Neil Young is not alone in his crusade against Spotify. This Friday he has achieved a powerful ally in his fight against comedian Joe Rogan, whom he considers a powerful speaker of falsehoods about the pandemic and coronavirus vaccines from his podcast. The Joe Rogan Experience, the most listened to in the world. Joni Mitchell, another eight-time Grammy award-winning rock legend, has heeded Young’s call, announcing this afternoon that she too will be removing decades of her music from the music platform. “Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing lives. I support in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical community”, says the artist in a brief statement published on her official website.
Mitchell, 78, becomes the second folk rock star to hit Spotify hard in less than a week. Like Young, he cites the open letter signed on December 31 by more than 200 health professionals as justification. Scientists had asked the giant of the streaming “Establish and make public a clear policy to moderate disinformation.” This after Rogan, a driver with libertarian tendencies who exploits conspiracy theories and alternative versions in his broadcast, gave voice to a doctor who has been discredited by the community. “This is not just a scientific or medical concern. It is a sociological issue of devastating proportions, and Spotify is responsible for allowing these activities to flourish on the platform.”
Earlier in the week, Young gave Spotify an ultimatum. “They can have me or Rogan. Not to both”, he communicated to the company through his label. There was no response, at least publicly, from the streaming giant. This had already chosen long before, when he offered Rogan an exclusive distribution contract for more than 100 million dollars, turning the comedian and reality show host Fear Factor into one of the most powerful men in the American media. Each episode of his podcast is listened to on average by 11 million people.
Young announced his final decision in a lengthy letter posted on his official website. In it, he called on other artists to follow in his footsteps despite the fact that deleting his music from one of the most used programs means closing the door to receiving income for musicians. Young claimed that the gesture of protest would have an impact on his earnings since 60% of his reproductions came from the company founded in Sweden.
Mitchell is a very close friend of Young. Born in Saskatoon, she is, as the author of After the gold rush, a Canadian who came to conquer the United States in the 1960s. Although they had some differences. Young always showed a predilection for electric guitars and Mitchell always preferred acoustic when producing his albums. In 1970, Mitchell gave Young one of his most famous songs, The Circle Game. For a time, Joni dated Graham Nash, who was also part of the band Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young.
Blue, one of Mitchell’s masterpieces, turned 50 in 2021. His figure and legacy in music history will be honored at the next edition of the Grammy Awards, which will take place on April 3 in Las Vegas. Following this gesture, Mitchell has injected some life and controversy into the ceremony.
All the culture that goes with you awaits you here.
Subscribe here to newsletter of EL PAÍS America and receive all the informative keys of the current affairs of the region