Best Known For
Jack White is best known for singing and playing guitar with Meg White in the band the White Stripes.
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The pair decided to form a husband-and-wife band, with Meg White on drums and her husband playing guitar and keyboard while singing lead vocals. "That was really the whole idea when we started the band, it was just some way of getting back to childhood without it being a comedy act,
" Jack White explained. "It was about how kids look at things. There's a sense of humor that is deeply buried under everything. I'd kind of like it if people saw us and just halfway through the set started laughing."
Naming themselves The White Stripes, they gave their debut performance at a local Detroit nightclub during the summer of 1997. After spending the next two years making a name for themselves on the Detroit underground rock scene, in 1999 The White Stripes released their self-titled debut album, featuring the single "The Big Three Killed My Baby," to high critical praise but low sales.
On March 24, 2000, Jack and Meg White divorced. But the divorce, if anything, only strengthened their musical partnership. Still almost entirely unknown to the general public, Meg and Jack White told interviewers that they were siblings; somewhat remarkably, this white lie was accepted at face value and repeated in many respectable publications for several years before it became widely known that the pair were, in fact, a divorced couple.
Jack White explained in a later interview that they had devised the lie as a way to get people to focus on their music rather than their personal lives. "When you see a band that is two pieces, husband and wife, boyfriend and girlfriend, you think, 'Oh, I see...'" he said. "When they're brother and sister, you go, 'Oh, that's interesting.' You care more about the music, not the relationship."
Only several months after their divorce, The White Stripes released their second album, De Stijl. Entirely self-recorded on eight-track analog tape, the album received nearly universal praise from critics; although it sold very few copies at the time of its initial release, it would later become a cult classic after the band achieved mainstream success. The Whites Stripes finally scored that mainstream success with their 2001 album White Blood Cells, featuring their first hit song, "Fell in Love with a Girl." The band's profile rose further when the album was included on many publications' lists of the year's best albums.
The Whites Stripes became even more popular with their 2003 album Elephant, featuring the ubiquitous single "Seven Nation Army." At once infectiously catchy and childishly simplistic, "Seven Nation Army" became the first song an entire generation of would-be rock stars learned to play in their guitar lessons. Elephant won the Grammy Award for Best Alternative Album and "Seven Nation Army" won for Best Rock Song.
The White Stripes' next album, 2005's Get Behind Me Satan, presented a decidedly different sound, significantly more complex, with piano featured more prominently than electric guitar. Featuring the single "Blue Orchid," the album earned the White Stripes a second Grammy Award for Best Alternative Album.
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