Neil Young flooded with support from David Crosby, Mia Farrow and Daryl Hannah amid misinformation row with Spotify

Spotify is removing Neil Young's music from the platform after his recent ultimatum...

Musician Neil Young attends his opening night reception for "Special Deluxe" Art Exhibition
(Image credit: Photo by Angela Weiss/Getty Images)

Neil Young has been inundated with support from fellow stars days after issuing audio streaming giant Spotify with an ultimatum amid an ongoing Covid-19 misinformation row.

The Heart of Gold singer has amassed millions of fans worldwide throughout his long career. But now these loyal listeners will no longer be able to enjoy his hits on Spotify after the platform has begun to remove Neil’s music. This comes after he issued an ultimatum demanding Spotify remove his music if they continued to host Joe Rogan’s podcast The Joe Rogan Experience. 

Though one of the most popular podcasts hosted on Spotify, Neil has accused Joe Rogan’s podcast of spreading misinformation about Covid-19. As reported by The Guardian, Neil allegedly declared in an open letter addressed to his manager and record-label posted on his website which was subsequently removed, “With an estimated 11 million listeners per episode, JRE, which is hosted exclusively on Spotify, is the world’s largest podcast and has tremendous influence. 

Neil Young performs on stage at Barclaycard Presents British Summer Time at Hyde Park

(Image credit: Photo by Jo Hale/Redferns via Getty)

“Spotify has a responsibility to mitigate the spread of misinformation on its platform, though the company presently has no misinformation policy,” he continued, before reportedly going on to declare,  “I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform … They can have Rogan or Young. Not both.”

Following this, Spotify are understood to have begun removing Neil’s music. In response, anti-vaccine conspiracy theories and concerns about the censorship of free speech have circulated, whilst many Neil Young fans are calling for a boycott of Spotify. As a result of this uproar from Neil’s supporters, #CancelSpotify has been trending on social media, encouraging other musicians to follow in his stead. 

Their response has not gone unnoticed, with Neil Young’s wife and acclaimed actor Daryl Hannah taking to Twitter to share the trending terms with fans. She also expressed criticism for Joe Rogan’s podcast and the eventual choice Spotify has made regarding Neil’s ultimatum.

Daryl wrote, “sad to see some confuse censorship & free speech with the choice a private company has in deciding what they profit from a podcaster is free to say whatever they want Just as Neil is free to NOT have his music on a platform that makes $$$ of disinformation that harms folks”. 

Fellow actor Mia Farrow directed similar criticism at Spotify as she Tweeted, “Wow @Spotify  you chose to keep creepy, dangerous liar Joe Rodan over the magnificent Neil Young ?”

Meanwhile, Neil’s former Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young bandmate David Crosby responded, “Right on Neil”, to Steve Silberman’s Tweet about Neil’s ultimatum. 

And it’s not just fellow celebrities who have shown their support, with the Director-General of the World Health Organization, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, writing, “@NeilYoungNYA, thanks for standing up against misinformation and inaccuracies around #COVID19 vaccination.”

“Public and private sector, in particular #socialmedia platforms, media, individuals - we all have a role to play to end this pandemic and infodemic.”

As the controversy continues, Spotify have now released a statement in response to the ongoing situation with Neil Young and the removal of his music. According to The Guardian, it declared simply,  “We regret Neil’s decision to remove his music from Spotify, but hope to welcome him back soon.”

The streaming giant also reportedly explained, We want all the world's music and audio content to be available to Spotify users. With that comes great responsibility in balancing both safety for listeners and freedom for creators.

"We have detailed content policies in place and we've removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to Covid since the start of the pandemic."

Emma Shacklock

Emma is a Royal Editor with eight years experience working in publishing. Her specialist areas include the British Royal Family, ranging from protocol to outfits. Alongside putting her royal knowledge to good use, Emma knows all there is to know about the latest TV shows on the BBC, ITV and more. When she’s not writing about the next unmissable show to add to your to-watch list or delving into royal protocol, Emma enjoys cooking, long walks and watching yet more crime dramas!