Over the past week, superstar artists Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have pulled their catalogs from Spotify in response to what they say is the company’s spread of “misinformation” about Covid-19 vaccines.
The catalyst for Young’s removal of his music from the service was recently released open letter of hundreds of medical professionals, calling on Daniel Ek’s company to remove misinformation related to vaccines from its service.
The letter refers to an episode of the Joe Rogan Experience podcast featuring Dr Robert Malone, in which a number of controversial claims were made about the Covid-19 vaccine.
Over the weekend, Young’s friend and musical pair Joni Mitchell announced that she would also be leaving Spotify in solidarity with Neil Young.
On Friday January 28, MBW suggested in an op-ed – written before Joni Mitchell pulled his music from the service – that Neil Young’s Spotify release would be a “test case for artists who dare to challenge the dogma of music industry”.
Today (February 1), we learned that two more cultural icons have decided to take their music off the platform.
First, Grammy-winning artist India.Arie is pulling her music from the platform.
As reported by rolling stoneArie revealed in an Instagram post that she would be removing her music from Spotify because of comments made on Joe Rogan’s podcast, but “for reasons other than her Covid interviews” and in particular about her “language around the race”.
“Neil Young has opened a door that I must go through”, India.Arie wrote on Instagram.
“I believe in freedom of expression. However, I find Joe Rogan problematic for reasons other than his Covid interviews. For me, it is also his language around race.
“What I’m talking about is respect – who gets it and who doesn’t. Pay musicians a fraction of a penny? And him $100 [million]? This shows the type of business they are in and the business they keep. I am tired.”
Additionally, Graham Nash, Young’s former Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young bandmate, also announced that he would request that his solo recordings be made unavailable on Spotify.
According to rolling stone, Nash said in a statement, “I wholeheartedly agree with and support my friend Neil Young.”
Nash goes on to quote – in reference to the aforementioned Joe Rogan podcast episode – what he says is “false information that some 270 medical professionals have derided as not only false but dangerous.”
He adds, “The opinions published by Rogan are so dishonest and unsupported by solid facts that Spotify is becoming a catalyst in a way that is costing people lives.”
Nash’s announcement follows news on Saturday of former Nash and Young teammate David Crosby showing his support for Neil Young’s decision on Twitter.
When fans asked him if he would remove his own catalog from Spotify, in support of his former Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young bandmate, Crosby responded: “I no longer control her or I would be in support of Neil.”
Crosby has sold its two editions and recorded musical interests at Irving Azoff’s Iconic Artist Group for an undisclosed sum in March 2021.
“I completely agree with my friend Neil Young and support him.”
According to rolling stone, Nash said in a statement: “Having heard the Covid misinformation spread by Joe Rogan on Spotify, I fully agree with and support my friend Neil Young and request that my solo recordings be removed from the service.”
Nash added, “There is a difference between being open to different viewpoints on an issue and knowingly spreading false information that some 270 medical professionals have called not just false but dangerous.
“Similarly, there is a difference between disinformation, in which it is unaware that what is being said is false, and disinformation which is knowingly false and intended to mislead and influence public opinion.
“The opinions published by Rogan are so dishonest and unsupported by solid facts that Spotify is becoming a catalyst in a way that is costing people their lives.”
On Sunday, January 30, Spotify founder and CEO Daniel Ek released an open letter in response to criticism his company has received over its hosting of content that some say spreads dangerous lies about Covid-19.The music industry around the world