Legendary White Stripes frontman and acclaimed solo artist Jack White can now add an honorary doctorate to his list of impressive accolades which include 12 Grammys. According to Consequence of Sound, White has become “an honorary doctor of humane letters degree for his dedication to Detroit and significant contributions to the arts as one of the most prolific and renowned artists of the past two decades.”
Honorary degrees are typically awarded to a variety of influential figures as a way to credit their career achievements, in a variety of fields. Unlike most doctorates however, these degrees hold very little academic standing and do not qualify as an academic doctorate.
CONGRATULATIONS! Jack White got an honorary doctorate this morning from WSU. He graduated from Cass Tech – but as he told his peers this morning, this was the first time he’s ever worn a cap and gown: https://t.co/gmUK4WAd9W pic.twitter.com/r8ySnTi5Ue
— FOX 2 Detroit (@FOX2News) May 3, 2019
White was joined by fellow honorees Florine Mark, president and CEO of the WW Group (fka Weight Watchers), and Earl Lewis, a leading social justice scholar and champion at the ceremony. The ceremony took place on Friday morning at Wayne State University.
A press statement from the event reads:
“On Friday, May 3, during the 9 a.m. ceremony, White will receive an honorary doctor of humane letters degree for his dedication to Detroit and significant contributions to the arts as one of the most prolific and renowned artists of the past two decades.
Born and raised in southwest Detroit, White graduated from Cass Technical High School, worked as an upholsterer and played in underground bands before founding The White Stripes, a garage rock duo that revolutionized music. White has won 12 Grammy Awards, and all three of his solo albums have reached number one on Billboard charts. Rolling Stone recognized him as one of ‘The 100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.’ He has collaborated with Bob Dylan, the Rolling Stones, Pearl Jam and Beyoncé, to name a few.”
The year has been pretty busy for White, who has been touring in support of his latest release Boarding House Reach, which was released last year. In addition to his touring schedule and solo career success, White announced earlier this year that he will be reviving The Raconteurs for a special decade anniversary performance for Third Man Records.
White launched his career at the end of the 90s by fronting the White Stripes with former band mate Meg White. They soon became the figureheads of the garage rock movement that took the early 2000s by storm, becoming the most popular group in the explosion which included The Strokes, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Arctic Monkeys.
Part of the group’s success stemmed from White’s eclectic personality and old time sound, backed by analog recording. As White explained in an interview with Radio New Zealand:
“The most punk thing to do and the most rebellious thing to do is to not do what everybody else was doing. To not record digitally, to not record on computers, to record on tape and to record on the equipment that made everything happen to begin with. And then see if you had a new twist on it.”
Photo Credit: Raymond Flotat