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Joni Mitchell joins Neil Young in protest against Spotify

Singer Joni Mitchell announced on Friday that she will pull her music from Spotify in solidarity with Neil Young.
Tasos Katopodis
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Singer Joni Mitchell announced on Friday that she will pull her music from Spotify in solidarity with Neil Young.

Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchellannounced on Friday that she will remove her music from Spotify in solidarity with Neil Young, who announced earlier this week that he would do the same in protest against the streaming service.

"I've decided to remove all my music from Spotify," Mitchell wrote in a signed statement posted to her website. "Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives. I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue."

Last Monday, Young announced that he had asked his management and record label to remove his music from Spotify in protest of the streaming service's decision to host Joe Rogan's podcast. Rogan, whose podcast is distributed exclusively through Spotify, has been criticized by doctors and scientists for spreading misinformation regarding the coronavirus and vaccines.

"Most of the listeners hearing the unfactual, misleading and false COVID information of Spotify are 24 years old, impressionable and easy to swing to the wrong side of the truth," Young posted in a statement to his website. "These young people believe Spotify would never present grossly unfactual information. They unfortunately are wrong."

Joni Mitchell is the first high-profile musician to join Young's protest. As of Saturday morning, several classic Joni Mitchell albums, including her 1971 release Blue, were no longer available on the streaming service.

In a separate post to her website, Joni Mitchell also republished the "Open Letter to Spotify" signed by over a thousand doctors and scientists speaking against Rogan's false statements regarding vaccine safety and coronavirus precautions.

Spotify previously told NPR that in response to complaints about misinformation the service had "removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to COVID since the start of the pandemic." Spotify's CEO has said the company doesn't dictate what Rogan can say on its platform and argues that Spotify is not editorially responsible.

Copyright 2022 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Hazel Cills
Hazel Cills is an editor at NPR Music, where she edits breaking music news, reviews, essays and interviews. Before coming to NPR in 2021, Hazel was a culture reporter at Jezebel, where she wrote about music and popular culture. She was also a writer for MTV News and a founding staff writer for the teen publication Rookie magazine.