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Neil Young and Joni Mitchell return to Spotify after two years of protests

Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have allowed their music to return to Spotify, roughly two years after they removed their entire catalog in protest against COVID misinformation, and Apple Music trolled the service …

Background

Neil Young was the first to leave Spotify in January 2022 due to COVID-19 hoaxes aired by Joe Rogan on a podcast that was then exclusive to the streaming music service.

Neil Young has published a since-deleted letter to his management and record label demanding that his music be removed from Spotify. “I'm doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines, which could potentially lead to the death of those who believe the misinformation they spread,” he wrote. “Please take action immediately today and keep me updated on the schedule.”

“I want you to immediately let Spotify know TODAY that I want all my music removed from their platform,” he continued. “They could have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both.” Young refers to the constant stream of vaccine misinformation that Joe Rogan spreads in the book “The Joe Rogan Experience.” Last month, 270 doctors, therapists and science teachers signed an open letter asking Spotify to stop spreading Rogan's unsubstantiated claims.

Apple Music responded by trolling Spotify, calling itself “the home of Neil Young.” and promoting the artist's work.

Joni Mitchell followed suit.

I decided to remove all my music from Spotify. Irresponsible people spread lies that cost people their lives. I agree with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical community on this issue.

Both artists are now back

Rogan's podcast is no longer exclusive to Spotify, and Young recently said he couldn't boycott all platforms, so he's now allowing his music back on the music streaming service.

My decision stems from the fact that Apple and Amazon's music services have begun to provide the same misinformation podcast features that I railed against at Spotify.

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Engadget reports that Joni Mitchell is also back, noting one of the reasons vaccine misinformation was so important to both.

Iconic Singer Joni Mitchell has brought her music back to Spotify more than two years after leaving the platform to protest misinformation about COVID-19 vaccines […]

Besides the obvious reasons, Young and Mitchell were personally interested in combating medical misinformation. Both musicians were victims of polio, a disease that was eradicated from North America thanks to vaccines.

Photo by Alexander Shatov on Unsplash

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