Meg White

Family tree of Meg White

Singer & Musician

AmericanBorn Megan Martha White

American former musician and singer who was the drummer of Detroit rock duo The White Stripes

Born on December 10, 1974 in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, USA , United States (49 years)

Family tree

Report an error

This form allows you to report an error or to submit additional information about this family tree: Meg WHITE (1974)

More information

Megan Martha White (born December 10, 1974) is an American retired musician who served as the drummer and occasional singer of the rock duo the White Stripes. One of the key artists in the garage rock revival of the 2000s, she has won six Grammy Awards among other accolades. Her playing style has been called "primal" and "simplistic", and initially polarized critics but has retrospectively earned praise. In 2016, Rolling Stone included her on their "100 Greatest Drummers of All Time" list.
White began playing the drums on Bastille Day in 1997, and formed the White Stripes with then-husband Jack White that same year. The band enjoyed success releasing two albums within the Detroit music scene, before achieving international fame with their breakthrough album White Blood Cells (2001). She performed backing vocals on many of the band's tracks and sang lead on "In the Cold, Cold Night" and "Passive Manipulation". While on tour in support of their album Icky Thump (2007), she suffered a bout of acute anxiety, and the remaining dates of the tour were canceled. After a hiatus from performing and recording, the group disbanded in 2011 and White retired.
White is known for keeping a low public profile, calling herself "very shy" and reclusive. She was married to Jack White from 1996 to 2000, however they portrayed themselves as siblings. From 2009 to 2013, she was married to guitarist Jackson Smith, the son of musicians Patti Smith and Fred "Sonic" Smith.
...   Megan Martha White (born December 10, 1974) is an American retired musician who served as the drummer and occasional singer of the rock duo the White Stripes. One of the key artists in the garage rock revival of the 2000s, she has won six Grammy Awards among other accolades. Her playing style has been called "primal" and "simplistic", and initially polarized critics but has retrospectively earned praise. In 2016, Rolling Stone included her on their "100 Greatest Drummers of All Time" list.
White began playing the drums on Bastille Day in 1997, and formed the White Stripes with then-husband Jack White that same year. The band enjoyed success releasing two albums within the Detroit music scene, before achieving international fame with their breakthrough album White Blood Cells (2001). She performed backing vocals on many of the band's tracks and sang lead on "In the Cold, Cold Night" and "Passive Manipulation". While on tour in support of their album Icky Thump (2007), she suffered a bout of acute anxiety, and the remaining dates of the tour were canceled. After a hiatus from performing and recording, the group disbanded in 2011 and White retired.
White is known for keeping a low public profile, calling herself "very shy" and reclusive. She was married to Jack White from 1996 to 2000, however they portrayed themselves as siblings. From 2009 to 2013, she was married to guitarist Jackson Smith, the son of musicians Patti Smith and Fred "Sonic" Smith.


Early life
Megan Martha White was born in the affluent Detroit suburb of Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan, on December 10, 1974, the daughter of Catherine and Walter Hackett White Jr. She has an older sister, Heather. She attended Grosse Pointe North High School and, according to one classmate, was "always the quiet, obviously artistic type, and she just kept very much to herself". While still in high school, she decided not to go to college and instead pursue a career as a chef. She worked at Memphis Smoke, a restaurant in downtown Royal Oak, where she first met budding musician Jack Gillis, a fellow high school senior from a Detroit neighborhood known as Mexicantown. They frequented the coffee shops, local music venues, and record stores of the area.


Career


The White Stripes

According to the band, on Bastille Day (July 14) of 1997, Meg tried playing Jack's drumkit on a whim. In Jack's words, "When she started to play drums with me, just on a lark, it felt liberating and refreshing. There was something in it that opened me up." The two then formed the White Stripes and played their first gig at the Gold Dollar in Detroit. Their live performances were made of three basic elements: Jack did the guitar and vocal work, and Meg played drums. Jack and Meg presented themselves as siblings to an unknowing public, and kept to a chromatic theme, dressing only in red, white, and black.They began their career as part of Michigan's underground, garage rock music scene. They played along with and opened for more established local bands such as Bantam Rooster, the Dirtbombs, Two Star Tabernacle, Rocket 455, and the Hentchmen, among others. In 1998, the band signed with Italy Records, a small and independent Detroit-based garage punk label of Dave Buick. The band released its self-titled debut album in 1999, and a year later the album was followed up by the cult classic De Stijl. Although they were divorced in 2000, Meg insisted that they keep the band going.
The White Stripes rose to widespread recognition in 2001 with the release of their album White Blood Cells, which brought them to the forefront of the garage rock revival and made them one of the most acclaimed bands the following year. This success was propelled with the release of their 2003 album Elephant, which similarly earned acclaim and its first single, "Seven Nation Army", became the band's signature song and a sports anthem. Several writers for AllMusic called Meg's drumming "hypnotic" and "explosively minimal", and Bram Teltelman of Billboard described it as "simple but effective". Elephant won a Grammy Award for Best Alternative Music Album and "Seven Nation Army" won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song. Their later albums, 2005's Get Behind Me Satan and 2007's Icky Thump, each won acclaim and Grammy Awards for Best Alternative Music Album; the latter's title track also won the Grammy Award for Best Rock Song, totaling six Grammy Awards won out of ten nominations received throughout her career, among other accolades. In 2004, she starred in the band's first music film Under Blackpool Lights, which was shot entirely on super 8 film.Meg occasionally sang for the White Stripes, most notably performing lead vocals on "In the Cold, Cold Night" from Elephant and "Passive Manipulation" from Get Behind Me Satan. Her vocals on "In The Cold, Cold Night" were particularly praised. Tom Breihan of Stereogum described her voice as "magnetic", and Andrew Katchen with Billboard magazine wrote that she sounded "delicate and sweet". Wanda Jackson later covered the track as a tribute. Rob Sheffield of Rolling Stone described her vocals in "Passive Manipulation" as "chilling", while Matthew Murphy of Pitchfork thought that the song "begs the gentle suggestion that Meg not be allowed to sing lead." Meg and Jack share vocal duties on the tracks "Hotel Yorba" and "This Protector" from White Blood Cells, "Well It's True That We Love One Another" on Elephant, "Rated X", and "You Don't Know What Love Is (You Just Do as You're Told)" and "Rag and Bone" from Icky Thump, among other tracks.
In the summer of 2007, before a show in Southaven, Mississippi, Ben Blackwell (Jack's nephew and the group's archivist) says that Meg approached him and said, "This is the last White Stripes show". He asked if she meant of the tour, but she responded, "No. I think this is the last show, period." On September 11, 2007, the White Stripes announced via their website that they were canceling 18 tour dates due to Meg's acute anxiety. The following day, the duo canceled the remainder of their 2007 UK tour dates as well. Jack worked with other artists in the meantime, but Meg remained largely out of the public eye, though in June 2008, she appeared briefly onstage during an encore set of a Detroit show with one of Jack's bands, the Raconteurs. In an interview with Music Radar, Jack explained that Meg's acute anxiety had been due to the combination of a very short pre-tour rehearsal time—that was further reduced by the birth of his son—and a hectic, multi-continental touring schedule. He said, "I just came from a Raconteurs tour and went right into that, so I was already full-speed. Meg had come from a dead-halt for a year and went right back into that madness." In his review of Under Great White Northern Lights for Vanity Fair, Bill Bradley commented on the tour cancellations, saying that it was "impossible" not to see Meg as "road-weary and worn-out" at the end of the film.Jack revealed the band's plan to release a seventh album by the summer of 2009. On February 20, 2009—and on the final episode of Late Night with Conan O'Brien—the band made their first, and what would be their last, live appearance after the cancellation of their tours, performing the song "We're Going to Be Friends". Meg appeared alongside Jack in the 2009 documentary film It Might Get Loud. A documentary about their Canadian tour—titled The White Stripes: Under Great White Northern Lights—premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival on September 18, 2009. Directed by Emmett Malloy, the film documents the band's summer 2007 tour across Canada and contains live concert and off-stage footage. A second feature titled Under Nova Scotian Lights was prepared for the DVD release. On February 2, 2011, the band reported on their official website that they were disbanding. The statement emphasized that it was not due to health issues or artistic differences, but "mostly to preserve what is beautiful and special about the band". White has not been active in the industry since.


Other activities
White appeared on the cover of Whirlwind Heat's single "Pink", in a Detroit Cobras music video "Cha Cha Twist" as Little Red Riding Hood. She made her film debut appearing with Jack White in Jim Jarmusch's 2003 film Coffee and Cigarettes. They star in the segment "Jack Shows Meg His Tesla Coil", which expands on White Stripes motifs such as childhood innocence and Nikola Tesla. She has done some modeling for Marc Jacobs' 2006 Spring line. Two of her pictures appeared in the March 2006 issue of ELLE. She was chosen by Bob Odenkirk to compose a drum theme for Dax Shepard's character in the 2006 film Let's Go to Prison; against Odenkirk's wishes however, the studio removed it from the film. The White Stripes guest starred on The Simpsons in an episode titled "Jazzy and the Pussycats", which first aired on September 17, 2006. Meg had previously expressed interest in a Simpsons role in 2003, saying that "A guest appearance would be amazing. I wouldn't want to be in a Lisa episode. They're kind of boring. Maybe a Homer one would be better."


Personal life
White suffers from acute anxiety, and has described herself as "very shy". She told Rolling Stone in 2005 that "the more you talk, the less people listen". Her strict maintenance of her privacy and giving few interviews has also been the subject of significant commentary. NPR dubbed her the "21st Century's Loudest Introvert". She loves peppermint, and it inspired many of the White Stripes' artistic schemes. As of 2014, White resided in Detroit.White and Jack White dated in the mid-1990s, and were married on September 21, 1996, with Jack taking her last name, and divorced on March 24, 2000. In May 2009, she married guitarist Jackson Smith–the son of musicians Patti Smith and Fred "Sonic" Smith–in a small ceremony in Jack White's backyard in Nashville, Tennessee, and divorced in July 2013.


Artistry


Style and influences
White's musical influences are wide and varied, with Bob Dylan being her favorite artist. Her pre-show warm up included "whiskey and Red Bull." In reference to her "primal" approach to drumming, she remarked, "That is my strength. A lot of drummers would feel weird about being that simplistic". She expanded by saying that "I appreciate other kinds of drummers who play differently, but it's not my style or what works for this band. I get [criticism] sometimes, and I go through periods where it really bothers me. But then I think about it, and I realize that this is what is really needed for this band. And I just try to have as much fun with it as possible". On her style, Jack said "Meg is the best part of this band. It never would have worked with anybody else, because it would have been too complicated... It was my doorway to playing the blues."


Equipment
White began with a red Ludwig Classic Maple kit that had a red and white peppermint swirl on the resonant heads of the toms and bass drum. While recording From the Basement: The White Stripes, the design was switched to an image of her hand holding the apple from the Get Behind Me Satan cover.
White's Pearl Export bass drum—complete with original peppermint-painted bass drum that she used with the band's first show—and the Pearly Queen outfit she wore in the photos for the Icky Thump album, were featured in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame "Women Who Rock" exhibition. On the Icky Thump tour, the bass drum head design was switched to a button inspired by the Pearlies clothing Jack and Meg wore for the album cover.
Beginning in 2006, White used a pair of Paiste 14" Signature Medium Hi-Hats, a 19" Signature Power Crash, and a 22" 2002 Ride. She also used Remo and Ludwig drumheads, various percussion instruments and Vater drumsticks. She later donated her Ludwig kit to the 2009 Jim Shaw Rock 'N' Roll Benefit, an auction to raise money for the Detroit musician who was suffering from cancer.


Legacy
White is considered a key figure in the garage rock revival of the 2000s. Her minimalistic and simplistic drumming style initially divided audiences and critics, but she has since earned several positive reviews for her "primal" style. She is one of the most discussed drummers in rock music, and her style continues to be evaluated after her retirement. On the enduring discussion of White's drumming, Chris Willman of Variety magazine wrote that "Years after she disappeared from the scene, either too shy or just too disinterested to continue a rock ‘n’ roll career, she seems to have been absorbed into rock orthodoxy as a great drummer by near-acclamation, and ironically stands as more of an icon than she ever did in her active years — although naysayers obviously persist." She received several accolades with the White Stripes, which includes winning one Brit Award from six nominations and winning six Grammy Awards from eleven nominations. Rolling Stone included White on its 2016 list of the "100 Greatest Drummers of All Time". NME included her on its 2018 list of "32 of the best drummers to grace rock 'n' roll." She appeared on the Universal Music Group's 2022 list of "100 Best Drummers" and was deemed "rock music's most compelling stickswoman". Clash titled her "One of Rock's Greatest Drummers" in 2023.Of a 2002 concert in Cleveland, Ohio, Chuck Klosterman said, "[Meg] never grimaced and didn't appear to sweat; yet somehow her drums sounded like a herd of Clydesdales falling out of the sky, one after another. Clearly this is a band at the apex of its power". UK newspaper The Times said that she "reduced the art of drumming to its primary components, bashing the snare and cymbal together on alternating beats with the bass drum in a way that recalled Moe Tucker of the Velvet Underground." An NPR article gave high praise, saying "On the drums, Meg White smashed out carnal, visceral, raw, sometimes funny and always urgent stories that told of the human experience." In contrast, Associated Press called her playing "maddeningly rudimentary", and the satirical news site The Onion once featured the headline "Meg White Drum Solo Maintains Steady Beat For 23 Minutes". In response to negative comments, Jack White stated Meg's drumming to be the "best part of this band", and called her a "strong female presence in rock and roll". He called her detractors "sexist".Several musicians have praised White. Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters and previously Nirvana praised her drumming, stating in an interview that White is "one of my favorite fucking drummers of all time. Like, nobody fucking plays the drums like that." Tom Morello of Rage Against the Machine wrote in an Instagram post that White "has style and swag and personality and oomph and taste and awesomeness that's off the charts and a vibe that's untouchable". Nandi Bushell cited White as one of her influences, and said that "I saw Meg playing the drums and thought she was the coolest person in the world. I still do." She wrote on Twitter that the White Stripes "moved me at 5 years old to want to play the drums and still move me today! My screams are for you Meg! You are and always will be my role model and hero!"In March 2023, National Review magazine published an article celebrating the 20 year anniversary of "Seven Nation Army". In response to a tweet concerning the article on Twitter, journalist Lachlan Markay wrote "The tragedy of the White Stripes is how great they would've been with a half decent drummer. Yeah yeah I've heard all the "but it's a carefully crafted sound mannnn!" takes. I'm sorry Meg White was terrible and no band is better for having shitty percussion." The tweet went viral, and Jack White, along with several musicians and critics, came to her defense. Markay later apologized and deleted his comments. He wrote that "It was an over-the-top take … I don’t know if Meg White herself saw that tweet. I hope not, because I imagine it wouldn’t feel great to see a stranger dumping on you like that, So to Meg White: I am sorry. Really. And to women in the music business generally, who I think are disproportionately subject to this sort of shit, I am sorry to have fed that as well." As a result of the controversy, White trended in March 2023.


Filmography


Discography


With the White Stripes

The White Stripes (1999)
De Stijl (2000)
White Blood Cells (2001)
Elephant (2003)
Get Behind Me Satan (2005)
Icky Thump (2007)


References


Works cited
Handyside, Chris (2004). Fell in Love with a Band: The Story of The White Stripes. St. Martin's Griffin. ISBN 978-0312336189.


Further reading
Sullivan, Denise (2004). The White Stripes: Sweethearts of the Blues. Backbeat Books. ISBN 0-87930-805-2 Google Print (accessed June 1, 2006)
Schlanger, Talia (September 21, 2018). "Meg White Is The 21st Century's Loudest Introvert". NPR.org. Retrieved December 10, 2018.


External links

Official site of the White Stripes
Meg White discography at Discogs
Meg White at IMDb



Biography from Wikipedia (see original) under licence CC BY-SA 3.0

 

Geographical origins

The map below shows the places where the ancestors of the famous person lived.

Loading... An error has occured while loading the map.