Iconic singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell announced she will remove her music from Spotify in protest of Joe Rogan’s popular podcast she believes spreads misinformation about COVID-19 and vaccines.
Mitchell’s move follows Neil Young’s decision to pull his catalog off the streaming platform for the same reason.
“I’ve decided to remove all my music from Spotify,” the nine time Grammy-winning musician wrote in a statement published on her website on Jan. 28, 2021. “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.”
Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1997, popular songs of Mitchell's include "Big Yellow Taxi," "A Case of You," "River," "California", "Chelsea Morning" and "Both Sides Now." Two of those songs — “Big Yellow Taxi” and “A Case of You” — have gotten more than a 100 million streams. She is listed to have 3.7 million monthly listeners.
The “Blue” singer cited an open letter to Spotify published earlier this month by a coalition of global medical experts and scientists requesting an anti-misinformation policy be implemented on the platform after Spotify uploaded an episode of "The Joe Rogan Experience" podcast in which they say the show’s guest Dr. Robert Malone spread misinformation.
“On Dec. 31, 2021, the Joe Rogan Experience (JRE), a Spotify-exclusive podcast, uploaded a highly controversial episode featuring guest Dr. Robert Malone (#1757),” the open letter read. “The episode has been criticized for promoting baseless conspiracy theories and the JRE has a concerning history of broadcasting misinformation, particularly regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Rogan’s podcast is currently the most popular podcast in the United States and the United Kingdom.
Last week, Spotify removed Neil Young’s catalogue from its platform per his request, following his objections to Rogan’s show, which he said in a now-removed open letter, spreads misinformation about COVID-19.
Regarding Young’s request, a Spotify representative said in a statement: “We want all the world’s music and audio content to be available to Spotify users. With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators. We have detailed content policies in place and we’ve removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to COVID since the start of the pandemic. We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”
Fans of Mitchell took to Twitter to support her decision after news broke her music would be taken off the streaming platform.
"embarrassed for the human race that Joni Mitchell had to find out who Joe Rogan is," one person wrote.
Another fan tweeted, "Joni Mitchell and Neil Young were cool fifty years ago, and they’re cooler now."
"Joni Mitchell and Neil Young are both polio survivors — vaccinations saved their lives.," journalist Ernest Owens said. "They understand what is at stake right now and them pulling their music from Spotify is a pretty big damn deal."
Not everyone was a fan of her decision, with some choosing to make fun of the 78-year-old who is considered to be one of the greatest singer-songwriters of all time.
"Couldn’t name a single Joni Mitchell song," one person wrote.
Another former fan said, "Joni, I grew up listening to you. It saddens me that you have now joined the ranks of those going along with government mandates and control. Never thought I would see the day. They were right. You have changed."