Natasha Mehta
July 13, 2007 05:25 PM

Playing a free concert in New York City Thursday, Courtney Love looked shockingly thin – and even cracked a joke about her gaunt appearance.

Pausing between songs, she took a swig from a protein shake, then apologized to the crowd, saying that she “had to take care of my eating disorder.”

She then quickly said she was joking and added, “I don’t have an eating disorder.”

But her weight loss has been sudden: She has said she recently lost 52 pounds thanks to a diet of Isopure shakes, fish and vegetables.

She has also said she’s been trying to quit smoking, but she puffed on several cigarettes throughout her performance at the Maritime Hotel’s Hiro Ballroom.

Love played for a little more than an hour, breaking once for a wardrobe change – into underwear and a Marc Jacobs bustier, which she referred to as her “onesy” outfit.

The singer and her band members, who she said were young enough to be her children (Love recently celebrated her 43rd birthday), did not take the stage until midnight, despite the scheduled 10:30 start time.

Love debuted new songs from her upcoming Linda Perry-produced album (“I love Linda Perry,” she said), including “How Dirty Girls Get Clean” and the title track, “Nobody’s Daughter.” She also rewarded fans – including That 70’s Show‘s Danny Masterson – with a few Hole oldies, including “Celebrity Skin” and “Miss World.”

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