The 2021 Grammy Awards ceremony has been postponed, due to concerns about the spread of the coronavirus. The Recording Academy announced on Tuesday that the ceremony will not take place on Jan. 31, as previously scheduled, but is instead being pushed off until March 14.
In most years, the awards ceremony takes place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles, which is also where the 2021 ceremony was scheduled to take place. The Los Angeles area, however, is experiencing a significant increase of COVID-19 infections that is expected to worsen, as NPR reported earlier Tuesday. The LA County director of health services, Dr. Christina Ghaly, said at a briefing Monday that many regional hospitals "have reached a point of crisis" and are being forced to make "very tough decisions about patient care."
The Recording Academy, its broadcast partner CBS, and the event's executive producer, Ben Winston (who is in his first year in that role), issued a joint statement Tuesday which read: "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."
This year was supposed to represent something of a fresh start for the Grammys, which were overshadowed last year by a variety of bombshell accusations made by the Recording Academy's now-ousted, short-lived former chief, Deborah Dugan, including allegations of sexual misconduct against her predecessor, Neil Portnow, and the Academy's general counsel and former board chair, Joel Katz (who both denied the accusations). She also made accusations of financial mismanagement, self-dealing and vote rigging. Dugan was replaced by the Academy's chairman and now interim chief executive, Harvey Mason Jr.
[Up until about a decade ago, I was a Grammy voter, and also served on one of the small "craft" committees that judges one of a handful of Grammy categories outside the "nomination review" process, and that are not voted on by the general membership. In addition, my husband, Joshua Sherman, is also a former Grammy voter and Grammy committee member; he was also part of teams that created several Grammy-winning recordings, and he produced several other Grammy-nominated albums.]