The White Stripes made for an unlikely international success story: a husband-and-wife duo who posed as brother and sister, playing raw, Blues-influenced Garage Rock with a bare-bones lineup of guitar and drums. The Stripes nonetheless became one of the most successful bands of the 2000s, selling 4 million copies of their 2003 album Elephant.
The duo was formed in Detroit in 1997 by singer-guitarist Jack White, at the time working as an upholsterer, and drummer Meg White. Their early releases came out on the small garage-punk label Sympathy for the Record Industry; released in 1999, their self-titled 1999 debut album won a national fan base after the band toured with Pavement and Sleater-Kinney. While maintaining the band’s minimalist, low-fidelity approach, De Stijl (2000; recorded in White’s living room) and White Blood Cells (2001) continued to expand the band's audience, leading to a deal with V2 Records, which reissued the band's first three albums and released the subsequent Elephant (which included the hit single “Seven Nation Army”), Get Behind Me Satan and Icky Thump.
Although those albums boldly expanded the duo's sound, with White — a charismatic frontman who likes to cultivate an air of mystery — demonstrating his fluency in American Folk and Blues Styles, the White Stripes ultimately couldn't contain the range of Jack White's musical interests. He recorded solo, formed the supergroups the Raconteurs and the Dead Weather, and produced albums for the likes of Country singer Loretta Lynn and Rockabilly pioneer Wanda Jackson, as well as White's then-wife Karen Elson. White has also established himself as an in-demand producer and as an indie entrepreneur, founding the Nashville, Tenn.-based label Third Man.