The New Bob Marley Channel on SiriusXM

reggae music xm radio

Sirius XM, the premier audio entertainment provider and platform offering subscription- and advertising-supported audio products, recently unveiled Tuff Gong Radio: an exclusively dedicated channel dedicated to Bob Marley that will showcase all his songs as well as rare recordings.

Many subscribers were dismayed at this decision and one musician, Leroy Sibbles, even threatened to cancel his subscription in protest of it.

Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong Radio

Last year, Sirius XM joined forces with the Bob Marley family to introduce three Jamaican music channels on SiriusXM radio: Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong Radio, Tuff Beats and Tuff Soca are streamed purely reggae music ranging from roots music through modern hits curated by their children and grandchildren who continue to make an impactful mark on Jamaican music today.

Bob Marley had an enormous influence on the growth of reggae music both during his lifetime and posthumously, breaking barriers for it. His landmark album Legend spent 13 consecutive weeks on Billboard 200 chart. One Love was named Song of the Century by both BBC and Time Magazine; Tuff Gong International record label was founded to ensure their family legacy of musical creativity would endure for future generations.

Not only is his music featured on his channel, but also special programs and takeovers led by members of his family from three generations. Daughter Cedella hosts a monthly radio series called Nice Time inviting listeners for “an upful bit” of conversation, music and good vibes; while brother Damian Marley hosts Tuff Gong Countdown alongside Squeeze.

Sirius XM subscribers were dismayed at the relocation of The Joint, an international reggae music channel which had long been broadcast as The Joint channel on SiriusXM, to digital channel 722. While users could still stream it online using apps, its presence cannot be heard through car radios where many listen to SiriusXM music. Many subscribers in response started their own reggae channels to honor genre artists like Beres Hammond, Tyrone Taylor, Buju Banton, and Black Uhuru among many more.

Shaggy’s Yard

The channel features an eclectic mix of contemporary, rare and classic tracks from hip-hop, dancehall and reggae genres – with Shaggy providing insights about Jamaican music’s global influence.

Shaggy has an immense appreciation for Jamaican culture, using his voice to advocate for it. He has performed alongside Rihanna, Sting and the Backstreet Boys on stage; was awarded with two Grammy awards; an accomplished musician (Bad Boy/Sweat); also part of Inner Circle Jamaica which became well-known due to their Bad Boys theme song as well as single “Bad Boys.”

Shaggy first made waves as a singer with Gibraltar Musik, a Jamaican-style sound system. Moving to New York City, he quickly gained popularity with local club crowds. Soon thereafter he joined the United States Marine Corps where he served in the Gulf War as a gun bunny before driving into New York on weekends from Camp LeJeune every weekend to record his own music; eventually Boombastic earned him its own Grammy Award nominations in 1996 as Best Reggae Album.

SiriusXM created controversy when they announced they would replace Bob Marley’s Tuff Gong Radio with Shaggy’s Yard as part of their Caribbean music channel selection in March 2020. Leroy Sibbles of Jamaican reggae fame criticized this move and suggested Tuff Gong was siphoning money away from artists, and should instead put back into the industry. Later however SiriusXM clarified this was not necessarily true – simply that their revamp of Tuff Gong saw them add new programming featuring Shaggy as weekly shows hosted by Shaggy himself!

The Joint

SiriusXM’s decision to discontinue The Joint, a channel dedicated to Bob Marley and his legacy, has caused much unease among some Reggae-loving subscribers. Some even cancelled their subscriptions over this decision. Why has this move caused such a stir? One possible reason may lie with royalty rates: while SiriusXM pays artists for music played over satellite radio platforms such as satellite radio stations or streaming platforms like Pandora Radio etc. they tend not pay based on how often their tracks have been streamed compared with paying artists through satellite radio or streaming platforms which makes streaming much less lucrative to artists than radio platforms pay artists.

SiriusXM recently made changes to The Joint by shifting it from channel 42 to an exclusive digital streaming channel only accessible through their app and online, no longer making its content available through portable, fixed and automotive radios. Furthermore, SiriusXM added a special playlist featuring Bob Marley music along with fan takeovers hosted by Cedella himself.

Leroy Sibbles has lambasted The Joint’s relaunch as “problematic for the industry,” noting that its pay structure for streams instead of revenue-generated from spins would reduce artists’ income from their songs.

Eligible customers can receive their first three months of SiriusXM streaming for free – click here to see if you qualify! SiriusXM is the leading audio entertainment company in North America with more than 425 channels of ad-free music, Howard Stern shows and sports coverage – including The Joint. Also, millions of Comcast customers have access to it through Xfinity X1, Flex and XClass TV services.

Pat McKay

SiriusXM’s announcement that they would relocate The Joint, their popular reggae channel, has outraged many listeners who feel it shows disrespect for reggae music and artists as well as missing out on accessing it while driving in cars as most listeners typically listen to SiriusXM.

Established in 2001, this channel quickly established a reputation as a reliable source of reggae music. Notable artists included Beres Hammond, Tyrone Taylor and Buju Banton as well as promising Jamaican musicians looking for exposure. Furthermore, it offered young up-and-comers an invaluable platform to get their songs out there and gain recognition.

The Joint offers more than reggae; their programming has also received praise from many critics. Caribbean and African music can also be found here as guests discuss politics, culture, lifestyle issues.

Pat McKay is an award-winning writer and CD who specializes in branding and social media strategy. He has worked for Apple, Yahoo!, Comcast and numerous agencies such as these; living in Saskatoon with his wife Bobby-Jo and daughter Harper as well as participating in marathons and triathlons for charity running marathons/triathlons/emceeing tournaments supporting Men’s Health is just some of his many endeavors.

DJ Gringo

DJ Gringo developed an early love of music that propelled him through to becoming one of the top mixing and production DJs around. Since his start as a career DJ, he has had opportunities to perform in cities and countries worldwide spreading his message of upliftment, consciousness, unity through reggae to move dance floors and engage crowds.

SiriusXM subscribers will soon have access to his exclusive channel in their cars, apps, and connected devices. It will feature hits and deep cuts from Jamaican, Trinidadian, Afrobeats artists as well as songs released under Tuff Gong record label – something Cedella Marley says would make her father proud – while she hopes the new channel can continue keeping reggae alive.

Pat McKay has long been a familiar face on New York radio, hosting shows on WBLS FM, WRKS AM and iRIE JAM Radio before joining SiriusXM as The Joint’s format manager in June 2000. Her extensive experience in the industry has given her a distinct perspective on reggae music’s influence in popular culture and its effects on popular lifestyle.

SiriusXM understands the power of music as essential to life, with channels tailored to every mood from reggae classics like The Joint to Blvk H3ro’s pulse-pounding beats and beyond – there is something for everyone here! Download their app now to start listening – this offer ends 10/30/18!