After more than 13 years, six crackling studio albums and exactly one basic color scheme, the [artist id="610526"]White Stripes[/artist] are calling it quits.
The band made the announcement Wednesday (February 2) in a letter posted on their (now crashed) website, writing, "[The] band has officially ended and will make no further new recordings or perform live. The reason is not due to artistic differences or lack of wanting to continue, nor any health issues as both Meg and Jack are feeling fine and in good health.
"It is for a myriad of reasons," the statement continued, "but mostly to preserve what is beautiful and special about the band and have it stay that way."
The Stripes — who have been making waves in and around Detroit since first forming in 1997 — famously burst onto the international scene in 2001, riding the wave of garage-rock nostalgia and buoyed by their stripped-down recordings, thunderous live shows and, of course, their own mythology (a steadfast dedication to their red-and-white color pattern and the claim that frontman Jack White and drummer Meg White were brother and sister). That fame (and mythology) only grew with each subsequent album they recorded — 2003's Grammy-winning [article id="1470121"]Elephant,[/article] '05's odd [article id="1500124"]Get Behind Me Satan[/article] and 2007's [article id="1562916"]Icky Thump[/article] — and last year, they released [article id="1633562"]"Under Great White Northern Lights,"[/article] a documentary that followed the duo on their quest to perform in every Canadian province and territory.
The final scene in that film — a doozy in which Jack White performs a piano version of "White Moon," while Meg weeps on his shoulder — led many to speculate that there was some sort of tension developing between the pair (especially when coupled with their [article id="1569504"]2007 tour cancellation due to Meg's "acute anxiety,"[/article] but the Stripes made no mention of any drama in their exit statement, thanking fans for their "incredible support" during the band's career and closing with a message that their legacy now firmly rests in the hands of their supporters.
"The White Stripes do not belong to Meg and Jack anymore. The White Stripes belong to you now and you can do with it whatever you want," the statement reads. "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."
Share your thoughts about the Stripes' breakup in the comments below.