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The White Stripes confirm the group has ended

of the Oakland Press

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Confirming months of rumors, the Grammy Award-winning White Stripes have confirmed they've broken up.

The Detroit-formed duo of Jack and Meg White posted a statement on Jack's Third Man Records website on Wednesday, Feb. 2, stating that the band "has official ended and will make no further new recordings or perform live." It did say that Third Man "will continue to put out unreleased live and studio recordings from the White Stripes" for subscribers to the label's Vault record club, as well as "through regular channels."

Explaining the split, the statement said that, "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 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 Whites, who were married from September 1996 to March 2000 -- though for a time they claimed to be siblings -- added that they "want to thank every one of their fans and admirers for the incredible support they have given through the 13 plus years of The White Stripes' intense and incredible career...Both Meg and Jack hope this decision isn't met with sorrow by their fans but that it is seen as a positive move done out of respect for the art and music that the band has created. It is also done with the utmost respect to those fans who've shared in those creations, with their feelings considered greatly."

The White Stripes formed during 1997 after Jack White (ne Gillis) played in Detroit bands such as Goober & the Peas, the Go and Two-Star Tabernacle. Steeped in blues, folk and other indigenous American style, with Jack on guitar and Meg on drums, the group played a raw, stripped-down music that became a standard-bearer for the burgeoning garage rock scene of the late 90s and early 2000s.

The group released six studio albums, making its commercial breakthrough with 2001's platinum "White Blood Cells" and the single "Fell in Love With a Girl," then topping Billboard's Modern Rock Tracks chart with "Seven Nation Army" in 2003. The White stripes have sold nearly six million albums in the U.S. and won five Grammy Awards.

Rumors of the band's demise began in the fall of 2007, when the group canceled a planned U.S. tour because of what Jack later identified as Meg's acute anxiety issues. The duo last performed on Feb. 20, 2009, on the final episode of "Late Night with Conan O'Brien" and released a film and live album, "Under Great White Northern Lights." Last year the duo also recorded a version of "Rated X" to the album "Coal Miner's Daughter: A Tribute to Loretta Lynn."

White, who lives in Nashville with is wife, Karen Elson, and their two children; he runs his Third Man music and retail operations and also plays in the bands the Raconteurs and the Dead Weather. He produced Elson's 2010 album "The Ghost Who Walks" and more recently helmed a new album for Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Wanda Jackson. Meg, meanwhile, resides in Indian Village and is married to Jackson Smith, the son of singer/poet Patti Smith, who's part of Jack's Third Man house band and has also been working with producer T-Bone Burnett.

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