Grammys Ratings Plummet to All-Time Low This Year

Cardi B Performs at Grammys. (Getty Images for Recording Academy)

Awards shows continue to suffer ratings declines during the pandemic, and the 2021 Grammys are no exception.

USA Today reports Sunday night’s Grammys telecast averaged a record-low 8.8 million viewers, preliminary Nielsen figures show. That’s a steep 53 percent fall compared to January 2020, prior to the coronavirus pandemic, when 18.7 million viewers watched the show.

The Grammy Awards are not alone. Other recent socially-distanced awards shows, including last month’s Golden Globes, also saw their ratings drop significantly.

Related Story: Grammys 2021 – Beyoncé Makes History, Megan Thee Stallion Wins Big

Still, CBS says there’s an upside — the Grammys streaming and social media numbers.

“[The telecast was] the most-streamed Grammy show ever, with live streams across CBS.com, the CBS app and Paramount+. This number was up 83 percent over 2020,” the network said in a press release. “The 63rd annual Grammy Awards was the most social awards program of the year with 77 billion potential impressions.”

This year’s Grammys were hosted by The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah, whose biting opening monologue touched on the COVID-19 crisis, the smog-filled air in Los Angeles and the U.S. Capitol insurrection.

“As you can see here, we’re outside, meaning we get to enjoy the great Los Angeles air, which I know may be as dangerous as COVID, but we’re willing to take the risk,” Noah joked.

The broadcast featured a string of chart-topping artists performing as their peers watched from socially-distanced tables in a tent overlooking the Staples Center in downtown L.A.

Among those performing were Bad Bunny, Cardi B, DaBaby, Lil Baby, Harry Styles, Roddy Ricch, Taylor Swift, and Mickey Guyton — the first Black woman nominated for best country solo performance for her single “Black Like Me.”

Beyoncé also made history when she won her 28th career Grammy, becoming the most decorated singer in Grammys record books.