The 2021 Grammy Awards, originally scheduled for January 31, have been postponed to March 14 due to concerns surrounding COVID-19. The Recording Academy issued a joint statement with CBS yesterday (January 5) stating that they came to the decision following “thoughtful conversations with health experts, our host and artists scheduled to appear.”
“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,” the statement continues. “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. 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.”
The statement was signed 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.
As Rolling Stone points out, the Recording Academy was already planning a limited show for 2021, forgoing an audience entirely and only allowing presenters and performing artists to attend.
The Grammys will be held at the Staples Center in Los Angeles. According to the L.A. County Department of Public Health, there have been a total of 840,611 cases and 11,071 deaths in the county to date, with a record 7,898 COVID patients currently being hospitalized.