UPDATED with new date: The Recording Academy confirmed Tuesday that it is moving the 63rd Grammy Awards from January to Sunday, March 14 because of the surge of coronavirus cases especially in Los Angeles, where the event is held.
“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,” read a joint statement from the academy and CBS today. “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.”
The announcement was made by Recording Academy chair and interim president/CEO Harvey Mason Jr, CBS EVP Specials, Music, Live Events and Alternative Programming Jack Sussman and Grammys executive producer Ben Winston of Fulwell 73 Productions.
“We want to thank all of the talented artists, the staff, our vendors and especially this year’s nominees for their understanding, patience and willingness to work with us as we navigate these unprecedented times,” they said.
The Grammys had been scheduled for January 31 on CBS live from Los Angeles’ Staples Center, with Trevor Noah hosting an already scaled-back event. They will now air March 14 from 8-11 p.m. ET/5-8 p.m. PT.
Los Angeles has been a global hotspot for Covid-19, with the county just today eclipsing 11,000 total deaths (11,071) from the virus. To date, there have been 840,611 positive cases according to the L.A. County Department of Public Health. Officials said the country has experienced more than 1,000 new deaths in less than a week; on December 30, L.A. Public Health reported 10,056 deaths. There are also a record 7,898 people with Covid currently hospitalized.
PREVIOUSLY, 12:26 PM: The Recording Academy is postponing the 2021 Grammy Awards until later in the spring in response to the surge of coronavirus cases impacting the U.S.
The event had been scheduled for January 31 on CBS live from Los Angeles’ Staples Center, with Trevor Noah hosting an already scaled-back event (no audience, no nominees on site a la the Emmys). We are hearing the new Grammys date is likely to be set sometime in March, as reported by Deadline’s sister publication Rolling Stone.
Deadline has reached out to CBS for comment.
The Grammys site still has its countdown clock for the January date, but sources confirmed the change Tuesday. Voting for this year’s awards by members of the Recording Academy closed Monday.
Nominations for the 63rd annual Grammys were unveiled in November, with Beyoncé leading the field with nine noms. She is joined by Taylor Swift, Billie Eilish, Dua Lipa, Post Malone and Black Pumas with multiple noms in the General Field categories.
Doja Cat and Megan Thee Stallion also received multiple noms, and both will face off in the Best New Artist category with Phoebe Bridgers, Ingrid Andress, Chika, Noah Cyrus, D Smoke and Kaytranada.
The news comes as the movie awards season is gearing up, with the Oscars this year already moved to its latest date ever, April 25, in hopes the pandemic will have ebbed. Other awards shows from the Golden Globes and BAFTAs to the guilds have also pushed back their normal start dates.