Joni Mitchell joins Neil Young in leaving Spotify as company loses $4 billion in market value

Neil Young and Joni Mitchell together at a party
Neil Young and Joni Mitchell at a pre-Grammy Awards gala dinner in 2012 (Image credit: Lester Cohen/Getty Images)

Joni Mitchell has joined Neil Young in pulling her back catalogue from Spotify.

Posting on her website, Mitchell said, "I’ve decided to remove all my music from Spotify. 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 then posted a link to the open letter sent to Spotify by 370 medical professionals in the wake of an episode of the Joe Rogan podcast featuring a controversial appearance from vaccine cynic Dr. Robert Malone. On the show, Malone – who has been banned from Twitter after falling foul of their misinformation guidelines – claimed that "mass formation hypnosis" had driven the choice of millions to be vaccinated. 

Neil Young's music was removed from Spotify earlier this week after the singer had given the company an ultimatum. In a now-deleted post on his website, Young wrote, "I want you to let Spotify know immediately today that I want all my music off their platform. They can have [Joe] Rogan or Young. Not both."

Young has posted a new note on his website, speaking of Spotify's "shitty, degraded and neutral sound", before going on to address the issue of freedom of speech. 

"I support free speech," he wrote. "I have never been in favour of censorship. Private companies have the right to choose what they profit from, just as I can choose not to have my music support a platform that disseminates harmful information. I am happy and proud to stand in solidarity with the front line health care workers who risk their lives every day to help others."

Both Neil Young and Joni Mitchell suffered from polio in the early 1950s, spending significant periods in hospital in the years before the polio vaccine was available.  

Meanwhile, the hashtags #DeleteSpotify and #CancelSpotify have gained traction on Twitter, although no other major artists have yet joined Young and Mitchell in pulling their music from the platform. Online stories suggesting that Barry Manilow was leaving Spotify have been denied by the crooner.  

Investors are also keeping an eye on Spotify, with the market value of the company dropping by $4 billion this week. According to financial website Forbes, Spotify has lost nearly 25 percent of its value since the start of the year, and over 45 percent over the last 12 months. 

Fraser Lewry

Online Editor at Louder/Classic Rock magazine since 2014. 38 years in music industry, online for 25. Also bylines for: Metal Hammer, Prog Magazine, The Word Magazine, The Guardian, The New Statesman, Saga, Music365. Former Head of Music at Xfm Radio, A&R at Fiction Records, early blogger, ex-roadie, published author. Once appeared in a Cure video dressed as a cowboy, and thinks any situation can be improved by the introduction of cats. Favourite Serbian trumpeter: Dejan Petrović.