Joni Mitchell Joins Neil Young in Pulling Music From Spotify

The legendary musician announced on Friday night that her extensive music catalog, including iconic tracks like “Big Yellow Taxi,” will no longer be on Spotify.

Singers Neil Young and Joni Mitchell attend Clive Davis and The Recording Academy's 2012 Pre-GRAMMY Gala
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Photo by Lester Cohen/WireImage via Getty Images

Singers Neil Young and Joni Mitchell attend Clive Davis and The Recording Academy's 2012 Pre-GRAMMY Gala

Joni Mitchell never lies—and this time she’s certainly not holding back. 

The legendary musician announced on Friday night that her extensive music catalog, including iconic tracks like “Big Yellow Taxi,” will no longer be available on Spotify following her decision to remove it. Her move comes after her friend Neil Young did the same, citing vaccine misinformation being spread on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast—which has an exclusive $100 million licensing deal with the company. Both Young and Mitchell are survivors of polio, which they contracted in the early 1950s before a vaccine became available shortly after. 

“I’ve decided to remove all my music from Spotify,” Mitchell wrote via a website statement. “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.”

Mitchell also cited an open letter to Spotify, which was signed by several medical professionals, calling for the streaming service to adopt an anti-misinformation policy. The letter’s authors write that Rogan, who currently has the most popular podcast in the U.S., has “discouraged vaccination in young people and children, incorrectly claimed that mRNA vaccines are “gene therapy,” promoted off-label use of ivermectin to treat COVID-19… and spread a number of unsubstantiated conspiracy theories.”

They added that two guests on the show have “compared pandemic policies to the Holocaust.” As previously reported, the host has openly questioned if people should get infected with COVID-19 for immunity’s sake, and has said he doesn’t think “healthy” young people should get vaccinated. 

“I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them,” Young wrote in his own letter to his manager Frank Gironda and Warner Bros co-chairman and Chief Operating Officer Tom Corson. “Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule.”

Spotify later agreed to pull Young’s music from the platform, per his request. 

“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,” a spokesperson told The Hollywood Reporter. “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.”

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