Megan Martha "Meg" White (born December 10, 1974) is an American drummer from Detroit best known for her work in the Detroit rock duo The White Stripes with her former husband Jack White, to whom she was married from 1996 to 2000. The pair were divorced before the White Stripes broke through to international fame. She married guitarist Jackson Smith, son of musicians Patti Smith and Fred "Sonic" Smith, in 2009, but divorced him in 2013.

She has not been active in the music industry since the White Stripes' breakup in 2011.


 [hide*1 Early life

Early life[edit]Edit

Megan Martha White was born in Grosse Pointe Farms, Michigan to Walter Hackett White, Jr. and Catherine White. She grew up in the Detroit area with her parents and sister Heather.


The White Stripes[edit]Edit

Main article: The White Stripes

Meg's then-husband Jack White spent much of the 1990s hopping from band to band. Meg first tried playing drums in 1997. 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 began calling themselves The Red and White Stripes (because Meg favored peppermint candies) and soon played their first gig at the Gold Dollar in Detroit.[1] In keeping live performances to three basic elements, Jack did the guitar and vocal work while she played drums.[2]

Jack White has declared her to be the key component in the White Stripes' sound. 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."

Though Jack White usually sang the lead vocals, Meg White sang lead on "In the Cold, Cold Night", from the band's fourth album, Elephant; "Passive Manipulation", from the band's fifth album, Get Behind Me Satan; "Who's a Big Baby", the B-side to "Blue Orchid"; "St. Andrew (This Battle Is in the Air)", from the band's sixth albumIcky Thump; and she also sang the popular Christmas song "Silent Night" on the single Candy Cane Children. Both Meg and Jack White sing vocals on the tracks "Hotel Yorba" and "This Protector" from White Blood Cells, "Rated X" from the "Hotel Yorba" single, "Well It's True That We Love One Another" on Elephant, and "Rag and Bone" from Icky Thump. The first time Meg sang along on a White Stripes record was with Jack on "Your Southern Can is Mine" from De Stijl.

On February 2, 2011, The White Stripes announced their retirement on their official website.

Other work[edit]Edit

Meg White has also appeared on the cover of Whirlwind Heat's single "Pink", in a Detroit Cobras music video "Cha Cha Twist" as Little Red Riding Hood, and appeared with Jack White in a segment of Jim Jarmusch's 2003 film Coffee and Cigarettes.

Jack and Meg White guest starred on The Simpsons in an episode titled "Jazzy and the Pussycats", which first aired on September 17, 2006.[3] She has done some modeling for Marc Jacobs' 2006 Spring line.[4] Two of her pictures appeared in the March 2006 issue of ELLE.

Meg White was chosen by Bob Odenkirk to compose a drum theme for one of his characters in the 2006 film Let's Go to Prison.[5] White also has a song dedicated to her by Ray LaMontagne entitled "Meg White", which appears on LaMontagne's album Gossip in the Grain.

Personal life[edit]Edit

In the early 1990s, Meg White worked as a bartender at Memphis Smoke, a restaurant in downtown Royal Oak (a Detroit suburb), where she first met musician/songwriter John Anthony Gillis. They were married on September 21, 1996.[6] Gillis chose to take her last name, and has subsequently become famous by the name Jack White.[citation needed] They were divorced on March 24, 2000.[7]

Meg White is by her own admission "very shy", and gives few interviews. She guards her privacy in a manner that she identifies with Bob Dylan, whom she admires.[8]In her time away from the band, Meg enjoys photography and amateur taxidermy. Animals are also a motif in her photography (mainly album covers and music videos). Among those photographed with her are a snake, rats (the video for "Hotel Yorba" and the back cover of Elephant), a cow, rabbits, and raccoons (the 7 inch cover of the "Denial Twist" single).

On September 11, 2007, the White Stripes were forced to cancel 18 tour dates due to Meg White's acute anxiety.[9] The following day, these problems caused the duo to cancel the remainder of their 2007 UK tour dates as well.[10] She recovered and appeared onstage during an encore set at a Detroit show with The Raconteurs in June 2008.

In May 2009, Meg White married guitarist Jackson Smith, son of musicians Patti Smith and Fred "Sonic" Smith. The wedding took place in Nashville, Tennessee, in a small ceremony in Jack White's backyard. Also married at the same ceremony was Jack's fellow Raconteurs bandmate Jack Lawrence to Jo McCaughey.[11] Meg White and Jackson Smith divorced in 2013.[12]


[1]White with her drum kit in 2007.

In the White Stripes, Meg White used a red Ludwig drum kit with a red and white peppermint swirl on the resonant heads of the toms and bass drum.

On the Icky Thump tour, the bass drum head design was switched to a button; and, during the From the Basement: The White Stripes recordings, it was switched to an image of Meg's hand holding an apple (from the Get Behind Me Satan cover).

She also used a pair of Paiste 14-inch (36 cm) Signature Medium Hi-Hats, a Paiste 19-inch (48 cm) Signature Power Crash, and a Paiste 22-inch (56 cm) 2002 Ride, starting in 2006.

Meg's white Pearl Export bass drum complete with original peppermint-painted bass drum that she used with the band's first show in 1997 until 2002, and complete Pearly Queen outfit as featured in the photos for the Icky Thump album, was used in theRock and Roll Hall of Fame "Women Who Rock" exhibition.