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Page last updated at 12:06 GMT, Wednesday, 30 July 2008 13:06 UK
Jack White's path to Bond
by Kev Geoghegan
Radio 1 music reporter

Jack White
Jack White and The Raconteurs headlined Radio 1's Big Weekend in Maidstone

During the course of his career, Jack White has performed with the likes of The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan and, most recently, The Last Shadow Puppets.

He has been on The Simpsons and has written and performed a song for a Coca-Cola advert.

He has even turned his hand to acting and has played an alter boy, a musician during the American civil war and Elvis Presley.

White is also one of the most respected musicians of his generation. So is it at all surprising that he has written and recorded a duet with R&B singer Alicia Keys for the theme to the new James Bond film Quantum of Solace?

Born in Detroit 33 years ago, Jack White's first taste of stardom came when he was just 10 years old. A movie called The Rosary Murders, starring Donald Sutherland, filmed in his hometown and White played the uncredited role of an altar boy.

Their paths crossed years later, when White played the small role of Georgia in Anthony Minghella's Oscar winning epic Cold Mountain.

He apparently approached Sutherland, who played Reverend Monroe in the movie, and informed him that it was their second movie together.

White Stripes

After a short stint as an upholsterer, White made the transition to full time musician and in 1997 formed White Stripes with Meg White.

Although it's since been established that the pair married the previous year, they publicly claimed they were brother and sister.

It may have started as a joke or premeditated ruse or even a cynical publicity ploy designed to sell records, but added to their strict stage outfits of black, white and red, it only added to their mystique.

White has since remarried, and has two children with, former model Karen Elson.

With Meg White on drums and Jack White playing guitar, White Stripes sound blended punk, country and blues and paved the way for alternative country rock bands like Glastonbury headliners Kings Of Leon.
White Stripes
Jack with White Stripes bandmate Meg White

But it wasn't until 2001 and their third album White Blood Cells, that White Stripes appeared on the radar of most UK music fans, thanks to the late Radio 1 DJ John Peel who declared himself a fan of the band

The album spawned hit tracks like Hotel Yorba and Fell In Love With A Girl, which was covered by UK soul singer Joss Stone.

In 2003, the band released Elephant, arguably their biggest hit album. It certainly gave the band their biggest UK hit single with Seven Nation Army.

White also lended his uncredited vocals to the hit single Danger! High Voltage by Electric 6.

But while White Stripes were rising the crest of a wave, 2003 was not without its lows.

White was charged and pleaded guilty to assaulting Jason Stollsteimer, his former friend and lead singer of fellow Detroit band The Von Bondies. Stollsteimer himself, gave consent to the release of pictures of his bloodied face after White attacked him at a club.

White was also ordered to attend anger management classes.

White Stripes also cancelled a tour after White broke his finger in a car crash.

Since 2003, White Stripes have released two more albums to both critical acclaim and commercial success.

But White has also turned his attention to his side project, The Raconteurs.

The four man line-up includes solo singer Brendan Benson and they had their first hit with Steady As She Goes.

Earlier this year, while Radiohead were offering their album In Rainbows to fans for whatever they wanted to pay, The Raconteurs released their second album Consolers Of The Lonely with no warning.

It was made available to fans who had read no reviews of the record, which, according to reports, had been completed just three weeks earlier.

The Raconteurs
The Raconteurs are due to play Reading and Leeds next month
The band insisted it was an experiment intended to let fans, who would have no preconceptions, hear the record in a much purer way.

This summer, The Raconteurs have headlined a stage at Radio 1's Big Weekend in Maidstone and played T In The Park, Glastonbury and Oxygen. They will also play the Reading and Leeds festivals on 22-24 August.

Coca Cola row

Aside from the official business of White Stripes and The Raconteurs, White's projects have ranged from the bizarre to the sublime.

He wrote a tune for a Coca-Cola advert and defended his position, claiming that he was inspired to write a song about worldwide love and it had little to do with the actual product.

The advert and the track, which was called Love Is the Truth, were barely screened in the UK but White was accused of selling out by artists like Noel Gallagher.

He told the NME: "I'm just not having it. It's like doing a f*****g gig for McDonalds."

He has also continued taking small acting roles, playing Elvis in the recent John C Reilly comedy Walk Hard.

And both Jack and Meg White appeared as themselves in an episode of The Simpsons, where Bart becomes a celebrated jazz drummer.

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