Andy Cohen Launching New SiriusXM Music Channel: Exclusive

Andy Cohen
Rob Latour/Shutterstock

Andy Cohen

Media multi-hyphenate Andy Cohen is adding yet another accomplishment to his lengthy CV by launching a new channel on SiriusXM on Wednesday (May 26), Billboard can exclusively reveal. Entitled Andy Cohen's Kiki Lounge, Cohen tells Billboard it's "an absolute music channel" to complement Radio Andy, his talk-centric SiriusXM channel that covers celebrity and lifestyle news.

This new SiriusXM channel, however, is pure music. "It's a passion project," Cohen emphasizes to Billboard. "It's really personal to me and I'm very serious about it." Launching today at noon ET, the channel boasts nonstop music from Cohen's eclectic list of all-time favorites, including Madonna, John Mayer, Dolly Parton, Pink Floyd, the B-52s, the Grateful Dead, Diana Ross and Cher. Even if those names are familiar, Cohen promises not to play the same hits "everyone has heard" over and over. "These are songs that I love that you may have not heard of from artists that I love, all handpicked." Take the Queen of Pop, for example: "Madonna is by far the most played artist in the Kiki Lounge, but the songs I'm playing are not her top 10 songs. They're more like 'Devil Pray' from Rebel Heart or 'Gone' from Music or a random 'Substitute for Love' remix."

The Bravo guru tells Billboard he's starting from a meticulously curated list of 460-some songs that he'll be adding to and subtracting from as the channel evolves. In addition to deep cuts and remixes, expect covers of hit songs you probably haven't heard before. "It's fun to hear a Beatles song but sung by Aretha Franklin or Dolly Parton or Diana Ross," he teases. "That's part of the thing here: I want to surprise people."

Courtesy Photo

Andy Cohen's Kiki Lounge began to take shape after the success of Cohen's Pride Radio takeover in June 2020, which led to SiriusXM president/COO Scott Greenstein approaching Cohen with the idea for an all-music channel. The Watch What Happens Live host jumped at the opportunity, one he's been preparing for since his teens: "I've been creating mixtapes, mix CDs, and playlists as each of the mediums have changed since high school, basically. I love sharing music and making playlists."

While Cohen is the channel's primary programming force, it will also feature blocks from his celebrity friends and trusted DJs. "During the day is music I curated and every night we'll have DJ sets from a different DJ I love," Cohen says, name checking Fire Island legend DJ Lina, Jake Shears of Scissor Sisters, Studio 54 disco icon Robbie Leslie (who was Cohen's most-played Spotify artist of 2020), Chris Malinchak, Nora En Pure, DJ Bill Coleman, DJ Sammy Jo and Purple Disco Machine.

To celebrate the launch of the channel and Memorial Day Weekend, May 29-May 31 is the All-Star Kiki Weekend featuring programming blocks curated by Kelly Ripa, Anderson Cooper, Tito, Marlon and Jackie Jackson, Savannah Guthrie, Hoda Kotb, Willie Geist, Henry Winkler, Wendi McLendon-Covey, Bevy Smith and more. And Cohen gave them the same freedom he gave himself on the channel: "They're picking songs they love from artists they love that you or I may not have heard of."

When asked which three cast members from the Real Housewives franchise he would trust to guest curate the channel, Cohen pauses to genuinely consider the question before replying, "Erika Girardi, Kandi Burruss and Bethenny Frankel." As for live music, Cohen is just as excited as the rest of us to get back out there. "I already have my Dead & Company tickets," he says. More than that, he's also been lucky enough to get an early listen to the new album from one of Dead & Company's members. "I'm really excited about John Mayer's new album which I've heard all of and it's phenomenal," Cohen says. "I absolutely love it. The first single hooks you right away."

Andy Cohen's Kiki Lounge channel is on SiriusXM radios (channel 312) and on the SXM App. From now through June 8, non-subscribers can hear it as part of the SiriusXM Listen Free event.

Billboard Explains: The Billboard Music Awards