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Covid-19 outbreak prompts postponement of Grammy Awards

The Grammy Awards have been postponed for the second year in a row as a result of the coronavirus outbreak in the United States.

It has been announced that the 64th annual Grammy Awards ceremony, which was originally slated for January 31 in Los Angeles, would be delayed due to an increase in instances of the Omicron type, according to a joint statement released on Wednesday by the Academy and CBS. The replacement date will be announced as soon as possible, according to the statement, which also said that “the health and safety of individuals in our music community, the live audience, and the hundreds of others who work diligently to create our event continues to be our number one concern.”

As a result of an increase in cases and before vaccines were widely accessible, the event was postponed by six weeks last year. Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, Vice President Joe Biden’s main medical advisor, projected this week that the newest wave of the pandemic will reach its height in the United States by the end of the month of January.

This year, the composer and bandleader Jon Batiste has received 11 Grammy nominations, which is the most of any other artist, and will compete for both album and record of the year awards at the Grammy Awards in February. In addition to Olivia Rodrigo, Justin Bieber, Billie Eilish, and Doja Cat, there are many more notable candidates. There have been no announcements about the performances as of yet.

The Recording Academy, the institution responsible for the awards, made a last-minute adjustment to the nominating method in November, which was considered rare at the time. Just 24 hours before the nominations were announced, the group voted to increase the number of spots on the ballot in the top four categories — album, record, and song of the year, as well as best new artist — from eight to ten, a move that benefited artists such as Taylor Swift, Kanye West, Lil Nas X, and other rising stars. Drake, who had been nominated for two Grammys but has long voiced ambivalence about the honours, withdrew from the competition two weeks later, citing scheduling conflicts.

Pre-Grammy activities, which take place in the days preceding up to the show and include stars meeting with music industry executives, were also planned for this year by the Recording Academy, which was a first for the organisation.

A tribute to Joni Mitchell, with proceeds going to MusiCares, a charity affiliated with the Grammys that assists artists in need, was set to take place on February 10th, and singers such as James Taylor, Herbie Hancock, Brandi Carlile, and Batiste were scheduled to participate. On top of that, Clive Davis, the 89-year-old music producer, had planned to conduct his annual gala the night before the ceremony took place. The Academy’s statement did not explain whether or not arrangements for these events would be altered.

The Grammys’ main event will take place at Crypto.com Arena, which has been renamed after the company that owns the Grammys’ traditional venue in downtown Los Angeles. Since late last month, the building has been referred to as the Staples Center. Last year, concerts and award ceremonies were held close in the Los Angeles Convention Center, with the most of the events taking place outside. Trevor Noah served as the show’s host, and he will reprise his role this year.

Those who attended the 2021 event, in which numerous musicians competed against one other on a stage designed for many performances, welcomed it as a refreshing new approach. According to Nielsen, however, the Grammys’ viewership dropped by 53% to 8.8 million viewers, marking a record low for the show.

Jonathan James
I serve as a Senior Executive Journalist of The National Era
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