Jack White Explains His Spontaneous Concert Engagement & Marriage: ‘She Was Very Surprised’

Jack White is continuing promotion for his new album, Fear of the Dawn, which arrived April 8. As such, the former White Stripes member stopped by The Late Show With Stephen Colbert on Wednesday (April 20) for a chat with the comedian, and shed some light on his onstage engagement and marriage to Olivia Jean, as well as the release of Prince’s Camille via his label, Third Man Records.

“A little over a week ago, you surprised fans and your girlfriend Olivia Jean by proposing to her on stage. And then minutes later, getting married right there on stage. Was this a long term plan?” Colbert asked White. The musician had popped the question during his Detroit concert — the same day as his album release — hours after a well-received performance of “The Star-Spangled Banner” for the Tigers’ opening day baseball game.

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“If the day had some left turns, maybe it wouldn’t be the right day, but the day kept on going so well. I figured it was a good time to do it,” he explained. “She was very surprised. Luckily, Ben Swanker works at Third Man Records, he’s also a minister of some church on the internet, I don’t know … and he was backstage, and I asked her, ‘Do you want to get married now, or do you want to wait?’ and she said. ‘No, right now, this is a great day!'”

The conversation then pivoted to the 12-time Grammy winner’s endeavors with vinyl. Colbert inquired about Third Man Records’ release of Prince‘s Camille (which does not have an official release date yet), and White detailed the album’s concept in his own words, sharing an anecdote about meeting the legend, who died six years ago.

“[The album] it’s called Camille and it was a record he made under a feminine avatar. He had sped his voice up on a tape machine and he was going to release a whole album under this guise of Camille. It got on the presses, it was all the way done, it had labels and it was going to be sleeved, but at the last second, he changed his mind and pulled it off. Presses told Warner to cancel the whole project,” he said. “Slowly the songs have been released over time, but the actual album as a whole together has not been released.”

He continued, “I met [Prince] one time — it was at an afterparty for this thing. He was incredibly nice. He told me, ‘No one will ever tell you how to play your guitar, Jack.’ And that was really solid advice.”

After speaking to Colbert, White performed Fear of Dawn track “What’s the Trick?”

Watch White’s appearance on Colbert below.

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