Concerns over the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic will delay the planned 2021 Grammy Awards ceremony.
Initially planned for Jan. 31, this year’s show will be postponed until late March.
The 2021 Grammy nominations were led by Beyoncé (nine), followed by Dua Lipa, Taylor Swift and Roddy Ricch with six nods each. It is uncertain if Trevor Noah will still host the event as originally planned.
This decision comes after a surge of COVID-19 cases in California during the holiday season. The state set a new single-day record of 74,000 new cases on Jan. 4, according to the Los Angeles Times.
“Music’s Biggest Night” usually boasts an audience of 18,000 people for the Grammy Awards.
The news was made official in a joint statement from Harvey Mason Jr. (chair and interim president/CEO of the Recording Academy), Jack Sussman (executive vice president, specials, music, live events and alternative programming, CBS) and Ben Winston (Grammy Awards executive producer, Fulwell 73 Productions).
“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. 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,” the statement reads.
“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,” their statement concludes.
SAG-AFTRA was not thrilled to learn the Grammys would now be airing the same day as the SAG Awards.
“We are extremely disappointed to hear of the conflicting date, March 14th, announced today for this year’s Grammy Awards telecast,” the guild said in a statement, per Variety. “We announced the same date for the SAG Awards last July with the intent to give the greatest possible scheduling consideration for other awards shows. We expect the same consideration from sister organizations throughout the industry.”
This is not the first time such a conflict has occurred. In fact, it happened as recently as last year. The Grammys announced their 2020 awards ceremony for Jan. 26, forcing SAG-AFTRA to move their already-scheduled SAG Awards to Jan. 19.
“The SAG Awards recognizes outstanding acting performances over the past year,” SAG-AFTRA continued in its statement. “We will again put on a spectacular show that accomplishes that mission. Our two organizations, SAG-AFTRA and the Recording Academy, share members and work together effectively to advocate for artists in many areas.”
“In an environment that is increasingly challenging for televised awards programs, we also have a mutual interest in successfully showcasing the artistry and talent of our respective memberships,” the statement concluded. “We are in contact with the Recording Academy and will continue to work with our sister organizations to find ways to make this year’s awards season as successful as possible.”