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‘Paying Musicians a Fraction of a Penny? And Him $100M’: India.Arie Threatens to Pull Music and Podcast from Spotify Following Joe Rogan’s Comments About Race and COVID

India.Arie is the latest musician to join the group of singers and songwriters threatening to pull their catalog from Spotify. The streaming giant and home to Joe Rogan has come under fire after the controversial podcaster has repeatedly made false claims on several issues involving COVID-19 and race. 

Earlier this week, the Grammy Award-winning artist and host of the podcast “SongVersation,” said she is pulling her discography from the platform due to Rogan’s recent comments about Black people on his podcast, “The Joe Rogan Experience,” in which the commentator reportedly said it was “weird” to describe Black people as “black” unless they were “100 percent African, from the darkest place, where they’re not wearing any clothes all day.”

India.Arie threatens to pull music and podcast from Spotify following Joe Rogan’s comments about race and COVID. @indiaarie/Instagram

“Neil Young opened a door that I MUST walk through,” the 46-year-old wrote in a lengthy post on Instagram. “I believe in freedom of speech. However I find Joe Rogan problematic for reasons OTHER than his Covid interviews… FOR ME  ITS ALSO HIS language around race. 

In another slide, the “Brown Skin” songstress clarified her statement while also addressing Spotify’s business conduct and how it compensates artists featured on its site in relationship to Rogan’s monumental exclusive deal with the streamer.  

“What I am talking about is RESPECT — who gets it and who doesn’t, she continued. “Paying musicians Fraction of a penny? And HIM $100M? This shows the type of company they are and the company that they keep,” she concluded. “I’m tired.”

The Colorado native garnered support from people in the comment section, including actress Yvette Nicole Brown who wrote, “I respect you and your principled decision.” She added, “All money ain’t good money.”

Other fans promised to still support the star with whatever decision she decides to make, including one person who commented, “I will continue to listen to you on other platforms.” They noted, “Few artists can uplift my soul the way you do.” Another fan wrote, “Proud of you India  I got plenty of your CD’s to keep the music flowing.”

Aerie joins the likes of Joni Mitchell. Neil Young and Graham Nash, who have removed their work off Spotify over Rogan’s COVID-19 remarks. In a statement to The Hollywood Reporter, Nash told the outlet, “The opinions publicized by Rogan are so dishonest and unsupported by solid facts that Spotify becomes an enabler in a way that costs people their lives.”

In response to the overwhelming backlash from fans and artists, Spotify CEO Daniel Ek announced several new changes made to the platform, including adding a dedicated content advisory to podcast episodes containing coronavirus discussions.


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