For an Encore, Jack White Marries Onstage

Musician surprises girlfriend, families, and audience on his return to Detroit
By Bob Cronin,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 9, 2022 4:35 PM CDT
Jack White Caps 'Great Day' By Marrying Onstage
Jack White performs the national anthem before the Tigers game Friday at Comerica Park in Detroit.   (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio, File)

Jack White did about everything he could to make his return to his hometown of Detroit a day to remember. To mark Opening Day, he played "The Star-Spangled Banner" at Comerica Park on Friday before the Tigers won a walk-off thriller, the Detroit News reports. His new solo album, Fear of the Dawn, was released the same day. And White, who had not played a solo show in Detroit since 2018, launched his Supply Chain Issues Tour with a sold-out concert at the city's Masonic Temple. That's where the surprises began.

First, White brought singer Olivia Jean onstage to sing "Hotel Yorba" with him, per the AP, introducing her as his girlfriend. The song was a hit for the White Stripes, which he founded, in 2001. He paused during the song and told Jean he had a question. "Will you marry me?" White asked while producing a ring. When Jean said yes, White launched into the next line of the song: "Let's get married!" He wasn't referring to some vague point in the future. When he returned for an encore after carrying Jean offstage, White asked the crowd, "It's been such a great day, mind if we get married right now?"

White's mother, Jean's father, band members, and others gathered onstage for the ceremony. Ben Swank, who cofounded White's record label, officiated, invoking Prince by announcing, "Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today to get through this thing called life." Photos of the wedding are hard to find; cellphones were prohibited at the concert. But "the marriage is legal and valid," White aides told People. Jean's father was among the surprised. "I had no idea," Brent Markel said later. Jean, 32, is signed to White's label. White, 46, a Grammy Award winner, has been married twice before. Merritt Fritchie, whose seat was near the stage, said he could see White's happiness. "I think that’s why it made so much sense for me, to see them marrying today," Fritchie said. "It was like the perfect day for him." There's another show Saturday night. (More Jack White stories.)

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