Garth Brooks Weighs In on Spotify Controversy, Calls YouTube 'The Devil'

Country icon recalls meeting with "sweetest" people from YouTube, yet deems the online video channel "backward"

Garth Brooks performs during the ASCAP Centennial Awards at The Waldorf Astoria on November 17, 2014 in New York City. Credit: Mike Pont/FilmMagic

Don't be fooled by the selfies and hashtags. One week after Garth Brooks joined Twitter, Instagram and Facebook — where he promised to post "raw stuff… 'cause it's just who I am," starting with a video of Brooks casually reclining on his bed in a California hotel room — the man is still staunchly against the machine. 

In a November 17th appearance on Access Hollywood, Brooks railed against YouTube, calling the video-sharing website "the devil." The conversation started when hosts Billy Bush and Kit Hoover asked Brooks to weigh in on the recent battle between Spotify and top-tier artists like Taylor Swift, which lead to a broader conversation about the way digital music providers hurt not only the artists who release music, but the songwriters who compose it. 

"YouTube; oh my god," Brooks began. "They claim they pay people, [but] they're not paying anything, either. People get millions and millions and millions and millions of views, and they don't get squat. Trust me. Songwriters are hurting. So, I applaud Miss Taylor and I applaud everyone for standing up for the songwriters, because without them, music is nothing."

Although Brooks does not have a YouTube channel, fans and various news outlets have uploaded more than 139,000 of his music videos, live performances and interviews to the website. When Brooks met with the company to ask about pulling all of his content from YouTube's archives, he was told it would be impossible to block any user from uploading Garth-related content. 

"You can't get out of it," he said. "I had the sweetest meeting with [YouTube]. They were all fired up. They were the sweetest, and they're all, like, 12. So young! I said, 'I just have the first question: How do you get out?' Silence. You don't. You don't get out."

Brooks' advice to his fellow artists? Keep fighting the good fight. 

"It's totally backward right now," he allowed. "If the artists would just keep hammering away — unify, stick together — then music will become the king again, which is what it should be. Music should always be first."