Concerns about travel, COVID-19, and the health of hosts and artists led The Recording Academy to select a later date for the ceremony.
The 2021 Grammy Awards previously scheduled for January 31 have been postponed.
On Tuesday evening, The Recording Academy announced that the ceremony will be moved to March 14. An official statement read:
“After thoughtful conversations with health experts, our host and artists scheduled to appear, we are rescheduling the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards® to be broadcast Sunday, March 14, 2021. The deteriorating COVID situation in Los Angeles, with hospital services being overwhelmed, ICUs having reached capacity, and new guidance from state and local governments have all led us to conclude that postponing our show was the right thing to do. Nothing is more important than the health and safety of those in our music community and the hundreds of people who work tirelessly on producing the show.”
According to a Rolling Stone report, the January date was scrapped due to COVID-19 concerns. The initial date was also postponed due to health and travel concerns in addition to the spike in cases in Los Angeles, the previously slated location for the event.
The Grammys were initially planned to take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, per Variety. Due to the pandemic, Grammy chief Harvey Mason Jr. told Variety last summer that the plan was to move forward with either a limited audience or no audience. In recent weeks, he shared the show would be held “in or around downtown Los Angeles.” This pointed to the possibility of performances being staged from venues in the area.
In November, Mason stated that the Grammys were looking at other shows for ideas, yet “It’s gonna be a show that’s different from the other awards shows that have happened at this point.” He also said, “We’re going to determine as we get a little bit closer what we’re going to do with our audience, but we have some really cool and special things that are coming together for our show.”
Most recently, the BET Awards provided an example of a smooth, enjoyable show lacking a large audience. It was presented as a plethora of high-production music videos and was deemed a success. Fans also seemed to enjoy the Soul Train Awards which featured live performances, hosts Tichini Arnold and Tisha Campbell, and a limited audience.
With the rising number of COVID-19 cases in Los Angeles, it makes sense that the Recording Academy has decided to shift gears and halt the show. On January 4th, a total of 74,000 new cases were confirmed following Thanksgiving and the holiday season, reports The Los Angeles Times.
Beyoncé leads the 2021 Grammy nominations with nine nominations. Behind her are Dua Lipa, Roddy Rich and Taylor Swift who each received six noms. Megan Thee Stallion also received notable nominations including but not limited to “Best New Artist.” Pop Smoke (“Dior”), Giveon (Take Time), Tayla Parx (Women In Music Pt. III; HAIM, Bigger Love; John Legend) and Jacob Collier (Djesse Vol. 3) were also nominated.
At the moment, it’s not clear if Trevor Noah will still be hosting the Grammy Awards.
This article was originally published on January 5, it was updated on January 6.