The 63rd annual Grammy Awards, set to be presented this month, have been delayed amid concerns about COVID-19, as reported by The New York Times (NYT) on Tuesday.
The awards show will now be held on March 14, according to a statement from Grammy organizers.
“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,” said the statement, which was signed by executives at the Recording Academy, which presents the Grammys, and CBS, its longtime broadcast partner as quoted by NYT.
“Nothing is more important,” it added, “than the health and safety of those in our music community and the hundreds of people who work tirelessly on producing the show.”
The delay comes less than four weeks before the ceremony was to be held, on Jan 31, and as unions and entertainment industry groups have called to suspend in-person television and film production in Los Angeles, citing the surging COVID-19 cases.
Beyonce has the most nominations for the ceremony, with nine in eight categories. Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa and the rapper Roddy Ricch are among the other major contenders for awards.
“The Oscars were postponed two months from their original Feb. 28 date to April 25, with the format of the ceremony not yet determined. A week after that delay was announced, the Golden Globes then said that it would hold its ceremony, typically scheduled for January, in-person as usual, at the Beverly Hilton in Beverly Hills, California on February 28 instead,” The New York Times reported further.