The Seven Musicians Who Decided To Quit Spotify And Support Neil Young
After Neil Young threatened Spotify to remove his catalog from the platform, he received the support of various musicians. Although some were reluctant to remove their music from Spotify, others were quite eager to follow Young’s steps. The reason behind Neil Young’s threat was The Joe Rogan Experience Podcast which is named as a source of potentially dangerous misinformation about the global pandemic and the effects of COVID-19 vaccines. So, Young said that he would remove his music from Spotify unless they stop airing Joe Rogan’s podcast.
Although he knew from the beginning that this decision would result in a substantial financial loss for him, Neil Young stood behind his word. However, Spotify removed his catalog from the platform instead of Rogan’s podcast. As of now, many musicians have joined the debate, and some have shown their sincere support by leaving Spotify. According to an exclusive Ultimate Guitar article, seven musicians openly supported Young and expressed their wish to take their music down from Spotify.
To begin with, Joni Mitchell is a close friend of Neil Young, and thus, she was the first one who decided to remove her work from the platform. As she has suffered the long-lasting side effects of polio, she is quite sensitive about medical misinformation. In a statement released on her website, she criticized Joe Rogan for being irresponsible and spreading lies and expressed her dissatisfaction with Spotify’s approach to this issue. She stressed her support for Young and the scientific and medical communities and made her side clear.
Apart from Mitchell, the Bruce Springsteen and Crazy Horse guitarist Nils Lofgren also joined the debate and revealed his views by standing by his friend Young’s side. He stated that Spotify is encouraging the promotion of lies and misinformation which hurts and even kills people. Lofgren then said standing with Neil is the right choice, and he removed the music he has made in the last 27 years from the platform.
Along with the others, Neil Young’s former bandmates, Crosby, Stills, and Nash, also showed their support for the musician. Crosby posted a tweet saying that he is proud of Young and noted that he is unsure whether he could do the same as most of his catalog is owned by record companies. On February 2, CSNY issued a joint statement to express that they don’t want to be featured on the same platform as Rogan and joined Neil Young’s protest by taking down CSNY’s music.
Although most of the musicians who supported Young were his friends, the alternative rock band Failure also backed the musician by leaving Spotify. In a statement they posted on their Facebook account, the band criticized Spotify’s way of treating artists and said they are questioning whether they should add their new material on the platform. Moreover, the band stated that Spotify’s decision to allow the misinformation about COVID-19 and the vaccines was the final straw as they are aware of the disease’s side effects and the vaccine’s importance.
On the other hand, the award-winning musician India Arie recently joined the anti-Spotify club as some days ago she announced during a conversation with Billboard that she has requested her music to be removed from Spotify. She stated that Joe Rogan has also made controversial comments about skin tone and race, and besides, Spotify doesn’t treat artists respectfully anyway, as most of them are underpaid while Joe Rogan gets paid well.
So, it seems like there is a growing number of musicians who have joined Neil Young on his decision to remove his music from Spotify. Currently, it remains unknown whether the platform will take action so as not to lose these and more musicians, and ultimately remove Joe Rogan’s podcast.