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In the realm of American radio, few voices resonate with the power and influence as Joe Madison, famously known as “The Black Eagle.”

SiriusXM's Sway Calloway And Joe Madison Discuss Madison's New Book, Radio Active, on air, civil rights, the black eagle

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With his passionate advocacy for civil rights, unwavering commitment to social justice and engaging on-air presence, Joe Madison left an indelible mark on the airwaves and the fight for equality and justice, pushing marginalized people and issues to the forefront. 

“What are you going to do about it?” he would often ask his devout listeners. 

While broadcasting, Madison fearlessly pressed politically influential figures to address issues related to human rights and civil rights. He also went to great lengths to create the change he wanted to see. In 2021, the SiriusXM Urban View host went on a 74-day hunger strike to protest Senate Republicans blocking the John Lewis Voting Rights Act, a bill that would strengthen voting rights by expanding the government’s ability to respond to voting discrimination. Madison lost 25 pounds during his hunger protest, according to his 2021 interview on Sway in the Morning. 

Joe Madison’s career and passing.

Madison embarked on his radio career in 1980 at WXYZ in Detroit, according to his website. From there, he ventured to WWDB in Philadelphia, followed by stints at WWRC and WOL in Washington, D.C. The success of his program on WOL led to its syndication on the Radio One Talk Network and its XM satellite channel, which later merged with Sirius to form SiriusXM in 2008. In 2023, Madison hit his 15th anniversary with SiriusXM, a testament to his enduring impact and longevity in the broadcasting industry.

Sadly, on Feb. 2, the inimitable radio host “passed away peacefully” surrounded by his family, according to an announcement posted to his Instagram page.

“Joe dedicated his life to fighting for all those who are undervalued, underestimated and marginalized,” the emotional post read.

In 2009, Madison was diagnosed with prostate cancer. His cancer was in remission for years following treatment, but it resurfaced in 2023.

At the heart of Joe Madison’s radio career lies his deep commitment to advocacy and activism. Whether tackling issues of racial discrimination, police brutality, voter suppression, or economic inequality, Madison fearlessly confronted injustice head-on. Here are notable moments from “The Black Eagle’s” career where he fought fearlessly for change live on-air.


Joe Madison schooled a caller on racism and prejudice.

Madison wasn’t afraid to stand up to a rude caller who dialed into his Urban View show in 2017. The caller, identified as Dan, tried to mansplain racism to the radio veteran. His silly explanation was quickly met with cold hard facts from Madison.

Joe Madison calls out a Trump supporter.

The 74-year-old star went in on a Trump supporter after they dialed in to complain about his views about the infamous MAGA leader. The racist caller, named Mike, wasn’t afraid to show his prejudice stripes either. He called Madison the N-word. However, the hateful remark didn’t stop Madison from delivering a concise clapback.

The Black Eagle takes down a trolling caller who claims he has “a bad attitude.”

In 2016, Madison schooled an angry caller who dialed into the show to complain about his objection to former president Donald Trump’s xenophobic ways and horrible policies. The visitor scolded the radio giant for having a “bad attitude” about 45. Madison let the caller have it.

“I’m a grown ass man. I don’t need you telling me what my attitude is,” he barked as the listener tried to over talk him. “Hey kid, you hear me talking? I don’t give a damn what you think!”


Madison claps back at a conservative caller.

Before Trump took office, Madison checked a conservative caller after they asked him why he was “upset” about the Republican’s presidential campaign. The Detroit native gave the pesky dialer a laundry list of reasons why he was aggravated by the businessman’s bid for the White House.

“I’m upset with the fact that you got a dumb ass candidate that wants to give nukes to Japan and some other countries,” the SiriusXM vet explained.

“I’m upset because we got a dumbass former Vice President, your candidate named Sarah Palin, who doesn’t even make sense when she’s out there stomping on your behalf. I’m upset because you’ve got people who don’t understand that if you increase the minimum wage for folks and give them a livable wage, they won’t have to get on public assistance. Now, that’s why I’m upset. Now, how does that fit for your answer?”

The Black Eagle calls Rush Limbaugh a “fat ass” during interview.

In 2013, Al Sharpton took aim at Rush Limbaugh for his criticism of President Obama and his policies. During an MSNBC segment discussing Limbaugh’s dismissal of the government shutdown, Madison sided with Sharpton and responded to Limbaugh with a succinct yet pointed clapback.

“Fat ass Rush Limbaugh really has some nerve,” he said. “Here was a man that even talked his maid into stealing drugs from her husband so that he could have a high. So, I mean, let’s call it what it is. These people simply have lost their freaking minds, they just can’t handle it.”


Joe Madison Slams dialer who believes liberals are “disgusting.”

Joe Madison offered a searing critique to a conservative caller who urged for Trump to leave “liberals” out of his presidential policies. His answer left the caller speechless on-air.

Joe Madison calls out Conservative Political Commentator Allen West.

Allen West was no match for Joe Madison during his 2016 on-air interview with the radio vet. The Black Eagle gave a powerful sermon after West suggested that Black people were “stronger” and more unified during segregation.

Joe Madison schools John Fredericks for defending Trump’s ‘sh*thole’ comment.

In 2018, Madison dragged Trump’s former campaign co-chair, John Fredericks, after he defended the former president’s harsh comments about African countries, Haiti, and El Salvador. Trump reportedly called them “sh*thole” nations during a discussion on migration. Madison said Trump was flat out “racist” for his remarks.

“John you are a very smart person, but you said something very stupid just a moment ago. It is absolutely racist,” the SiriusXM host argued.


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