James Blunt has jokily threatened to release new music on Spotify if the audio streaming service does not remove a podcast by the US commentator Joe Rogan that has been criticised for promoting anti-vax views.
The English singer-songwriter wrote on Twitter on Saturday:
When a Twitter user queried whether Blunt meant instead to say he would not release new music, another user commented: “He means he will. It’s a common joke of James’s on Twitter that his releasing music is a negative thing for the world.”
Blunt’s comments come after Joni Mitchell became the second high-profile musician after Neil Young to remove their music from Spotify in protest against the platform’s promotion of the podcast The Joe Rogan Experience.
Young had demanded Spotify take down his songs unless episodes of the podcast he considered to contain false information about Covid vaccines were removed.
The Canadian-American musician publicly accused Spotify on Monday of “spreading fake information about vaccines – potentially causing death to those who believe the disinformation being spread by them”. “They can have Rogan or Young. Not both,” he said.
Many of Young’s fans and supporters of his pro-vaccine stance called for other artists to follow his lead. The hashtags “I stand with Neil Young” and “CancelSpotify” were soon trending on social media.
Mitchell, 78, said removing her music from the platform was an act of “solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities”.
“Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives,” she said.
Spotify began to remove Young’s music on Friday, saying it regretted the move and hoped he would return to the platform soon.
Blunt added the hashtag #youwerebeautiful to his intervention on Twitter, in reference to his 2005 song You’re Beautiful.