Joni Mitchell removes her music from Spotify, joining Neil Young in protest

A woman in a red beret and braids
Joni Mitchell in 2021.
(Marcy Gensic)

Joni Mitchell announced Friday that she will join her friend Neil Young in pulling her music off of Spotify.

Mitchell, 78, said in a statement posted to her website, “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, who like Young survived polio as a child, also linked to an open letter signed by hundreds of doctors and medical professionals who said that Spotify’s top podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” promotes “baseless conspiracy theories and has a concerning history of broadcasting misinformation, particularly regarding the COVID-19 pandemic.”

In a rare interview, Joni Mitchell talks with Cameron Crowe about the state of her singing voice and the making of “Blue,” 50 years after its release.

June 20, 2021

Mitchell, this year’s MusiCares Person of the Year honoree, is one of folk and rock’s most beloved songwriters, with a vast catalog that includes some of popular music’s most acclaimed albums, such as 1971’s “Blue,” which Rolling Stone deemed the third-best LP of all time.


Mitchell’s and Young’s careers, which began in Canada in the ‘60s and continued in the L.A. folk-rock scene of the ‘70s, are deeply intertwined, with songs such as “The Circle Game” and “Sweet Joni” inspired by each other. Both are signed to Reprise, an imprint of Warner Music.

Other veteran acts have echoed Young’s criticisms of Spotify, including Peter Frampton, who said Thursday, “Good for you Neil. I’ve always been an Apple guy for streaming. No Joe Rogan for me thank you!”

A representative for Spotify did not immediately return requests for comment.

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.

Feb. 2, 2022