With limited-run channels, special programming events, and more, February will spotlight the Black artists and changemakers who have made their mark on history
SiriusXM and Pandora unveiled their lineups of special programming across music, talk, sports, and comedy in honor of Black History Month. While both brands showcase Black history and its influence on culture all year long, throughout February, a collection of limited-run channels and special events will spotlight the artists and other influential figures who have transformed Black communities and shaped society, art, and more.
This year, each platform is bringing its own focus and flair to Black History Month with unique brand campaigns in support of its content. On SiriusXM, IYKYK celebrates those in the know and entices those interested to learn more about the Power of Black Culture, while on Pandora, creative and cultural innovators are honored as leaders of Black Resistance.
“This Black History Month, SiriusXM and Pandora are amplifying the Black experience and the impact of Black artists, creators, our hosts and talent have had on pop culture through our curated cross-platform content,” said Kimberly K. Wilson, SVP, Brand and Consumer Marketing at SiriusXM. “The Power of Black Culture has influenced music of all genres, sports, comedy, and talk. We’re thrilled to honor Black voices across the diaspora and celebrate their brilliance.”
“While we run channels dedicated to amplifying Black voices and highlighting the Black experience year- round, our Black History Month programming aims to honor the generations of Black Americans who have helped shape music as we know it today,” said Dion Summers, VP, Urban Music Programming at SiriusXM. “From jazz and blues to hip-hop and R&B, the influence of Black musicians is present throughout all aspects of American culture, and we’re excited to offer our SiriusXM and Pandora listeners a platform to experience and listen to Black artists’ cultural pride expressed through their music.”
Programming highlights for Black History Month across SiriusXM and Pandora include:
CHANNELS AND MODES
The Apollo Theater Channel: From the early days of Jazz, through decades of R&B and Hip-Hop to today, The Apollo has been, and continues to be, the mecca of Black culture. Now, SiriusXM spotlights the music and artists that have graced the stage and have been influenced by the legendary organization. The Apollo Theater Channel features SiriusXM Apollo shows (including Alicia Keys, H.E.R., and more), artists who’ve performed at the Apollo, and those who’ve been inspired by the Apollo. You’ll also hear classic performances from artists who’ve graced the iconic Apollo stage over the years. The Apollo Theater Channel airs for two weeks on channel 104 starting February 14 and for 30 days on the SiriusXM app.
Notorious Radio: Inspired by the Brooklyn-born rapper, Notorious B.I.G., the Notorious Radio channel will feature his entire catalog of music, along with music of other Hip-Hop artists and luminaries paying tribute to the rap legend gone far too soon. Notorious B.I.G. changed Hip-Hop forever when he burst onto the rap scene in the early 90s, and his laid-back lyrical delivery tells the tales of celebration and strife. Hear why Rolling Stone calls B.I.G. “the greatest rapper that ever lived,” on Notorious Radio for one week starting February 8 on channel 105 and 30 days starting February 3 on the SiriusXM app.
The Whitney Channel: Widely considered The Voice, and the most awarded female artist of all time, the incomparable Whitney Houston continues to inspire and amaze with her signature ballads and upbeat dance songs. The Whitney Channel will feature her many pop and R&B classics, along with remixes and live performances. You’ll also hear from celebrities and fellow artists who had the pleasure of knowing and working with Whitney. During Black History Month, fans can also watch the new biopic, “Whitney Houston: I Wanna Dance With Somebody” on digital (2/7) and Blu-Ray (2/28), a powerful and triumphant celebration of the incomparable Whitney Houston. The Whitney Channel airs on channel 14 and the SiriusXM app for 30 days starting February 3.
Black Music Forever: Hear the tracks that currently move The Culture, and discover the music that’s on the come-up. If it’s Hip-Hop and R&B that’s killin’ it in the clubs, or emerging Afropop and Caribbean vibes – hear it all on Black Music Forever airing on channel 105 for one week starting February 15 and for 30 days on the SiriusXM app starting February 3.
For a continued Black History Month music audio experience, Pandora listeners can tune into the platform’s Black Music Forever station. This station features the chart-toppers and sounds of today’s Black music that is shifting the culture, with music from SZA, Diddy, Beyoncé, Lizzo, Travis Scott, Kendrick Lamar, Tems, Lil Nas X, Samara Joy, Jonathan McReynolds, and more. In honor of Black History Month, the station will have a special Awakened Mode, which represents the powerful voices that have broken down barriers in music and worldwide. From Billie Holiday’s “Strange Fruit” to Kendrick Lamar’s “United In Grief,” the Mode will empower listeners to feel energized and committed to resist.
Music that Moves: Throughout the month of February, SiriusXM’s music channels will include a variety of content celebrating Black artists, including:
- A special airing of Rihanna’s Super Bowl halftime show February 12 on The Heat (ch. 46).
- Hip-Hop Nation’s (ch. 44) Swaggy Sie, Torae, Gray Rizzy, DJ Nina 9 all will sit down with emerging artists and tap in on their views of Black History in Music/Hip Hop like Lola Brooke, Domani, TiaCorinne and more on Black History NEXT.
- HITS 1 (ch.2) will celebrate and elevate Black Pop Artists and showcase music and conversation with Lizzo, Lil Nas X, Beyonce, The Weeknd, Doja Cat, Metro Boomin, Nicky Minaj, Steve Lacy, SZA, Rema, and more all month long.
- Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis sit down for an onstage conversation about their body of work, their impact and legacy for a special on Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Radio (ch. 310).
- Jamaican singer, songwriter and actor, Ziggy Marley, spotlights five of his favorite MC’s and plays a song from each on Rock the Bells Radio (ch. 43) in The Furious Five.
- And The History of Soul Music A-Z, hosted by Valerie Simpson, will air on Soul Town (ch. 49).
Pandora Celebrates Black Resistance: As a part of Pandora honoring, celebrating, and giving space to Black resistance through February, the audio service is putting a spotlight on podcasts which fit this theme. This includes A Word with Jason Johnson, History is US, I Am Athlete, Know Mercy with Stephen A Smith, LeVar Burton Reads, Our Body Politic, Pod Save the People, Into America, Super Soul, and Toure Show.
NBA HBCU Classic and HBCU Legacy Bowl broadcasts: SiriusXM will produce and air the national audio broadcasts of two sporting events involving Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) in February. The NBA HBCU Classic basketball game, featuring Grambling State University vs. Southern University, will air on SiriusXM NBA Radio (ch. 86) on February 18 at 4:00pm ET. The HBCU Legacy Bowl, an all-star game that features the best NFL draft-eligible football players from HBCUs, will air on SiriusXM College Sports Radio (ch. 84) on February 25 at 4:00pm ET.
Sports Tributes and Trailblazers: Across SiriusXM’s sports channels, Black athletes and leaders will be honored through a variety of special rebroadcasts. This includes:
- Trailblazers: A Celebration of Black History in the NFL on SiriusXM NFL Radio (ch. 88);
- Bill Russell Tribute on SiriusXM NBA Radio (ch. 86);
- Muhammad Ali Tribute on SiriusXM Fight Nation (ch. 156);
- 2014 Town Hall with Pele on SiriusXM FC (ch. 157);
- A series of specials on MLB Network Radio (ch. 89) celebrating all-time great players Jackie Robinson, Willie Mays, and Hank Aaron, as well as roundtable conversations with contemporary black ballplayers who discuss the trailblazers that came before them along with their own experiences on and off the diamond.
- And SiriusXM’s Black Diamonds podcast, hosted by Negro Leagues Baseball Museum president and historian Bob Kendrick, tells the in-depth stories about the players, people and events that shaped the legendary Negro Leagues. Episodes are available on podcast platforms and on MLB Network Radio (ch. 89).
Comedy: SiriusXM’s comedy programming will take a look at some of the biggest names in standup, past and present, celebrating Black excellence in comedy. Coverage includes:
- Weekly hour-long themed comedy blocks on Kevin Hart’s Laugh Out Loud Radio (ch. 96), including the 1960s/70s, the 1980s/90s (hosted by Sinbad), Fresh Faces, and The Kings of Comedy (hosted by Cedric the Entertainer).
- On She’s So Funny (ch. 771), hosts Sha Hayes & Del Harrison from UpLate with Sha & Del will celebrate Black Excellence and Love.
- Stand-up comedian Roy Wood Jr. is taking over Comedy Central Radio (ch. 95), lending his own witty insight and playing comedy from some of his favorite comedians in a celebration of Black History Month on Friday, February 3 at 6:00pm ET.
- Fridays during the month of February, Comedy Greats (ch. 94) will broadcast exclusive content from Jamie Foxx and Paul Mooney.
- On Laugh USA (ch. 98), listeners will hear a compilation of the funniest Black artists in modern comedy, which will air every Monday and Wednesday at 11:00am and 2:00pm ET.
- Raw Dog Comedy (ch. 99) will also broadcast half hour blocks of comedy from some of the best current and rising Black comedians, which will air every Friday at 12:00pm ET and Saturday at 6:00pm ET.
Talk: Throughout the month, SiriusXM will also spotlight special talk programming including:
- Urban View (ch. 126) is the home for dynamic discourse from prominent Black voices – including Joe Madison, Karen Hunter, Clay Cane, Lurie Daniel Favors, Heather B., Rev. Al Sharpton and more – and every day will continue to cover issues impacting the African- American community.
- All throughout the month Progress (ch. 127) will place a spotlight on Congressional Black Caucus members, as they discuss their achievements and the issues they’re still tackling, as well as conversations about how to keep people of color engaged and active in the political arena.
- Doctor Radio (ch. 110), presented by NYU Langone Health, will feature special live weekly programming focused on health-related topics and issues facing Black communities, including a one-hour special hosted by Dr. Joseph Ravenell from the Department of Population Health at NYU Langone Health on Friday, February 10 from 10:00-11:00am ET which will focus on various aspects of healthcare for African-Americans, and will highlight racial disparities in health.
- Business Radio will present special programming highlighting Black entrepreneurs and trailblazers in business and corporate America, with programs such as Wharton Business Daily, Randi Zuckerberg Means Business, and Marketing Matters featuring guests and entrepreneurs who are sharing pivotal moments in Black business history.
- Kids Place Live (ch.78) will kick off the month with interstitials from Black artists who will share stories about luminaries in Black history. The channel will also highlight family- centric songs by Black artists, from both current and past musicians. Additionally, every weekend the channel will feature a Black History Month-themed “Weekend Party Mix” special show hosted by KPL’s resident DJ, DJ Willy Wow. The special Black History RAP- up features music of luminary Black artists and focuses on historical figures. It will air Friday, February 3 at 6:00pm ET.
About Sirius XM Holdings Inc.
SiriusXM is the leading audio entertainment company in North America with a portfolio of audio businesses including its flagship subscription entertainment service SiriusXM; the ad-supported and premium music streaming services of Pandora; an expansive podcast network; and a suite of business and advertising solutions. Reaching a combined monthly audience of approximately 150 million listeners, SiriusXM offers a broad range of content for listeners everywhere they tune in with a diverse mix of live, on-demand, and curated programming across music, talk, news, and sports. For more about SiriusXM, please go to: http://www.siriusxm.com.
About the Apollo
The legendary Apollo—the soul of American culture—plays a vital role in cultivating emerging artists and launching legends. Since its founding, The Apollo has served as a center of innovation and a creative catalyst for Harlem, the city of New York, and the world. In 2023, The Apollo will open The Apollo’s Victoria Theaters, which will include two new theater spaces, and begin the renovation of its Historic Theater, marking the first ever expansion and renovation of The Apollo in its nearly 90-year history. Read more about the project here: www.apollotheater.org/renovation-restoration-and-transformation/
With music at its core, The Apollo’s programming extends to dance, theater, spoken word, and more. This includes the world premiere of the theatrical adaptation of Ta-Nehisi Coates’s Between the World and Me and the New York premiere of the opera We Shall Not Be Moved; special programs such as the blockbuster concert Bruno Mars Live at the Apollo; 100: The Apollo Celebrates Ella; and the
annual Africa Now! Festival. The non-profit Apollo is a performing arts presenter, commissioner, and collaborator that also produces festivals, large-scale dance and musical works organized around a set of core initiatives that celebrate and extend The Apollo’s legacy through a contemporary lens, including the Women of the World (WOW) Festival as well as other multidisciplinary collaborations with partner organizations.
Since introducing the first Amateur Night contests in 1934, The Apollo has served as a testing ground for new artists working across a variety of art forms and has ushered in the emergence of many new musical genres—including jazz, swing, bebop, R&B, gospel, blues, soul, and hip-hop. Among the countless legendary performers who launched their careers at The Apollo are Ella Fitzgerald, Sarah Vaughan, Billie Holiday, James Brown, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Luther Vandross, H.E.R., D’Angelo, Lauryn Hill, Machine Gun Kelly, and Miri Ben Ari; and The Apollo’s forward-looking artistic vision continues to build on this legacy. For more information about The Apollo, visit www.ApolloTheater.org.
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