The White Stripes announced their demise as a band Wednesday, denying any differences or lack of enthusiasm but saying they want their music to be remembered at its best.
Jack White and Meg White, known for their raw mix of punk and blues in songs like "Seven Nation Army," asked their fans not to be disappointed, because "the beauty of art and music is that it can last forever if people want it to."
"The White Stripes would like to announce that today, February 2nd, 2011, their band has officially ended and will make no further new recordings or perform live," they said in a statement on their website.
"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."
Rather, they said: "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."
Their label Third Man Records would continue to put out unreleased live and studio recordings, said the pair, known for their trademark red, white and black clothing.
The duo - who used to be married - launched The White Stripes in Detroit in 1997, with Jack on vocals, guitar and keyboards, and Meg played drums and sometimes sang.
They were part of the Detroit garage scene which emerged in the early 2000s along with bands like The Von Bondies. British supermodel Kate Moss featured in the video of "I just don't know what to do with myself."
They got their international break when influential British DJ John Peel raved about them on his radio show.
The band's "garage" rock music style was showcased on award-winning albums including "White Blood Cells" and "Elephant." They made a total of six studio albums, the last of which "Icky Thump" in 2007.
Their relationship was sometimes seen as ambiguous - Jack White used to say they were brother and sister, when in fact they used to be married. He has since married Karen Elson, an English model.
Jack White has a successful side musical project, The Raconteurs, and has also appeared on screen including in the award-winning 2003 movie "Cold Mountain."
The band has also been featured in the Simpsons television series, while Jack White has collaborated with other top artists including Bob Dylan and the Rolling Stones.
Announcing their demise, the pair said they "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 art and 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 said.
"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 beauty of art and music is that it can last forever if people want it to."
Fans immediately took to message boards and social media to lament their passing.
"The ground is pure white here in Chicago, a fitting memory of one of the last true rock bands today," wrote Sam Crain on the band's Facebook page, referring to the mega snow storm gripping a third of the US.
"RIP White Stripes," he added on the page, followed by over 250,000 fans.Reuse content