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Posted at 1:27 PM ET, 02/ 2/2011

The White Stripes break up

By David Malitz

white stripesThe White Stripes perform at the Smith Center in 2003. (Emilie Sommer/FTWP)

One of America's biggest and best rock bands is no more. The White Stripes have broken up, according to a statement on the band's Web site. There will be no more new recordings or live performances, although fans can expect unreleased live and studio recordings in the future. The band explains the reason for the break up is "mostly to preserve what is beautiful and special about the band and have it stay that way."

The statement concludes:

"The White Stripes do not belong to Meg and Jack anymore. The White Stripes belong to you now and you can do with it whatever you want. The beauty of art and music is that it can last forever if people want it to. Thank you for sharing this experience. Your involvement will never be lost on us and we are truly grateful."

The duo of Jack and Meg White rose from an underground blues-garage curiosity -- former lovers posing as siblings, always dressed in red and white -- to one of the world's biggest rock bands, with a style that featured Jack White's virtuosic guitar playing pitted against Meg White's plodding drum work. The band first broke out in 2001 with its single "Fell In Love With a Girl," a 90-second tornado of a song from "White Blood Cells," its third album.

The duo reached its peak on 2003's "Elephant," which found the duo expanding its sound without losing any of the immediacy. "Seven Nation Army" became the group's biggest hit to date but the overwhelming guitar squall of "Ball and Biscuit" stands as perhaps their definitive statement. Subsequent albums "Get Behind Me Satan" and "Icky Thump" pushed the band to festival headliner status. The band became less active in recent years as White performed with various side projects (the Raconteurs, the Dead Weather) and focused on his Third Man Records label and producing albums for the likes of Loretta Lynn and Wanda Jackson.

By David Malitz  | February 2, 2011; 1:27 PM ET
Categories:  News  | Tags:  The White Stripes  
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they were a great duo!

Posted by: fluxgirl | February 2, 2011 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Awwwwwww nuts. I skipped both of my chances to see them live. That'll teach me to skip a show.

Posted by: EricS2 | February 2, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

In other news, General Francisco Franco is still dead.

Loved the Stripes, but there hasn't been anything new in a long time. Jack White is out-doing Dave Grohl and Ben Folds in the sheer number of side projects production gigs. The press release was merely the cherry on top of a foregone conclusion sundae.

Posted by: steelers_rule123 | February 2, 2011 2:32 PM | Report abuse

Saw them 8 years ago in NYC with Blanche (a wonderful act out of Detroit) and America's Sweetheart herself: Loretta Lynn. I think Jack was truly smitten by Ms. Loretta and was quite the gent with her. Wonderful time.

Posted by: giggity1 | February 2, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Saw them 8 years ago in NYC with Blanche (a wonderful act out of Detroit) and America's Sweetheart herself: Loretta Lynn. I think Jack was truly smitten by Ms. Loretta and was quite the gent with her. Wonderful time.

Posted by: giggity1 | February 2, 2011 2:48 PM | Report abuse

I thought they were done ages ago, but maybe this just makes it official.

Also, I'm not sure I would describe the White Stripes as "one of America's biggest and best rock bands"? That seems like an overstatement to me.

Posted by: gasdorian | February 2, 2011 2:51 PM | Report abuse

Thank god. They sucked !

Posted by: shanteyman | February 2, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

"Former lovers"? They were married, actually, when they started the band.

Posted by: gmg22 | February 2, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

they were good- but they are/were never as good as the other 2 piece rock band The Cold Stares, which destroy's them live.

Posted by: rawkshockandcock | February 2, 2011 4:11 PM | Report abuse

Ha! I tore up my right thumb pretty bad a couple of weeks ago & told the guys "expect Meg White, not Rick Allen".

Posted by: nonsensical2001 | February 2, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Ummm...never heard of them. "World's biggest rock band"?? Really??

Posted by: aktotlykrzy | February 2, 2011 4:23 PM | Report abuse

Not a surprise, I guess. Thought they put out 4 great albums, followed by two uneven ones.

Posted by: jpw0527 | February 2, 2011 4:42 PM | Report abuse

"always dressed in red and white",except in the photo where he's wearing a black shirt

Posted by: theruffs | February 2, 2011 4:54 PM | Report abuse

"Plodding" drum work? No. Simple, basic, etc., but exciting, appropriate, and not plodding.
Saw them live twice, magnificent great music/shows. The Dead Weather show was equally transcendent. The Raconteurs, not so much. But always follow Jack White, he is one of our brightest American talents, who continually explores and creates great stuff - in 50 years we'll really realize how significant he is.

Posted by: ClarkKent1 | February 2, 2011 5:52 PM | Report abuse

It's too bad, but we all saw this coming.

Posted by: sarahabc | February 2, 2011 6:32 PM | Report abuse

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