Grammy Awards Postponed Indefinitely as COVID-19 Surges

2021 Grammy Awards (Credit: CBS)

The 64th Grammy Awards are being temporarily shelved because the surge in COVID-19 infections in Los Angeles has created “too many risks,” organizers announced Wednesday.

“After careful consideration and analysis with city and state officials, health and safety experts, the artist community and our many partners, the Recording Academy and CBS have postponed the 64th Annual Grammy Awards Show,” the Recording Academy and CBS said in a joint statement. “The health and safety of those in our music community, the live audience and the hundreds of people who work tirelessly to produce our show remains our top priority.”

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The Grammys had been scheduled to take place later this month at the Arena — formerly the Staples Center — in downtown Los Angeles, with Trevor Noah booked as host. But with the Omicron variant causing cases to skyrocket, show organizers decided to postpone the awards.

“Given the uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant, holding the show on January 31 simply contains too many risks. We look forward to celebrating Music’s Biggest Night on a future date, which will be announced soon,” the statement added.

The announcement comes as the number of daily cases soars around the nation. In Los Angeles County, the public health department reported 21,790 new cases and 24 deaths on Jan. 4 alone. Hospitals are also filling up with 1,994 currently hospitalized with the virus.

The Grammy nominees were announced in November, with Soul composer and The Late Show bandleader, Jon Batiste, leading the competition with 11 nominations including Record of the Year and Album of the Year. He also picked up nominations in the R&B, jazz and American roots categories.

This is the second year the Grammys have been delayed because of COVID-19. Last year’s ceremony was originally scheduled to take place in January, but was moved to March 14, 2021.

The rescheduled and scaled-down show was moved from the Staples Center to the outdoor event deck around the Los Angeles Convention Center.