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Jack White Apologizes to Black Keys, Meg White in Detailed Letter​

Rocker also clarifies comments about Adele, Lana Del Rey and Amy Winehouse

Jack White
Terry Wyatt/Getty Images
May 31, 2014 11:26 AM ET

Jack White doesn't want to feud with anyone right now. The rocker issued a long statement on his website Saturday, apologizing for comments he made about the Black Keys, Meg White and others in the current Rolling Stone cover story and attempting to explain the context in which he made the comments.

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White began by saying that he felt forced to discuss his private opinions because "through the actions of lawyers trying to villainize me in a private legal scenario, my private letters were made public for reasons I still don’t understand." During his divorce from ex-wife Karen Elson, private e-mails were leaked that revealed White badmouthing the Black Keys, saying that they ripped him off, and White elaborated on those opinions during his interview with Rolling Stone.

"I wish the band the Black Keys all the success that they can get," he said in the new statement. "I hope the best for their record label Nonesuch who has such a proud history in music, and in their efforts to bring the Black Keys songs to the world. I hope for massive success also for their producer and songwriter Danger Mouse and for the other musicians that their band employs. Lord knows that I can tell you myself how hard it is to get people to pay attention to a two piece band with a plastic guitar, so any attention that the Black Keys can get in this world I wish it for them, and I hope their record stays in the top ten for many months and they have many more successful albums in their career."

White also apologized to the artists he appeared to dismiss in his explanation of how "certain acts open up a market for a certain style." White said that he attempted to avoid giving a "no comment" answer to Rolling Stone because he thought it would sound petty, but ended up making comments that should have been reserved for "shop talk" among producers, engineers and managers.

"I wish no slight to the talents of Winehouse, Duffy, Lana del Rey, and Adele," he explained on Saturday. "All of whom are wonderful performers with amazing voices. I have their records and I hope for more success for them all as the years go on. They deserve all they’ve gotten. And, I also would love to state that I personally find it inspiring to have powerful, positive female voices speaking out and creating at all times in the mainstream, and all of those singers do just that, so I thank them."

White also attempted to clarify his comments about former White Stripes drummer and ex-wife Meg White, whom he described to Rolling Stone as extremely emotionally reserved, saying, "She's one of those people who won't high-five me when I get the touchdown."

"Meg White, who I also talked about to Rolling Stone about our working conversations, or lack thereof, is, of course, a musician I’ve personally championed for 15 years," he wrote in the statement. "She is a strong female presence in rock and roll, and I was not intending to slight her either, only to explain how hard it was for us to communicate with our very different personalities. This got blown out of proportion and made into headlines, and somehow I looked like I was picking on her. I would never publicly do that to someone I love so dearly. And, there are mountains of interviews where my words are very clear on how important I think she is to me and to music."

White concluded his letter by blasting the "nonsense started by lawyers and strangers to me and perpetuated by tabloid journalism" and expressing his admiration for any musician who can draw an audience.

"We live in a sound bite, sensationalized age," he wrote. "The 'non apology' has become a lawyer’s dodge for celebrities themselves, given to a public that usually doesn’t want to hear it as it disrupts the tabloid 'dirt' that we all want to occur. Because the conversations I’ve had that have been made public and recontextualized are difficult to clarify without making it seem even more petty and strange, this is an apology to anyone I’ve offended with my comments about my creativity, their creativity, and the music business in general. I wish for a long, fruitful, healthy family of creative people to continue to grow around me and the musicians I work with, the city of Nashville, America and the world of listeners that this music can reach."

To read the new issue of Rolling Stone online, plus the entire RS archive: Click Here

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“Whoomp! (There It Is)”

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