The White Stripes
Meg White is most famous as the drummer and occasional vocalist of Grammy Award winning duo The White Stripes, which also consists of songwriter/guitarist/lead singer and her former husband Jack White. Her simple drumming style frequently becomes a subject of debate, but Jack has repeatedly mentioned that this simplicity is essential to their group's sound.
With White Stripes, Meg has enjoyed sales worldwide thanks to such successful records as “White Blood Cells” (2001) and the Grammy winning “Elephant” (2003), “Get Behind Me Satan” (2005) and “Icky Thump” (2007). She has also scored numerous hit singles, most notably “Seven Nation Army” and the title track “Icky Thump,” which won the group Grammy Awards for Best Rock Song and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal, respectively.
Although Jack is considered The White Stripes' main singer, Meg sang leads on tracks like “In the Cold, Cold Night,” “Passive Manipulation,” “Who's a Big Baby” and “St Andrew (This Battle Is in the Air).” She also shared the lead vocals with Jack on the song “Well It's True That We Love One Another” from “Elephant.”
Childhood and Family:
Megan Martha White was born on December 10, 1974, in Detroit, Michigan. She married musician/songwriter John Anthony “Jack” Gillis on September 21, 1996, whom she met while she was working as a bartender in the early 1990s. Jack has since taken her last name. The couple divorced on March 24, 2000.
In 2005, Meg served as the maid of honor at the wedding of her ex-husband and British model Karen Elson.
A former bartender, Meg White learned how to play drums from Jack White, an ex-drummer with the band Goober and the Peas and her former husband. The couple called themselves The White Stripes and began playing together in 1997 with Jack on vocals and guitar and Meg on drums. Their first public appearance was at the Gold Dollar in Detroit.
Signed to Italy Records, a small independent Detroit based garage punk label in 1998, The White Stripes released their debut single, “Let's Shake Hands,” in February and their second single, “Lafayette Blues,” in October. The third single, “The Big Three Killed My Baby,” was released in March 1999 under Sympathy for the Record Industry, an independent garage rock and punk label founded in 1998 by Long Gone John. Meg's debut album with her group, “The White Stripes,” followed on June 15, 1999, in which Jack also served as the producer.
On June 20, 2000, “De Stijl” hit the music stores. Named after the Dutch art movement De Stijl, the album enjoyed some success in 2002 by becoming a Top 40 hit on the Billboard Magazine Top Independent Albums chart. It has since been regarded a cult classic.
Meg and Jack achieved even more recognition with their third album, “White Blood Cells,” which was released on July 3, 2001, and went on to become a critical hit in the United Kingdom and United States. The single “Fell in Love with a Girl” received a MTV Video Music nomination for Video of the Year.
Although enjoying success, the duo did not sign to a major label until “Elephant.” Released on April 1, 2003, on V2 Records, the album earned praise upon its release and went double platinum and platinum in the U.K. and U. S., respectively. It also became the group's No. 1 hit in the U.K. and their first Top 10 hit on the Billboard 200 (#6). “Elephant” won a 2004 Grammy for Best Alternative Album while the lead single, “Seven Nation Army,” won a Grammy for Best Rock Song. The album also spawned such successful singles as the Burt Bacharach-penned “I Just Don't Know What to Do with Myself,” “The Hardest Button to Button,” “There's No Home for You Here” and “In the Cold, Cold Night,” which featured Meg as the lead vocalist.
Still in 2003, Meg made her acting debut, alongside Jack, in a segment of the Jim Jarmusch anthology “Coffee and Cigarettes” called “Jack Shows Meg His Tesla Coil.” Later, she appeared in the Australian produced short “The Desealer” (2006), which was written and directed by James Clayden.
Meg and The White Stripes resurfaced in June 2005 with the studio album “Get Behind Me Satan.” It was a major success and earned the group their next Grammy Award in 2006. The lead single, “Blue Orchid,” received heavy airplay in the United States and became their second U.K. Top 10 hit. It also rose to No. 1 in Canada. It was followed “My Doorbell” and “The Denial Twist,” both of which were a big success in the U.K.
Their next album, “Icky Thump,” was released worldwide on June 19, 2007. Their first album with Warner Bros. Records, it debuted at No. 1 on the U.K. Albums chart and No. 2 on Billboard's 200 and won Grammys for Best Alternative Album and Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal for the title track. It also received Grammy nominations in the categories of Best Boxed or Special Limited Edition Package and Best Rock Song.
In late 2007, Meg, who was selected by comedian/director Bob Odenkirk to compose a drum theme for one of his characters in the 2006 film “Let's Go to Prison,” suffered from acute anxiety and The White Stripes called off their 18 tour dates and the reminder of their 2007 U.K. tour. The fully recovered Meg resurfaced in June 2008 during an encore set at a Detroit show with The Raconteurs.
Grammy: Best Alternative Music Album, “Icky Thump,” 2008
Grammy: Best Rock Performance by a Duo or Group With Vocal, “Icky Thump,” 2008
Grammy: Best Alternative Music Album, “Get Behind Me Satan,” 2006
Grammy: Best Alternative Music Album, “Elephant,” 2004
Grammy: Best Rock Song, “Seven Nation Army,” 2004