In a surprise news posting on Jack White's Third Man Records website, The White Stripes officially announced that they have broken up. "The reason is not due to artistic differences or lack of wanting to continue," the post reads. "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 post continues: "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 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 last toured behind their 2007 disc Icky Thump, but it was cut short when drummer Meg White began suffering from acute anxiety problems. Since then the group performed "We're Going To Be Friends" on the final episode of Late Night With Conan O'Brien on February 20th, 2009. Just a few months ago White told Vanity Fair that he hoped to get back into the studio with Meg soon and "start fresh."
Since The White Stripes began their hiatus in 2008 White has kept extremely busy with his other bands The Raconteurs and The Dead Weather, as well as producing Wanda Jackson's new record. Meg White has kept a far lower profile. In 2009 she married guitarist Jackson Smith, the son of Patti Smith and the late Fred "Sonic" Smith of the MC5.
"The White Stripes do not belong to Meg and Jack anymore," the band wrote at the end of their statement. "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."
White Stripes Statement [Third Man Records]