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Grammy Awards postponed to March over coronavirus concerns

The Grammy Awards, originally scheduled to take place in January, have been postponed to March due to coronavirus concerns. (Video: Reuters)

The Grammy Awards, originally scheduled to take place on Jan. 31, have been postponed to March 14 due to coronavirus concerns, the Recording Academy announced Tuesday.

The date change was announced “after thoughtful conversations with health experts, our host and artists scheduled to appear,” according to a joint statement from interim Grammys chief Harvey Mason Jr., CBS’s Jack Sussman and executive producer Ben Winston. The statement cited the “deteriorating COVID situation” in Los Angeles — a city so overwhelmed by the illness in recent days that several hospitals have had to turn away ambulances due to a shortage of oxygen — as the reason for the move.

In L.A., where the ceremony was to have taken place, “hospital services have been overwhelmed, ICUs have 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,” they wrote. “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 Recording Academy waited to postpone the Grammys but inevitably followed in the footsteps of the Academy Awards, the Tony Awards and the Golden Globes, all of which announced last year that ceremonies would be moved to later in the winter or spring. The Emmy Awards were held in September as previously planned, but the ceremony was broadcast from a nearly empty Staples Center and honored artists who accepted the awards from their respective homes.

According to Rolling Stone, Grammy organizers had envisioned a limited show similar to what the Emmy organizers pulled off in the fall — only presenters and performers would be allowed at a venue, while all nonperforming nominees would join the festivities virtually. Mason recently told Variety that, in lieu of the spacious Staples Center, organizers were considering holding the ceremony at venues “in and around Downtown Los Angeles.”

The Recording Academy announced in November that comedian Trevor Noah would be hosting the ceremony. Beyoncé led this year’s nominees with nine nods, putting her at 79 career nominations — the most of any female artist. Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa and Roddy Ricch followed with six nods each.

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