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High-Profile Artists Cut Ties with Spotify Over COVID Misinformation

Various high-profile artists are cutting ties with Spotify over concerns of alarming COVID misinformation being spread by the platform’s leading podcast show The Joe Rogan Experience. Folk artist Neil Young was the first to request the removal of his catalogue, with other musical peers following his example both in solidarity with Young and in agreement with his concerns. Other musicians mentioned include Joni Mitchell, Nils Lofgren and Crosby, Stills, and Nash.

Toward the end of January, folk artist Neil Young asked that his music be taken off Spotify’s services. The reason behind this action was stated by Young to be in protest to harmful COVID misinformation being broadcast by Spotify’s leading podcast show The Joe Rogan Experience. Young elaborated on his concerns for Spotify’s influential power over its millions of impressionable users and the potentially life-threatening ramifications of the information he believed was being falsely spread.

The folk artist’s music was quickly stricken from Spotify’s library. A statement from Young’s original letter implies that his music could return to the platform on terms that the popular talk show cease to be featured. This is not the first time that Spotify’s top podcast has come under fire for its controversial material.

Shortly after Young’s announcement, singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell declared that she too would be removing her catalogue from Spotify. In step with Young, Mitchell expressed similar concerns over the platform’s willingness to promote harmful COVID misinformation.

These protests seemed to ignite a trend, as Crazy Horseand E Street Band multi-instrumentalist Nils Lofgren was next in line to break away from Spotify. In an open letter written for the Neil Young Archives domain, Lofgren stated his backing of Young and others who would stand against the kind of COVID misinformation that sources like The Joe Rogan Experience have been circulating urged former record labels to honor his wishes by removing his older songs from Spotify as well.

Next in line to break away from Spotify was folk rock band Crosby, Stills, and Nash. Young’s previous bandmates David Crosby and Stephen Stills offered their support for his choice and addressed the company’s seeming disregard for humanity. Crosby and Stillsalso asked that their solo catalogue be removed from the platform, with Graham Nash following suit shortly after.

While Young and his prior bandmates of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young have had their differences in the past (both recently and publicly), they seem to be unified in their condemnation of the COVID misinformation being spread by The Joe Rogan Experience and in their subsequent distancing from Spotify. For more information, visit the source content at the Pitchfork website.

On a more positive note, Juno-nominated pop-rock group Girl Pow-R has been spreading messages of solidarity and hope during COVID with their YouTube series #GirlPowRment. The all-girl group is managed by Canyon Entertainment Group, a leading entertainment company adapting to the challenges of the pandemic. To learn more, check out the company website and contact info(at) for more information.

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