After wavering on delaying the annual awards show amid a surge in cases of COVID-19 across the country, the 64th Annual Grammy Awards have been postponed indefinitely.
The Los Angeles Times reported the rate of new cases and hospitalizations amid the omicron surge have each surpassed last year’s highs in L.A. County. The Recording Academy had hoped to hold the show before a full audience at its usual venue, the Crypto.com Arena (formerly the Staples Center) in Los Angeles. Variety reports the show may be rescheduled to April or May, though Crypto.com Arena is still scheduled to host hockey and basketball games through the winter and spring.
Comedian and host of The Daily Show Trevor Noah will host the show for the second year in a row. His previous appearance was also delayed from its January 31 date to March 14 of last year following a case surge. Viewers and musicians alike saw an unconventional and dramatically scaled-down presentation that the academy and broadcasters were likely hoping to avoid again. However, critics praised the broadcast’s focus on live music, with Rolling Stone‘s Rob Sheffield calling it the “best Grammy show ever, by an absurd margin.”
The Recording Academy and CBS issued a statement on Wednesday that reads:
After careful consideration and analysis with city and state officials, health and safety experts, the artist community, and our many partners, the Recording Academy and CBS have postponed the 64th annual Grammy Awards show. The health and safety of those in our music community, the live audience and the hundreds of people who work tirelessly to produce our show remains our top priority. Given the uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant, holding the show on January 31st simply contains too many risks. We look forward to celebrating Music’s Biggest Night on a future date, which will be announced soon.
Jon Batiste leads the nominators at 11, while Justin Bieber, Doja Cat, and H.E.R each have eight nominations.