Victoria musician Stephen Fearing pulls music from Spotify, joining Young and Mitchell in protest

Juno Award-winning musician and co-founder of Blackie and the Rodeo Kings stephen fearing has removed his solo work from Spotify.

Fearing, who lives in Victoria, made the announcement on social media on Monday, joining fellow Canadian artists Neil Young and Joni Mitchell in their fight against COVID-19 misinformation on the audio streaming platform.

“What a relief! After years of holding my nose to the stench of @spotify. I’m retiring the music I own. We all have to pick our battles and I’m a very small player, but it feels good to take stand alongside those I admire,” he wrote on Twitter.

Although known as one of the founders of highly respected roots rock bands in North America, as a solo artist Fearing has released 10 albums and numerous awards, including a 2007 Juno Award for the album Roots & Traditional of the Year (yellow jacket).

Meanwhile, Quebecer Gilles Vigneault also released his catalog of Spotify.

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In a statement on Monday, the famous singer-songwriter says that with the support of his record label Tandem, he is asking for all of his music to be removed from the digital platform.

Young pulled his music last week after the company refused to get rid of episodes of The Joe Rogan Experience podcast, which he criticized for spreading false information about viruses.

He asked others to support the cause, and Mitchell announced on Friday that she would also be taking down her music.

Spotify said Sunday that he will soon add a disclaimer before all podcasts that discuss COVID-19, directing listeners to factual, up-to-date information from scientists and public health experts.

The company has also sought to increase the transparency of its publishing decisions by defining the rules it uses to protect user safety.

Last month, Rogan interviewed Dr. Robert Malone, an infectious disease specialist who has become a hero in the anti-vaccine community. Malone was banned from Twitter for spreading misinformation about COVID-19 and falsely suggested that millions of people have been hypnotized into believing vaccines work to prevent serious illness.

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Rogan said on Sunday that he was not trying to spread false information, but was trying to have conversations on his podcast with people who have “differing opinions.” Rogan also welcomed the idea of ​​adding reviews before podcasts related to COVID-19.

Vigneault, 93, who wrote Quebec’s unofficial anthem “Les gens du pays,” says he supports Young and Mitchell’s approach.

“I find, for my part, and I have always found, that when an artist from any known humanistic culture sets a good example of civic rigor and intellectual rigor, there are compelling reasons to follow him” , Vigneault said in a statement posted on his website.

“I therefore find that Neil Young and Joni Mitchell are right to give us this example, and it is as honorable as it is relevant to follow them in their rejection of the proven dangerous lies professed by the theorists of galloping populism.

With files from The Canadian Press

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