In a post shared to the Neil Young Archives yesterday (January 29), Lofgren expressed his solidarity with Young, actress Daryl Hannah and the doctors, scientists and nurses who have called out “Spotify for promoting lies and misinformation that are hurting and killing people”.
“When these heroic women and men, who’ve spent their lives healing and saving ours, cry out for help you don’t turn your back on them for money and power. You listen and stand with them,” he wrote.
“As I write this letter, we’ve now gotten the last 27 years of my music taken off Spotify. We are reaching out to the labels that own my earlier music to have it removed as well. We sincerely hope they honor our wishes, as Neil’s labels have done, his.”
“We encourage all musicians, artists and music lovers everywhere to stand with us all, and cut ties with Spotify.”
Young announced his intentions to remove his music from Spotify earlier this week, criticising the streaming service for “spreading false information” about COVID-19 vaccines. In particular, he took issue with the platform for hosting The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, where Rogan has shared anti-vax sentiments and misinformation.
“They can have Rogan or Young. Not both,” he wrote in a statement.
A day later, Spotify acquiesced to Young’s request, writing: “We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”
Joni Mitchell followed suit days later, announcing that she’d also be removing her music from the platform. “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,” she wrote.
It comes weeks after 270 scientists and medical professionals penned an open letter to Spotify over “dangerous” misinformation on Rogan’s podcast.
“By allowing the propagation of false and societally harmful assertions, Spotify is enabling its hosted media to damage public trust in scientific research and sow doubt in the credibility of data-driven guidance offered by medical professionals,” they wrote.
The letter followed an episode of The Joe Rogan Experience during which Rogan’s guest, medical doctor Robert Malone, said that Americans had been “hypnotised” into wearing masks and getting vaccines.
The controversy has seen Spotify’s market value take a hit, decreasing by more than $2billion from January 26 to 28.