The 63rd annual Grammy Awards, set to be presented later this month, have been postponed over concerns about the spread of COVID-19 in Los Angeles area, where the event was planned, multiple sources confirm to Rolling Stone.
Organizers have not confirmed a new date, but sources say they are aiming to hold the event sometime in March.
In an interview in November, when nominations were announced, Harvey Mason Jr., the chairman and interim chief executive of the academy, said that an event was planned for a small audience, but that many other details were still being worked out.
The Grammys was to be held completely without an audience and only allowing presenters and performers on-site during the show.
Nominated artists wouldn’t have been allowed on-site either, likely leading to a situation similar to the 2020 Emmys where nominees appeared and accepted awards remotely.
The 2021 Grammy nominations were led by Beyoncé who picked up nine nominations, while Dua Lipa, Taylor Swift and Roddy Ricch followed behind with six nods each.
It’s unclear if original host Trevor Noah is still set to host this year’s show as representatives for the TV show host and organizers of the award, Recording Academy were yet to make a statement with regards to the suspended award ceremony, as at the time of filing this report.
The news of the delayed award comes as unions and entertainment industry groups have called to suspend in-person television and film production in Los Angeles, citing the danger of overwhelmed hospitals, and as several late-night shows moved back to remote formats.
The academy was expected to issue a formal announcement about the delay later on Tuesday
California as a whole has seen a surge in COVID–19 cases following Thanksgiving and the holiday season, setting a new single-day record of 74,000 new cases on January 4, according to The Los Angeles Times.
In Los Angeles County, the hospital system has been stretched so thin that COVID-19 patients are often forced to wait in ambulances for hours until hospital beds open up.
Also, L.A. County Emergency Medical Services Agency has directed ambulance crews to ration oxygen and not transfer patients who have virtually no chance of surviving.
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