James Blunt has come out swinging. In a tweet posted last week, the British singer-songwriter and master of self-deprecation has threatened to upload new music to Spotify if Joe Rogan isn’t immediately removed.
Over the last week, Neil Young and Joni Mitchell have both removed their music from the platform in response to COVID misinformation dispersed by the Spotify exclusive podcast, The Joe Rogan Experience. But Blunt is the first artist to consider sullying the platform with new music.
— James Blunt (@JamesBlunt) January 29, 2022
Blunt’s biggest hit ‘You’re Beautiful’ came out in 2005. His most popular album, Back to Bedlam, came out the previous year. Blunt is still attracting close to ten million monthly listeners on Spotify, but the implication – and punchline – of his tweet is that his best years are behind him.
Early last week, Young took a stand against “dangerous life-threatening COVID falsehoods found in Spotify programming.” In a blog post titled “Spotify: In the Name of Truth”, Young confirmed his departure from the streaming giant. “I realized I could not continue to support Spotify’s life threatening misinformation to the music loving public,” he wrote.
Mitchell followed suit just days later, writing on her website that, “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.”
The artists’ activism is rooted in an open letter signed by a coalition of scientists, medical professionals, professors, and science communicators, which draws attention to episode #1757 of The Joe Rogan Experience, featuring controversial anti-vaxxer Dr. Robert Malone.