Jack White announced Saturday (April 6) that he has given minority ownership in his label Third Man Records to co-founders Ben Swank and Ben Blackwell.
“Today is a very special day,” White said. “After 10 years of incredibly hard work, and even longer that I’ve been working with these gentleman, they are now co-owners of Third Man Records with me.”
Swank and Blackwell co-founded Third Man with White in 2009 and have worked out of the label’s Nashville headquarters, which now offers poetry readings and avant garde film screenings, since day one. The pair has since overseen all aspects of the growing independent label, which has released upwards of 600 titles, and helped usher in the resurgence of vinyl.
An exclusive statement to Billboard says: “The new Third Man partnership with Jack White and the Bens intends to push the label to its limits in the coming decade to spread the beauty of music and art to a new generation.”
White made the announcement to 3,000 people during Third Man Records’ 10th anniversary event, held at the labels’ Nashville location and in the Nashville Rescue Mission’s parking lot across the street. Moments before, he conducted a brief ceremony on stage (usually held internally, he said) during which he handed out pins to Third Man employees as they hit yearly milestones — for the first time ever, he gave out 10 year pins to Swank and Blackwell.
Earlier in the day, Swank performed in the famed Third Man Blue Room with Soledad Brothers and Blackwell performed on the Mission Stage with The Dirtbombs. The celebration ended with a headlining set from The Raconteurs — the band’s first show in nearly a decade.