Joe Exotic's Tiger King songs a big hit on Spotify

The Tiger King crooner is especially popular in Denmark and North Dakota.

Gael Cooper
CNET editor Gael Fashingbauer Cooper, a journalist and pop-culture junkie, is co-author of "Whatever Happened to Pudding Pops? The Lost Toys, Tastes and Trends of the '70s and '80s," as well as "The Totally Sweet '90s." She's been a journalist since 1989, working at Mpls.St.Paul Magazine, Twin Cities Sidewalk, the Minneapolis Star Tribune, and NBC News Digital. She's Gen X in birthdate, word and deed. If Marathon candy bars ever come back, she'll be first in line.
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Gael Cooper
2 min read

Joe Exotic is many things, but a musician?

Courtest Netflix

One of the numerous odd side stories to come out of hit  Netflix  documentary Tiger King: Murder, Mayhem and Madness was Joe Exotic's, uh, musical career. The animal park owner wanted to be a country music star and made numerous music videos, but musician Vince Johnson told Vanity Fair he and the late Danny Clinton were the real performers. The show's directors, Eric Goode and Rebecca Chaiklin, told the L.A. Times a fact-checker discovered Joe did sing somewhat on certain songs, so they chose not to call him out on it in the show.

Read: CNET's interview with Joel McHale where he discusses Community and Tiger King.

It may not be Joe himself singing, but that hasn't stopped Spotify from adding several of Joe's songs to its musical streaming service. The song I Saw a Tiger was added to Spotify on March 30, a Spotify representative said in a statement, "following a clamoring from fans to get it added to the platform." Upon checking Monday, we saw numerous other Joe Exotic songs available.

And people are actually listening. The music service notes that in less than two weeks, Joe Exotic's music found listeners in all 79 of Spotify's global markets. 

While the US, with its large population, has the largest sheer number of listeners, Denmark is streaming I Saw a Tiger at a higher rate than any other country, followed by the UK, Ireland and then Iceland. Within the US itself, North Dakota, Mississippi and Montana are the top three states streaming the song.

"As of (April 13), Joe Exotic is averaging an 18% daily increase in its share of streams," the Spotify statement said. And Joe's fans are young, with listeners aged 25-29 consuming his music at the highest rate.

Other Joe Exotic songs now available on Spotify include the unnerving Here Kitty Kitty, which is all about Joe's theory that rival Carole Baskin fed her missing second husband, Don Lewis, to her tigers. Baskin has denied having anything to do with Lewis' disappearance. "I never threatened (Lewis) and I certainly had nothing to do with his disappearance," Baskin says in a statement on her website.

Spotify isn't the only place to get Joe's music. Netflix has added a singalong version of I Saw a Tiger, complete with lyrics and a cute little tiger head bopping along, karaoke-screen-style, to show you when to sing what.

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