A decade ago, Jack White released White Blood Cells with its raw rock single, “Fell in Love with A Girl” with his fake sister Meg. Since then, he’s turned into a chameleon of sorts, and a ubiquitous one at that—constantly announcing some new super group or making us laugh on a late-night talk show. So in honor of his birthday today, we want to celebrate Jack White’s awesomeness.
16. He worked on a remake of the James Bond theme song with Alicia Keys.
This seemingly odd couple meshed perfectly on “Another Way to Die,” a tune the pair recorded for recent Bond flick Quantum of Solace. Plus Mr. White has some serious skills when it comes to the drums. He looks so bad ass, we think they should consider asking him to be the next Bond.
15. He and soon to be ex-wife Karen Elson threw a party in honor of their divorce.
Jack White and his wife, model Karen Elson, celebrated their sixth anniversary a little differently—with a great big party and a divorce. On the agenda? Dancing, drinks and time spent with good friends. Only Jack White could make splitting up look like a grand ol’ time.
14. He’s performed at the White House.
Being invited to play one of the most famous songs of our time for the president and company at a Paul McCartney tribute seems like a pretty big compliment.
13. He’s created the Third Man Rolling Record Store.
Jack White sees problem—kids aren’t exposed to enough physical copies of the music they listen to. Jack White solves problem in most awesome way possible—he creates a record store on wheels. The mobile record shop doubles as a DJ booth, a live venue and so much more. Who needs an ice cream truck when you’ve got a drive-by musicpalooza?
12. He worked with Jay-Z.
Though the music White and Hova worked on has yet to see the light of day, the idea of these two collaborating on a track entitled “Ray Bans” is enough to give us chills.
11. He can write and perform a whole song in 10 minutes.
In documentary It Might Get Loud, director Davis Guggenheim challenged the former White Stripes frontman to write a song on camera. And write he does. The superstar finishes writing and recording a song in under 10 minutes and you get to see the whole thing on film.
10. He and Conan O’Brien have recorded two albums together.
These brand new BFFs worked together on two separate albums last year. One, a live comedy performance by Conan, recorded at White’s Third Man complex. The other a 7” with a spoken word retelling of the Frankenstein story by O’Brien on one side and an interview with Conan by Jack on the other.
9. He made records with Wanda Jackson and Loretta Lynn.
Rockabilly pioneer Wanda Jackson trusted White’s guitar skills enough to let him guest on a whole album with her. The pair released a collection of covers entitled The Party Ain’t Over earlier this year. White was also asked to produce Loretta Lynn’s Van Lear Rose, which ended up being a smash hit.
8. He was in Jim Jamusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes
This series of short films about people drinking coffee and smoking cigarettes features a 10-minute segment centered around Jack’s fictional obsession with Nikola Tesla.
7. He is part of the Rome project, a collaboration with Danger Mouse, Daniele Luppi and Norah Jones.
Rome is four of the most talented musicians in the game collaborating on music inspired by spaghetti westerns. Using Jack White’s vocal skills just seemed like the obvious choice.
6. He’s a skilled upholsterer.
Before Jack White was reworking the music scene, he was refurbishing old furniture. The record label owner used to own his own furniture store called Third Man Upholstery. He even started a band called The Upholsterers in honor of the 25th anniversary of the shop he worked at. Listen to a cut off their album above.
5. His wardrobe rocks.
Whether red-and-white T-shirts or an all-black suit and tie, Jack White knows how to wear his monochromes.
4. He’s won more than one Grammy.
Winning a Grammy is considered a lifetime accomplishment. Jack is about to run out of fingers to count all of his wins on.
3. He participated in “2011: A Rock Odyssey” with Stephen Colbert.
Anybody who doubts the comedic genius behind tracks such as “Charlene II (I’m Over You)” might lack a sense of humor altogether.
2. He invented the “Triple-Decker Record.”
King of vinyl Jack White would come up with one of the more creative ways to package a single we’ve seen in a bit. The triple-decker record plays like a regular album but wedged inside is another, totally playable LP. Pry it out with a screwdriver and you have two brand new pieces of music. Genius.
1. He founded Third Man Records.
Jack White’s passion for records and recording led him to establish his very own record store, record label, live venue and production house. White started the project back in 2001 and it’s grown exponentially ever since.