Joni Mitchell is removing all her music from Spotify in “solidarity” with Neil Young, following controversy over the spread of COVID misinformation on the platform.
The Grammy Award-winning singer said the streaming giant is allowing “irresponsible people” to “spread lies” that are killing lives.
In a statement on his official website, the 78-year-old said: “I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue”.
Singer James Blunt has also weighed in, writing on Twitter: “If @spotify doesn’t remove @joerogan immediately, I will release new music on stage. #youwerebeautiful”.
comes after Young removed his catalog of music from Spotify After hosting The Joe Rogan Experience (TJRE) podcast, which has Discouraged vaccination among youth And shared many false claims about the jab.
Michelle shared an open letter signed by a coalition of medical professionals that called on Spotify to take action against “mass-misinformation incidents.”
This referenced a December episode of TJRE that promoted “baseless conspiracy theories”.
“Spotify is enabling its hosted media to damage public confidence in scientific research and to cast doubts in the credibility of data-driven guidance offered by medical professionals,” the letter said.
“JRE #1757 is not the only violation occurring on the Spotify Platform, but is a pertinent example of the platform’s failure to mitigate the damage it may cause.”
Spotify said it “regrets” the decision made by Young, adding “hope” to it[s] To welcome him back soon”.
In response to Young’s concerns, Spotify said it aimed to balance “both safety for listeners and freedom for creators” and had removed more than 20,000 COVID-related podcast episodes since the start of the pandemic.
It acquired The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast in 2020, reportedly for over $100m (£77m). Since then, it has become the top rated podcast on the platform.
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Young has now transferred his music to Amazon Music, praising the stage for “leading the pack”.
In a Twitter post on Friday, he said: “Everyone looking for my music can easily switch to Amazon Music … all new listeners will get four months free.”
Meanwhile, Barry Manilow has denied rumors that he will follow suit and remove his music from Spotify.
Writing on Twitter, the Copacabana singer said: “I recently heard a rumor about me and Spotify.
I recently heard a rumor about me and Spotify. I don’t know where it started, but it didn’t start with me or anyone representing me.
— Barry Manilow (@barrymanilow) January 28, 2022
“I don’t know where it started, but it didn’t start with me or anyone representing me.”