SiriusXM, Pandora, Stitcher launch new channels, podcasts, and events for Black Music Month

June is Black Music Month, siriusXM is marshalling its sprawling inventory of audio platforms in a combined celebration and promotion. The company, along with its Pandora and Stitcher subsidiaries, announced the launch of three exclusive limited-engagement channels, a groundbreaking original podcast, and specialty music programming.

We’ve put it all below, and the collaborative programming venture is also described on a special webpage.

Here ‘s the lineup:

The 2PAC Channel (ch. 104) will take listeners on a comprehensive journey through the genius of 2PAC’s full music career. Hear about the iconic artist’s life and music, first-hand, with exclusive commentary from his close friends and peers, including E.D.I. Mean, an original member of 2PAC’s group The Outlawz.  The channel will also feature an original series where artists and celebrities will guest DJ their personal favorites from the legendary artist.

The Prince Channel (ch. 333) will feature music from his vast catalog over the decades, ranging from his signature funk, slow jams, psychedelic rock and everything in between.  The channel will also spotlight Prince favorites from those who knew him best with Purple Playlists, B-sides and live performances.

Black Music Forever Radio (ch. 105), which originated and exists as a Pandora station, will spotlight the latest hits from current and breaking Black artists in hip-hop, R&B and Pop.

The Beatles Channel (ch. 18) will debut a four-part series, A Shot of Rhythm and Blues:  Exploring The Beatles and Black Music on June 7 at Noon ET.  Hosted by Meshell Ndegeocello, the series will explore the relationship between The Beatles and Black music, uncover The Beatles’ earliest R&B heroes, and expose the many Black artists that went on to cover the music of The Fab Four.  New episodes will debut at Noon ET on Mondays throughout the month of June.

bpm (ch. 51) and Diplo’s Revolution (ch. 52) will feature music and exclusive audio from the top Black artists in Dance music such as, Aluna, DJ Sliink, UNiiQU3, and more.

Heart & Soul (ch. 48) will spotlight “soulful soundtracks” each weekend in June with music from culturally iconic movies including Waiting to Exhale, Black Panther, Judas and the Black Messiah, and more.  The channel will also feature live performances from Grammy-nominated artists, including Golden Globe winner and Grammy nominated artist Andra Day.

Hip-Hop Nation (ch. 44) will celebrate the anniversaries of past releases from 2 Chainz, Drake, Gucci Mane, and J. Cole, with album specials on their respective release dates.  The channel will also debut a new show, Meez-O-Estates, hosted by 21 Savage’s manager Meezy and crew, dedicated to a no-holds-barred conversation about the state of hip-hop music and culture.  Rising artist, Hotboii will kick off the Summer with a “Summer Wave Special,” highlighting 10 of his favorite Summer bops. HHN will also spotlight empowering Black music with a new playlist, Black Music Matters, each week and air a special rewind of the best performances from the channel’s original “Nation’s Next Virtual Concert” series.

Kirk Franklin’s Praise (ch. 64) will offer fans an interactive experience, with the chance to engage with Kirk Franklin to build a song during Virtual Improv with Kirk Franklin. The channel will also present A Juneteenth Celebration with Kirk Franklin, featuring song and narration from Franklin.

Listeners can also expect take-overs from Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis (The Groove, channel 50), H.E.R. (The Heat, channel 46), Monica (SiriusXM FLY, channel 47) and a special from The Temptations, to celebrate their 60th Anniversary (Soul Town, channel 49).

SiriusXM, Pandora and Stitcher will also present a new original podcast, All Music Is Black Music, with the first episode debuting today. The podcast, hosted by Selema Masekela, with narration by Dr. Dwandalyn Reece of the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture, explores how African American music and culture have shaped the wider contemporary music landscape.

Pandora launched a Black Music Month microsite today, to give listeners an opportunity to discover, experience, and participate in the celebration Black music. The microsite includes:

Content Quiz: Listeners can answer a series of questions that will direct them to the newly launched Modes on the Black Music Forever station, sponsored by Target, for the month of June. The Modes include:

  • The Philly Sound: Hosted by Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, two of the most prolific producers and songwriters in all of music, The Philly Sound commemorates the 50th anniversary of their legendary label, Philadelphia International Records. The duo will share their personal stories about some of the best soul classics ever recorded and early beginnings of Black Music Month with music from The O’Jays, Teddy PendergrassPhyllis Hyman and more.
  • Future Fire: A cross-over of SiriusXM’s The Heat, Future Fire will feature some of the best emerging hip-hop and R&B acts including Mooski, Coi Leray, Giveon, and more.
  • Africa Now: An Afro-Pop special highlighting the best artists throughout NigeriaGhana, and South Africa that epitomize the Black experience of hailing from the birthplace of civilization, featuring music from Burna Boy, Wizkid, Davido, and more.

Pandora Playback with Moneybagg Yo: On June 24, as part of Pandora’s virtual event series, Pandora Playback will feature an in-depth conversation with rapper Moneybagg Yo. He’ll discuss his artistry, recent album A Gangsta’s Pain and his music legacy, plus a special celebration of HBCU (Historically Black Colleges and Universities) music and culture. Beginning June 17, listeners will be able to RSVP for the free event on the microsite.

Spoken word video: Voiced by multi-talented artist Shanelle Gabriel, Pandora showcases and highlights the influence and impact of Black music through the power of spoken word by taking the audience on a historic journey through the decades of deep-seeded roots Black music and culture.


Brad Hill