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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Icky Thump, released in 2007 and featuring the singles "Icky Thump," Rag and Bone" and "You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do as You're Told)," then became the band's third consecutive album to win the Best Alternative Album Grammy Award.
As it turned out, Icky Thump would also be the duo's last album. After a long hiatus, the White Stripes officially announced their dissolution on February 2, 2011. The band's official website explained,
"The reason is not due to artistic differences or lack of wanting to continue, nor any health issues as both Meg and Jack are feeling fine and in good health. It is for a myriad of reasons, but mostly to preserve what is beautiful and special about the band and have it stay that way."
The White Stripes were one of the most popular and influential rock bands of the early 2000s, but they were only the first of Jack White's three bands to make a mark on the decade. The second, The Raconteurs, got their start in 2005, when White and his friend and fellow musician Brendan Benson spent some time jamming in a Nashville attic while White was taking a short break from his duties with The White Stripes. That night the pair ended up writing "Steady, As She Goes," which would eventually become a hit single. Inspired by the song they had written, Benson and White decided to form a full band, adding Jack Lawrence and Patrick Keeler of The Greenhornes to round out the lineup. After several months of recording, the band's full-length debut album, Broken Boy Soldiers, debuted in 2006, instantly cracking the charts in the top ten in both the United States and Great Britain. Mojo magazine named the record its album of the year, and the Raconteurs won two nominations (but no awards) at the 2007 Grammy Awards.
The Raconteurs released a second album, Consolers of the Lonely, in 2008, touring extensively for the first time since 2006.
Meanwhile, Jack White and fellow Raconteur Jack Lawrence were getting ready to launch yet another alt-rock supergroup, The Dead Weather, alongside Alison Mosshart of The Kills and Dean Fertita of Queens of the Stone Age. In contrast to The White Stripes, where White sang lead vocals and played the guitars, in The Dead Weather he played the drums. (Mosshart took over lead vocals duty, while Fertita played lead guitar and Lawrence played bass.) The band was conceived in an informal jam session, but ended up recording two full albums: Horehound (2009) and Sea of Coward (2010). Both debuted in the top ten of the U.S. Billboard album chart.
In 2011, all four members of The Dead Weather went back to playing with their other bands, but not without promising that they would soon reunite.
Even with three chart-topping bands on his resume, the prolific White continued to involve himself in a variety of other well-received side projects. In 2005, he produced Loretta Lynn's highly praised comeback album Van Lear Rose, helping the country music legend reach a new generation of fans. In 2011, he played a similar role in orchestrating The Party Ain't Over, a late-career comeback record from Wanda Jackson, who had earned the title "Queen of Rockabilly" half a century earlier.
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They've set their instruments on fire, broken them over their heads, played them behind their backs, learned how to make them screech, and—above all—shown the world what it means to truly rock a guitar. Here is a group of some of the most legendary guitarists of the modern era.
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