Grammy Awards Postponed Amid ‘Dangerous’ COVID-19 Surge in LA County

Grammy Awards 2020 (Credit: Shutterstock)

The entertainment industry has been dealt another blow with the Grammy Awards being postponed as the COVID-19 pandemic spirals out of control in Southern California.

The awards had been set to take place at the Staples Center on Sunday, Jan. 31, but the Recording Academy and CBS said Tuesday the show would be rescheduled.

“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,” Grammys organizers said in a joint statement. “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,” added the statement from Harvey Mason Jr., interim president/CEO of the Recording Academy; Jack Sussman, executive vice president of Specials, Music, Live Events and Alternative Programming for CBS; and Grammy Awards executive producer Ben Winston.

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As previously reported, Trevor Noah was booked to host the ceremony on CBS.

News of the postponement came one day after the final round of voting ended for the Grammys.

There had been speculation in the industry that the awards might go on, but with coronavirus-related deaths surging in Los Angeles County, and ambulance companies being told not to transport patients with little chance of survival because hospitals are overwhelmed, it was unlikely that the Grammys could safely take place as planned.

On Jan. 4, L.A. County reported on its COVID dashboard that 827,498 people have been infected with the virus and 10,850 have died since the pandemic began.

“We are in the midst of an unprecedented and dangerous surge,” Los Angeles County Supervisor Hilda Solis said in a Monday briefing.

Meanwhile, the health department is urging residents not to leave their homes.

“Everyone should keep in mind that community transmission rates are so high that you run the risk of an exposure whenever you leave your home,” said L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer. “Assume that this deadly invisible virus is everywhere, looking for a willing host.”