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Blues Foundation Teams With SiriusXM to ‘Power’ B.B. King’s Bluesville Channel

The broadcast debut of this year's Blues Music Awards over Labor Day weekend kicks off the alignment between the satellite service and the charitable foundation for programming based on their awards events and performances.

IMAGE DISTRIBUTED FOR NADCP - Shemekia
AP Images for NADCP

SiriusXM and the Blues Foundation are set to announce on Monday that they’re teaming up for the latter org to provide content for the B.B. King’s Bluesville channel. The collaboration will have the Foundation providing archival content from signature events like its annual Blues Hall of Fame induction events, along with the broadcast premiere of this summer’s Blues Music Awards show.

The 2020 Virtual Blues Music Awards show, which was originally held online in May due to the pandemic, will have its SiriusXM bow on Bluesville, aka channel 74, Sept. 4 at 9 p.m. ET, with four re-airings throughout Labor Day weekend.

“The Blues Foundation is quite excited by this new partnership we are embarking upon with B.B. King’s Bluesville on SiriusXM,” said Barbara Newman, president and CEO of the Blues Foundation. “That channel will now be powered by the Blues Foundation, which means that we will be providing and helping develop content to broaden the reach of the blues while offering continuing educational information to the broad spectrum of listeners who subscribe to the SiriusXM network. We hope that more listeners will tune in and that our continued collaborative efforts will help us fulfill the Blues Foundation’s mission to preserve, celebrate and expand awareness of the blues.”

“We are excited to work with the Blues Foundation to create a deeply curated and unique music destination for our subscribers who love the blues,” said Steve Blatter, Sirius XM’s senior VP and general manager for music programming.  “This collaboration will enhance the B.B. King’s Bluesville listener experience with a variety of archival content that only the Blues Foundation can provide. This is a great way to further celebrate and preserve the blues heritage in America.”

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SiriusXM’s Bluesville channel teams with Blues Foundation Courtesy SiriusXM

The Blues Music Awards show was hosted by SiriusXM host Shemekia Copeland (seen above), with performances from home by nominees including Tommy Castro, Walter Trout, Thornetta Davies, Southern Avenue, Sue Foley, Billy Branch, Victor Wainwright, Samantha Fish and Kingfish. Also appearing as presenters or special guests were famous names like Bonnie Raitt, Bettye LaVette, Steve Miller, Dion, Little Steven Van Zandt, Charlie Musselwhite, Ruthie Foster, Fantastic Negrito, Keb’ Mo,’ Warren Haynes, Willian Bell, Robert Cray, Beth Hart and Elvis Bishop. Flashback performances from the archives by Koko Taylor, Honeyboy Edwards, Irma Thomas, Luther Allison and Taj Mahal round out the show.

The awards show being aired by Bluesville was dominated by Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, who won five trophies: best emerging artist album, best contemporary blues album, album of the year, best contemporary blues male artist and best instrumentalist. Sugaray Rayford picked up entertainer of the year. Among the veteran winners were Mavis Staples as vocalist, Bobby Rush for soul blues album, LaVette for soul blues female artist, and Jimmie Vaughan for traditional blues male artist. Show host Copeland won as 2020’s contemporary blues female artist.

Repeat airings of the Blues Music Awards after the Friday premiere come come Sept. 5 at 3 a.m. and 6 p.m. ET, and Sept. 6 at 6 a.m. and 3 p.m. ET.