Joni Mitchell back on Spotify, following Neil Young’s return

Joni Mitchell

Singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell has quietly returned to Spotify, two years after removing her music from the streaming platform.

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Mitchell, 80, a 10-time Grammy Award winner who also picked up a lifetime achievement award in 2002, followed the lead of fellow singer Neil Young, who announced he was returning to Spotify on March 12, The New York Times reported.

Mitchell has not made an official announcement, but fans on social media noted the reemergence of some of her albums on Spotify, according to the newspaper. By Friday, most of her original albums had returned to Spotify.

Mitchell announced in January 2022 that she was removing her music catalog from Spotify, citing what she called “lies” about COVID-19 vaccines being spread on Joe Rogan’s podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.

Her announcement came days after Young issued an ultimatum to Spotify, telling the company that “they can have Rogan or Young. Not both.” Spotify began removing Young’s music.

In a statement on March 12, 2024, Young said his decision to return “comes as music services Apple and Amazon have started serving the same disinformation podcast features I had opposed at Spotify.”

Mitchell’s move comes two years after she pulled her music in support of Young, according to The Hollywood Reporter.

“Irresponsible people are spreading lies that are costing people their lives,” Mitchell wrote on her website in January 2022. “I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical communities on this issue.”

Representatives for Mitchell, her record labels and Spotify either did not answer or had no comment when asked about the apparent return of Mitchell’s music to the streaming service, the Times reported.

Mitchell was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in May 1997. She is one of 29 elected to the Folk Americana Roots Hall of Fame last year; the ceremony for the inaugural class is scheduled for mid-April.

Mitchell has written hits for herself -- “Help Me,” “Free Man in Paris,” “Big Yellow Taxi” -- and has penned big-selling songs for others. “Help Me” reached No. 7 on the pop charts in June 1974 and was her highest-charting single on the Top 40. The song also went to No. 1 on the easy-listening charts, Rolling Stone reported. The album “Court and Spark” peaked at No. 2 on the Billboard charts and remained there for four weeks.

“Both Sides Now” was a hit for Judy Collins and was featured in the opening ceremonies for the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver.

Mitchell suffered a brain aneurysm in 2015 but has returned to performing in public, Rolling Stone reported. In 2020 she played her first show in more than two decades, appearing at the Newport Folk Festival. The live album from the festival earned Mitchell her 10th Grammy Award. She sang “Both Sides Now” at the Grammy Awards in February in her first appearance on the show.

Mitchell also helped honor Elton John and Bernie Taupin on March 20 as they received the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, according to Rolling Stone.

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