is to begin work on a new version of Macbeth, in which she'll play the spot-spotting Lady.