Jack White explains those Lady Gaga comments
December 5th, 2012
03:14 PM ET

Jack White explains those Lady Gaga comments

After questioning Lady Gaga's authenticity in an interview with Esquire UK, Jack White has found himself in the midst of what he calls a "tabloidesque drama."

The solo musician held a conversation with the publication that ranged from the state of modern celebrity to Twitter to the Mother Monster.

“I don’t think she lives it because it’s all artifice,” he said of Gaga. “It’s all image with no meaning behind it. You can’t sink your teeth into it. It’s a sound bite. It’s very of this age, because that’s what people want.”

The quote was viewed as White making a critique on Gaga's music, but, as he says in a statement issued Wednesday, he was not.

"I never said anything about her music, or questioned the authenticity of her songs in any way," White says. "I was in a conversation about the drawbacks of image for the sake of image, and that it is popular nowadays to not question an image in front of you, but only to label it as 'cool' or 'weird' quickly and dispose of it. I don't like my comments about Lady Gaga's presentation being changed into some sort of negative critique of her music."

Someone with a bigger legal team might be able to "hold [journalists] accountable for what they say," but White's going to stick to Twitter and the Internet, he said.

"I also think that kind of tabloid drama encourages artists to not express their opinions in the press, and instead give polite soundbites that don't stimulate thought about creativity and the consumption of art in its many guises," White said. "Peace to Lady Gaga and I fully congratulate and compliment her on her championing of gay rights issues and the momentum it's given to help create change."

Filed under: Celebrities • Lady Gaga • Music

soundoff (98 Responses)
  1. Reef

    Two weird looking dudes who make millions for making noise.

    January 3, 2013 at 6:54 pm | Report abuse |
  2. hindisongsfreedownloads

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    December 27, 2012 at 3:25 am | Report abuse |
  3. Telli's Queen

    Gaga needs to relax she has too big of an audience now to eff it up. good day to all.

    December 15, 2012 at 9:03 am | Report abuse |
  4. LittleQueen

    Well said, Jack.

    December 15, 2012 at 8:58 am | Report abuse |
  5. Madonna255

    received a silver metal–nice awards these last 2 wks..emp of the yr...silver for team player

    December 13, 2012 at 9:13 am | Report abuse |
  6. imp is getting another award today

    take a look

    December 13, 2012 at 9:09 am | Report abuse |
  7. MadonnaFun255

    so true

    December 13, 2012 at 9:07 am | Report abuse |
  8. memelissascott

    I agree with Jack White 100%. With Madonna, there was always meaning and messages behind the imagery..

    December 13, 2012 at 9:02 am | Report abuse |
  9. u huh...

    big chunky highlights.

    December 10, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Zinga!

    The man was having a conversation about image. Gaga came up because image has been huge for her. He expressed his honest opinion and he expressed himself very elegantly.

    December 10, 2012 at 3:05 pm | Report abuse |
  11. don't worry be happy...

    he needs highlights-

    December 10, 2012 at 11:34 am | Report abuse |
  12. Jack pastey White

    Can Jack White be more pastey? Dude get some color! Even goths have more pigment than you. And, you look dirty.

    December 10, 2012 at 11:29 am | Report abuse |
  13. lol


    December 10, 2012 at 5:49 am | Report abuse |
  14. nobody pays attentioon to gaga

    nobody ever did-poor thing

    December 10, 2012 at 5:48 am | Report abuse |
  15. John

    Jack White is obviously a radically uncommon talent. His writing, playing, singing and stage presence have rightfully earned him his position in the pantheon of rock. However, his image is as contrived as any I've ever seen. Persona is a major aspect of attaining and maintaining rock stardom, of course. White's may seem more rooted in and intertwined with Jack's music in his own mind, but for a pop star like Gaga, I doubt much difference is evident.

    I find her music boring and unsubstantial, but after watching Jack alongside some very real and humble legends in "It Might Get Loud," and witnessing the efforts he went to in portraying a very carefully constructed image, I cannot read his well-articulated but hypocritical comments without cringing.

    December 10, 2012 at 4:52 am | Report abuse |
  16. PhilG

    Jack White-"Lady Gaga is so no substance that I have to use her to get any media attention on myself."

    December 9, 2012 at 10:38 pm | Report abuse |
  17. Steve

    I agree with Jack White 100%. With Madonna, there was always meaning and messages behind the imagery... it was deeper. With Gaga, it's just images thrown at you that do not amount to anything meaningful. It comes off as plastic and soulless. Imagery without meaning leaves you kind of empty.

    December 7, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Report abuse |
    • saffron

      Like you, I also agree with Jack White. But Madonna being deeper? Seriously? She was and still in about creating controversy to make profit. She is not an artist. She is not creative. She stole every image she used and she didn't write her own music! What she is, is an extremely savvy business woman.
      Ok, so she did write some of her more recent lyrics but they suck!! 🙂

      December 8, 2012 at 3:36 am | Report abuse |
    • skyscraper

      Madonna is a good drummer – she learned from her Uncle, a great Jazz drummer and music school classmate of mine.

      December 9, 2012 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
    • PhilG

      Blah-Blah-Blah-Madonna's music has messages?


      Look,these people are all pop singers-not Mother Teresa.

      Lady Gaga uses the exact measure of oddity and perfection to get you all to feed at the trough of her fame.

      Lap it up little doggies.

      December 9, 2012 at 10:42 pm | Report abuse |
  18. Nashvillian

    I found Jack's original comments, as well as his response to the reaction to them, to be legitimate. The quote shows he was not demeaning her music, but was simply conjecturing on whether the woman behind the image is the same as the image. And yes, Jack, that was me that shouted out your name in front of the Wildhorse Saloon the other day when we were following you in for the B52's concert.

    December 6, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Report abuse |
  19. Kaka

    Gaga had 1.5 good pop albums. The last one sucked. She's already going down hill and will be forgotten in 5 years.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  20. Steve

    I'm sorry folks, but Jack White's comments were dead on. There is no such thing as shock value these days. She is using the same formula as many before her (i.e. Alice Cooper, Madonna, Marilyn Manson, etc...) She is doing nothing new or original and it takes away from her music. Her image is as phony as it gets.

    December 6, 2012 at 4:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • Steve

      And, Jack White has no need for an image because he lets his music speak for itself. People need to be more true to themselves in this day and age. That goes a lot further than creating a false sense of yourself just to sell records and please other people.

      December 6, 2012 at 4:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • skyscraper

      Vincent Fournier's "image" is part and parcel to his compositions – it's an opera. Quite the pioneer, that Alice, and a scratch golfer as well.

      December 9, 2012 at 1:38 pm | Report abuse |
  21. Murhpy's Awe

    Jack White= Michael Jackson in these pics. No comment on the music because someone will tell me I'm wrong that's a given.

    December 6, 2012 at 3:23 pm | Report abuse |
  22. m's speech...

    shut down....

    December 6, 2012 at 3:15 pm | Report abuse |
  23. hey jack

    you getting a trophy today...oh yea...no...

    December 6, 2012 at 3:14 pm | Report abuse |
  24. gaga


    December 6, 2012 at 3:12 pm | Report abuse |
  25. dead rat coverup


    December 6, 2012 at 3:11 pm | Report abuse |
  26. Scrod

    It's gotten to where you can hardly comment for some twelve-year-old on the bus with a smart phone. Wonder who she thought she was texting? Oh well. Gaga and White have such different audiences that you can't compare them. She is aiming at the disco crowd in clubs while White appeals to rock fans. It's a waste of time to say one is better than the other; in fact, if you like one, you probably don't like the other. And he was talking about stage shows, not music, anyway.

    December 6, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Report abuse |
  27. humtake

    Does anyone know of a fan club that is a fan of any celebrity who doesn't apologize for expressing their feelings or celebrities who don't feel they need to explain themselves? Those are the celebrities I like. These pansy liberal types who are afraid to hurt feelings have ruined entertainment.

    December 6, 2012 at 1:15 pm | Report abuse |
  28. Ray

    The Lady makes me want to Gag a.

    December 6, 2012 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  29. Dave

    Gaga's music? Sure it's OK. It's all re-written Madonna tunes. Gaga has no musical originality in her.

    December 6, 2012 at 12:52 pm | Report abuse |
  30. I win.

    You are person that has no self esteem...i freekin win all the time...i could care less about cnn, your blogging trolls
    who basically do nothing all day....we set out a mission and we win...we always win...you always lose.
    you are nothing to me .... you are trash

    December 6, 2012 at 6:28 am | Report abuse |
  31. You never win....i always do....

    i always win because i am who i am....and i always WIN.

    December 6, 2012 at 6:24 am | Report abuse |
  32. Never forget i get a trophy for what

    i do at my job and where i live....you get nothing. this is the trap top. i win you lose....
    i get awards and medals.....you get nothing for what you do all day......no get lost

    thanks guys...another crap in the pants....i really don't have the time anymore just give it directly
    to men in blue now....

    December 6, 2012 at 6:23 am | Report abuse |
  33. You have your proof men in blue...


    December 6, 2012 at 6:20 am | Report abuse |
  34. Remember i am praised and you have

    no self esteem...i get awards .... you get nothing...i win....you lose-none of the men i know would touch you
    gaga. now its time for another diaper change...we smell the dump you just took in your pants from here...


    December 6, 2012 at 6:19 am | Report abuse |
  35. remember lady gaga (s)

    i get awards and you get nothing....richard fores effs other women on you gaga.

    December 6, 2012 at 6:15 am | Report abuse |
  36. Richard Fore has no guts...


    December 6, 2012 at 6:13 am | Report abuse |
  37. This is why i get awards....

    and you get nothing.

    December 6, 2012 at 6:12 am | Report abuse |
  38. Reconnect the other computer

    your 6 ft under as it is...try to do something good today

    December 6, 2012 at 6:10 am | Report abuse |
  39. Reconnect the other computer


    December 6, 2012 at 6:04 am | Report abuse |
  40. Reconnect the other computer...

    the authorities–

    December 6, 2012 at 6:02 am | Report abuse |
  41. Reconnect the other computer...

    the authorities...

    December 6, 2012 at 6:00 am | Report abuse |
  42. Chris

    Although I do agree with jack, I'm more annoyed at the back peddling.

    December 6, 2012 at 3:50 am | Report abuse |
  43. Dylan Chumleigh

    what is their problem????? they both are good entertainer and they should focus on their work rather commenting on each other!!!!!

    December 6, 2012 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  44. xx

    This is true of soundbites.

    December 6, 2012 at 2:08 am | Report abuse |
  45. Charlie Sheen

    Zzzzz, whatevas!

    December 6, 2012 at 1:11 am | Report abuse |
  46. Dirty Sanchez

    Have them run back and forth on a stage so I can fling fecal matter at them.

    December 5, 2012 at 11:31 pm | Report abuse |
  47. Jack White is getting laid

    have fun talking to noone...if i want continue to get laid can't do it on cnn.

    December 5, 2012 at 11:01 pm | Report abuse |
  48. jack white is full of

    "It's popular nowadays to not question an image in front of you." Are you kidding me? The amount of positive and negative comments inspired by a Lady Gaga video on You Tube alone, or even the people protesting outside of her concerts, proves that at least one person questions her "presentation."

    December 5, 2012 at 10:57 pm | Report abuse |
  49. Booker

    its time for your 10:30 bottle.....thank got i'm leaving this site soon.

    December 5, 2012 at 10:39 pm | Report abuse |
  50. Booker T. Washington

    Gaga is adored by tweens and overweight 30 somethings

    White claims Son House as a big influence

    'nuff said

    December 5, 2012 at 10:36 pm | Report abuse |
  51. Candiland

    Thats neat. Jack is brave and a champion to come out like that

    December 5, 2012 at 10:32 pm | Report abuse |
  52. Milagros

    Both certainly have talent that appeals to a substatial number of people. Unfortunately too many take the music and the off-hand commentary of these entertainers seriously.

    December 5, 2012 at 10:26 pm | Report abuse |
  53. gotz to go....

    sweat dreams to everyone...

    December 5, 2012 at 10:15 pm | Report abuse |
  54. michelle

    I couldn't name one of his songs. If you like new pop you probaly like Gaga. She's a great humanitarian too.

    December 5, 2012 at 9:37 pm | Report abuse |
    • pop

      A humanitarian that supports abortion... hmmm

      December 5, 2012 at 10:09 pm | Report abuse |
    • Halfgreyhound

      Can't think of "Seven Nation Army"? "Icky Thump", "Love Interruption"? Listen, push off the rock you've been living under and get out a little.

      December 6, 2012 at 2:58 am | Report abuse |
  55. i'm scared of what 130,000 people think

    aren't you guys? most of the 130,000 people are 1 person anyway.....god bless for your energy....

    December 5, 2012 at 9:07 pm | Report abuse |
  56. Kol

    My lord why is this a story on CNN

    Hope this doesn't herald the start of a new months-long barrage of lady gaga promotional news and manufactured 'controversies'

    December 5, 2012 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse |
  57. sorry

    i never liked gaga...good voice...but i do not like her. calling your fans monsters puts me off.

    December 5, 2012 at 9:02 pm | Report abuse |
  58. "The Voice" only on NBC

    The both are terrible artists with no harmony or pitch movement at all. They just scream into a microphone

    December 5, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Report abuse |
  59. Poor thing

    gaga cries for an attention she will never fully get. she could give you migraines.

    December 5, 2012 at 8:47 pm | Report abuse |
  60. we're watching game...(my people)

    and watching you at the same time. go ahead say some more funny stuff.

    December 5, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Report abuse |
  61. pete

    Jack white's a tool. They both suck.

    December 5, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Report abuse |
  62. homealone12

    sorry for your loss.

    December 5, 2012 at 8:32 pm | Report abuse |
  63. Paul mussler

    Poo-Poo, Ca-Ca.

    December 5, 2012 at 8:30 pm | Report abuse |
  64. gee

    some of you are so jealous of her. silly.

    December 5, 2012 at 8:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • Murhpy's Awe

      You sure nailed that one. Jealous indeed. Of having 1 fan per every 123,000 people that think you're a moron...can't think of a better polarity contest to win

      December 5, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Report abuse |
    • ipgirlie

      that's still a jealous comment.

      December 5, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Report abuse |
  65. we gag when we look at gaga also

    especially the stupid banana clip she wears in her hair..makes us shake...

    December 5, 2012 at 8:11 pm | Report abuse |
  66. Ryan

    I'm sorry, who is this jackazz?

    December 5, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Report abuse |
  67. Rocketeer

    Jack is right. Gaga is just a puppet. Whereas Jack is musician first.

    December 5, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Report abuse |
  68. anonymous

    Quite frankly, I don't like either of their music, but their is validity behind some of what he is saying. Music these days isn't based on talent, or even a smidging of talent. It's about churning out the next "best" performer, and driving them to perform until they're no longer valid, and pressing onward to the next best thing. For the last 20 years, music has sorely sucked.

    December 5, 2012 at 6:47 pm | Report abuse |
  69. BKBRoiler

    So Jack White explains "those" comments? You mean the "those" comments none of us had heard of until you brought them up and took them out of context and tried to create a story that isn't there.

    Let artists be artists and quit looking for the soap opera drama. Jack is right, you people destroy truth and realism to art. Gotta keep it polite and not say too much or who knows what you entertainment "journalists" will turn it in to for the sake of justifying your own pathetic existences. You people are maggots.

    December 5, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Report abuse |
  70. dougo

    I think all he meant was... " She writes way better hooks than I do" But " I still should be as famous"

    December 5, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Report abuse |
    • Commenting Kills Brain Cells

      Oh lord...dude's been famous for far longer, created way better music, has written songs with real depth, had a #1 record, i one of the best modern guitar players, is real rock and roll.

      Lady Gaga wears meat.

      December 5, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Report abuse |
  71. Dougo

    Jack White is Mediocre at best .... and does NOT deserve the accolades some lay at his feet

    December 5, 2012 at 5:28 pm | Report abuse |
    • Slay Me a Taco

      Let's see...how do I say this.

      You're wrong.

      December 5, 2012 at 11:44 pm | Report abuse |
    • Hmm

      Where were you in the 00's? The White Stripes were one the best bands in the world and put on an amazing show with bare bones pure talent. Lady Gaga is pure Pop with a nice light show and dress up. You cannot compare the two. Bowie did the same in the 70s only he had the music to back it up.

      December 6, 2012 at 12:44 am | Report abuse |
  72. Eveo

    I agree with his comment and he did word it fairly without disrespect, however Jack whyte himself is really not that talented or a great musician. Image dominates his success too. Her's not an accomplished guitar player in any way at all, nor is is music at any technical achievement either. Really if you are talking about musicianship, put him next to true musicians like classical trained musicians or even accomplished guitar players and it's clear hes not "musically" accomplished. Sorry jack but true. Like someone trying to say hes as good as tony hawk but cant do tricks.

    December 5, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • albert

      You have a very narrow view of what music is. Not to take away from "classically trained" musicians, but they are basically paint by numbers. Sure they can read music, but they are rarely, if ever innovative. They only know what's on the paper in front of them. Very mechanical if you will. Musicians like Mr. White (even Lady Gaga for that matter), on the other hand are innovators and musical visionaries that take music to a new and different place. They play from the heart. Doesn't mean you have to like it. Does everyone like Classical music? Mr White is very well respected by proffesional and non professional guitarists alike. That speaks volumes.

      December 5, 2012 at 7:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Bubba™

      " Sure they can read music, but they are rarely, if ever innovative. " Exactly – my friend can play anything from sheet music but he gapes when I fumble out some new riff off the top of my head. But my dad composed and performed classical music and also played jazz. He liked Brubeck; for example.

      December 6, 2012 at 2:57 pm | Report abuse |
  73. Jack White is the man...

    gaga needs a bottle every 3 hours–

    December 5, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Report abuse |
  74. Rhiannon Silver

    Jack White has more talent in his little finger than that freak show Gaga has in her entire body. What makes you think he sold out??

    December 5, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Report abuse |
  75. gina

    gaga is so immature isn't she–

    December 5, 2012 at 3:38 pm | Report abuse |
  76. Loren

    And Jack White knows what he's talking about, because he is all image himself. I must admit that I am not a fan of his because I find his music derivative, his voice annoying and his personal life as much a part of his mystique as he complains about with Lady Gaga. At least Lady Gaga understands that she is part of a hype machine, Jack White apparently thinks he has integrity as a musician when it is clear that he sold out to the hype machine a long time ago. (And just to be clear, I don't care for Lady Gaga's music either, but at least she knows what she's part of).

    December 5, 2012 at 3:31 pm | Report abuse |

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