Neil Young is an American-Canadian musician who has had a successful career spanning four decades. He first came to fame in the late 1960s as a member of the band Buffalo Springfield, and later as a member of Crosby, Stills, Nash and Young. After this, he began embarking on a solo career, although often recording with the band Crazy Horse, as well as recording an album with fellow Buffalo Springfield and CSN&Y member Stephen Stills under the name The Stills-Young Band.
Although much of Young's early solo work is undeniably folk-influenced, he has experienced with many different musical genres, including industrial, country music, rockabilly and grunge rock. (Young is often referred to as the "godfather of grunge" due to his influence on the grunge movement.)
Lynyrd Skynyrd's song "Sweet Home Alabama" was in response to Neil Young putting down southerners in his songs "Alabama" and "Southern Man".
Young has strong liberal political views. In 2006, he released an album, Living with War, which included a song called "Let's Impeach The President". The first line of that song is "Let's impeach the president for lying and leading our country into war." Another controversial line in the song is "What if Al Qaeda blew up the levees? Would New Orleans have been safer that way?"
Young, however, was described by an interviewer having "been known to support" conservative US president Ronald Reagan in 1989. In 1990, Young said that he never supported Reagan "in a blanket sense", but felt he had some policies that "were good ideas".
In January 2022, Young demanded to audio streaming platform Spotify, via an open letter posted to his website, that it had to choose between having his music on the platform and having the podcasts of Joe Rogan; Spotify responded by dropping Young, who drew far fewer listeners per year on Spotify than Rogan does per episode of his podcast. Young had made the demand based on his objections to what he claimed, without proof, was "misinformation" from the Rogan podcasts regarding COVID-19 "vaccines", the safety thereof and the controversy surrounding them in an attempt to get Rogan removed from Spotify, but Young's attempt to utilize cancel culture against Rogan backfired on him when Spotify sided with Rogan and removed Young's music instead. As a result of the decision by Spotify, Young deleted his open letter from his website, which led to mockery against him on social media while several critics pointed out that Young does not have the legal power to make the demand he made, as Young sold 50% of the ownership of his music catalogue to a British investment firm several years ago, and his demand against Spotify was also criticized as a publicity stunt intended to keep his name in the news.