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Meg White is best known a member of the musical duo, The White Stripes.
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Musician. Megan White was born December 10, 1974 in Grosse Point Woods, Michigan, an upper middle-class suburb of Detroit. The second of two daughters born to Walter Hackett White Jr. and Catherine Della White, Meg White is remembered by those her knew her in her youth as a kind, shy child. She attended Gross Pointe North High School, where she was a good, if somewhat quiet, student who excelled at the arts and mostly kept to herself. A classmate recalled, "She was always the quiet, obviously artistic type & She just kept very much to herself & She seemed to have this schoolgirl innocence to her." It seems that the first time White attracted much notice in her neighborhood was when, upon graduating from high school in 1993, she elected not to attend college—a gossip-worthy choice at Grosse Point North, where attending university was the ubiquitous path for graduates. Instead of going off to school White, who says she had once dreamed of becoming a chef, took a job as a bartender at a barbeque restaurant called Memphis Smoke.
During her senior year of high school, White had formulated a relationship with a boy named Jack Gillis. Gillis was an aspiring musician who hailed from a large, working-class Catholic family from a blue-collar neighborhood. They married on September 21, 1996, when Meg White was only 21 years old, and Gillis assumed White's surname upon their marriage. Soon after, White and her husband moved into her in-laws' former home in Detroit. Jack White took a job upholstering furniture by day, and worked on his music—he played drums, piano and guitar, in addition to singing—at night and on the weekends.
Though she had zero musical experience, White began attempting to accompany her husband on the drums while he played his guitar. "Jack had a set of drums upstairs, so I began playing with him," she remembered. "It was childlike because I had no idea what I was doing." However, something about the childish simplicity of White's percussion struck both of them as powerfully resonant in both a humorous and nostalgic way. They 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.
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