Joni Mitchell Returns to Spotify After Two Year Protest Against Joe Rogan

The 80-year-old music icon originally removed her music catalogue from the streaming service in protest against vaccine misinformation promoted by Rogan on his podcast.

Joni Mitchell seated with microphone, dressed in black with star motifs, at a music event
Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for The Recording Academy
Joni Mitchell seated with microphone, dressed in black with star motifs, at a music event

After two years away, Joni Mitchell’s music quietly returned to Spotify.

The legendary singer, 80, along with friend Neil Young, 78, removed their music catalogs from Spotify in January of 2022, citing concerns over vaccine misinformation spread on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, which had an exclusive deal with the streaming platform at the time.

Mitchell, a polio survivor, wrote in a statement on her website that she stands with Young and the scientific community against misinformation.

“I’ve decided to remove all my music from Spotify,” Mitchell wrote at the time. “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.”

At the time, the singer also referenced an open letter signed by medical professionals urging Spotify to adopt an anti-misinformation policy due to concerns about Rogan’s podcast promoting vaccine skepticism and spreading conspiracy theories.

Mitchell did not make any formal announcement about the return of her catalog, which includes hits like “Big Yellow Taxi.” Rolling Stone reports that fans on social media noticed Mitchell’s music was back and spread the news themselves on X (formerly known as Twitter). 

Representatives for the singer did not return requests for comment to several publications including Rolling Stone.

Mitchell’s return to Spotify comes just in time for the 56th anniversary of her debut album, Songs to a Seagull

56 years ago today, Joni’s debut album, ‘Song to a Seagull’ was released, paving the way for a lifetime of poetic and soul-stirring melodies.

Revisit the album and listen here:

— Joni Mitchell (@jonimitchell) March 23, 2024
Twitter: @jonimitchell

Earlier this month, Young brought back his catalog to Spotify with a pretty clear explanation behind the move and a not-so-subtle dig at the streamer.

“Spotify, the #1 streamer of low res music in the world - Spotify where you get less quality than we made, will now be home of my music again,” wrote Young in a statement on the Neil Young Archives.

“My decision comes as music services Apple and Amazon have started serving the same disinformation podcast features I had opposed at SPOTIFY. I cannot just leave Apple and Amazon, like I did Spotify, because my music would have very little streaming outlet to music lovers at all, so I have returned to Spotify, in sincere hopes that Spotify sound quality will improve and people will be able to hear and feel all the music as we made it.”

According to the New York Times, Rogan reached a multi-year, non-exclusive renewal agreement with Spotify last month that allows his podcast to be distributed on other platforms including YouTube, Apple Podcasts, and more.

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