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Bruce Springsteen guitarist Nils Lofgren joins Spotify boycott

In this archive photo from March 15, 2016, Bruce Springsteen, in the middle, performs with Nils Lofgren, left, and Steven Van Zandt from the E Street Band during their concert at the Los Angeles Sports Arena in Los Angeles. Springsteen’s latest album, “Letter To You” will be released on October 23.

Chris Pizzello | AP

Rock and Roll Hall of Famer and Bruce Springsteen’s E Street Band guitarist Nils Lofgren is the latest musician to download songs from Spotify to protest the streaming service carrying comedian Joe Rogan’s podcast.

In a statement on Saturday, Lofgren urged others to stand with “hundreds of health professionals, scientists, doctors and nurses in shouting Spotify to promote lies and misinformation that hurt and kill people.”

Lofgren said the last 27 years of his music have already been removed from Spotify and he is working with music companies to get the previous songs removed.

Spotify is facing backlash for its decision to continue broadcasting Rogan’s popular podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” despite concerns that it is spreading misinformation about Covid. Rogan interviewed Dr. Robert Malone, an infectious disease specialist who has become well-known among anti-vaccine Americans. Malone has been banned from Twitter.

Spotify could not be immediately reached for comment. In a statement Thursday, the company said it was reviewing content for misinformation and has “removed over 20,000 podcast episodes related to Covid-19 since the start of the pandemic.”

Neil Young began the protest, insisting that Spotify remove his music. Joni Mitchell said Friday that she would join the protest and also have her music pulled.

Bruce Springsteen (L) and Nils Lofgren with the E Street Band perform in Veterans Park to celebrate the 105th anniversary of Harley-Davidson motorcycles in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on August 30, 2008.

Allen Fredrickson | Reuters

“Irresponsible people are spreading lies that cost people their lives,” Mitchell said Friday in a message posted on her website. “I stand in solidarity with Neil Young and the global scientific and medical community on this issue.”

That’s what best-selling author Brene Brown said on Twitter on Saturday she would “not publish any podcasts so far.” She is behind the popular podcasts “Unlocking Us” and “Dare to Lead”.

CNBC could not immediately reach Brown for comment on the decision.

Separately, Prince Harry and his wife, Meghan, have expressed concern to Spotify over misinformation about Covid, but said they will continue working with the company, according to a Reuters report on Sunday. The report quoted a spokesman for Archewell, the couple’s foundation. The couple signed an exclusive streaming deal with Spotify in 2020.

Spotify’s shares closed Friday at $ 172.98, up about 1%. Shares have fallen about 26% so far this year. The company’s stock hit a 52-week low of $ 164.41 on Friday amid market turmoil and the Spotify controversy.

– The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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