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Music legend Neil Young gives Spotify ultimatum over Joe Rogan COVID-19 misinformation

Music legend Neil Young gives Spotify ultimatum over Joe Rogan COVID-19 misinformation
Musician Neil Young told music streaming company that it must take responsibility for misinformation spread on its platform. File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

Jan. 25 (UPI) -- Legendary singer Neil Young has given an ultimatum to music streaming service Spotify -- it's either he or Joe Rogan.

The 76-year-old Canadian-born singer said that Spotify must remove all of his music, unless it cuts ties with former television host, podcaster and COVID-19 skeptic Joe Rogan for spreading misinformation about coronavirus shots.

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Rogan's podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience, airs exclusively on Spotify and is one of the most popular programs in the world. Spotify agreed to pay Rogan $100 million in 2020 for exclusive rights to his program. He also tested positive for COVID-19 last summer.

Young said in a letter to Spotify, which was briefly posted to his website, that the streaming service can have Neil Young or it can have Joe Rogan -- but it can't have both.

Spotify is the world's largest streamer of music and holds exclusive rights to Rogan's podcast. File Photo by Monika Graff/UPI
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"I am doing this because Spotify is spreading fake information about vaccines -- potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them," he wrote in the open letter, according to Rolling Stone. "Please act on this immediately today and keep me informed of the time schedule."

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An average of 11 million people listen to each episode of Rogan's podcast, on which he has repeatedly questioned the safety of COVID-19 vaccines. Rogan has also questioned other scientifically-proven medical concepts.

Earlier this month, YouTube took down an episode for violating the platform's community guidelines, which bars misinformation related to COVID-19.

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Young, however, said that Spotify must assume responsibility for mitigating the spread of misinformation.

"I want you to let Spotify know immediately TODAY that I want all my music off their platform," Young wrote in the letter, according to The Guardian.

Spotify did not immediately respond publicly to Young's demand.

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Nearly 300 doctors, scientists and healthcare professionals signed an open letter last month expressed concern about Rogan spreading misinformation.

Young was born in Canada but obtained dual citizenship in the United States in 2020. In addition to his solo music career, he was a part-time member of Crosby, Stills & Nash.

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