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Neil Young gives Spotify an ultimatum: Me or Joe Rogan

Neil Young wearing a black hat
Musician Neil Young penned an open letter to Spotify.
(Rich Fury / Invision/Associated Press)

Veteran rocker Neil Young has threatened to remove his music from Spotify unless the streaming giant cuts ties with divisive podcast host Joe Rogan.

In an open letter to his management team and record label that has since been deleted from his website, Young criticized Spotify for disseminating “false information” about COVID-19 and gave the platform an ultimatum: Him or Rogan.

“Please immediately inform Spotify that I am actively canceling all my music availability on Spotify as soon as possible,” Young’s message read Monday.

“I am doing this because Spotify is spreading false information about vaccines — potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them.”

Joe Rogan has said a lot of things about COVID-19. People listen, journalists write.

On his popular, eponymous podcast “The Joe Rogan Experience,” the provocative commentator has criticized pandemic lockdown protocols, expressed skepticism about the COVID-19 vaccine, complained about vaccine mandates and recommended treatments for the coronavirus that have not been approved by medical professionals.

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At one point, Rogan discouraged young people from getting vaccinated. After a backlash, he walked back those comments somewhat, insisting that he isn’t “an anti-vax person” and admitting he’s “not a respected source of information.”

As the highly contagious Omicron variant spreads across the United States, COVID-19 vaccines and booster shots have continued to be the most effective methods of protection against severe illness and death, experts say.

Rocker Neil Young ‘can’t shake the feeling’ that Farm Aid 2021 might not be safe for all — especially kids — as COVID-19’s Delta variant surges.

“Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule,” Young continued in his statement.

“I want you to let Spotify know immediately today that I want all of my music off their platform. They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”

A representative for Rogan did not immediately respond Tuesday to the Los Angeles Times’ request for comment. Neither did Spotify.

Spotify isn’t new to controversy. Here’s a rundown of the music streamer’s history of feuds with artists and songwriters over royalties, privacy and more.


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