White Stripes formed:
1997 in Detroit, Michigan.
Jack White, guitar, vocals
Meg White, drums, vocals
Quote from White Stripes' Jack White:
"Everybody's still that same person they were when they were young -- at least they still want to be. They still want to have that freedom."
Jack White once worked as an upholstery apprentice.
White Stripes' origins:
John (Jack) Gillis, an upholstery apprentice by trade, became involved in the Detroit garage rock scene in the mid-1990's. Through the scene he became close friends with Grosse Pointe native Megan White. In 1996 they were married. Jack took Meg's last name, and, by 1997, they were performing together as the White Stripes.
The sound of White Stripes:
Although the musical palette has diversified, at the heart of the sound of White Stripes is Jack White's classic blues-drenched guitar, Meg White's primal drums, and, most often, Jack's idiosyncratic vocals. Songs can vary from an intense rock raveup to emotionally raw ballads, but most White Stripes music reflects a reverence for classic blues and rock.
The White Stripes first, self-titled, album released in 1999 garnered very positive critical attention. Their stripped down, raw sound was a breath of fresh air in rock circles. The punk band Sleater-Kinney chose to add White Stripes to their national tour and White Stripes quickly gained a following across the country in advance of release of their album De Stijl in 2000.
Relationship Between Jack White and Meg White:
The actual relationship between Jack White and Meg White has been one of great speculation through since the first emergence of White Stripes. The duo allowed the supposition that they were brother and sister to persist until a marriage license and divorce certificate for the pair was posted on the Internet. Today it is believed they were married in 1996 and divorced in 2000.
Major Label Deal and Awards for White Stripes:
De Stijl, Dutch for "the style," continued to gain attention for White Stripes in the music press. The next album White Blood Cells was released in 2001. After a UK tour, the duo returned to the U.S. and signed a major label deal with V2. White Blood Cells reached #61 on the album chart and sold over 700,000 copies.
The duo were nominated for 4 awards at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards. The fourth album Elephant was released to great critical acclaim in the spring of 2003. The album crashed into the top 10 of the pop albums chart at #6 and included "Seven Nation Army," a #1 modern rock hit.
White Stripes international success:
In 2004, Jack White explored outside projects with great success. He contributed music to the soundtrack for the movie Cold Mountain and then won a Grammy Award for his collaboration with country music legend Loretta Lynn on her album Van Lear Rose. A new White Stripes album, Get Behind Me Satan finally appeared in June 2005. Critical praise was once again strong and the album opened at #3 on the pop albums chart.
Jack White has continued his outside projects. His work with the Raconteurs has produced two critically acclaimed albums Broken Boy Soldiers and Consolers of the Lonely. In 2008 he collaborated with Alicia Keys on the James Bond theme song "Another Way to Die."
The White Stripes signed a one record deal with Warner Bros. to release Icky Thump in 2007. The album was a major success. It debuted at #2 on the Billboard album chart, was certified gold for sales over 500,000, and won a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music album. The duo headed out on a tour of Canada but later had to cancel many tour dates due to Meg's issues with anxiety. Reportedly, White Stripes are at work on an album to be released in the summer of 2009.