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COVID-19: Grammy awards moved to March

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The 63rd edition of the prestigious Grammy awards has been postponed due to the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic concerns, according to the Recording Academy and CBS.

The ceremony, one of the biggest awards in the global music industry, was originally scheduled for January 31, but a combination of health and travel concerns, as well as rising infection numbers in Los Angeles and the state of California, has necessitated the shift in date for the event.

A joint statement signed and issued on Tuesday, January 5 by Harvey Mason Jr., Chair & Interim President/CEO of the Recording Academy; Jack Sussman of CBS, and Ben Winston of Fulwell 73 Productions reads: “After thoughtful conversations with health experts, our host and artistes scheduled to appear, we are rescheduling the 63rd Annual GRAMMY Awards to be broadcast Sunday, March 14.

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“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.”

Expressing disappointment over the scheduling conflict, the Screen Actors’ Guilds (SAG) organisers of the Screen Actors’ Guild awards said the new date for the Grammys clashes with the previously announced SAG Awards.

“We announced the same date for the SAG Awards last July with the intent to give the greatest possible scheduling consideration for other awards shows. We expect the same consideration from sister organisations throughout the industry,” SAG said in a statement.

This year’s show was scheduled to be a virtual event in line with other recent award shows, such as the MTV VMAs and the Billboard Awards. Other major award ceremonies, including the Oscars, the Golden Globes and the Brit Awards have already been postponed.

It is unclear whether this year’s host of the Grammys, comedian Trevor Noah, will still take part in this year’s ceremony.

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Recall that nominations for the 2021 ceremony were announced in November, with Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Dua Lipa leading the way. While Beyonce has nine nominations, Nigerian singer and African Giant crooner, Burna Boy got a nomination for the World Music category for his Twice as Tall

This year’s event is the second time the Afrobeat star is being nominated and back-to-back, as he got his first nomination with his African Giant for the same category.

The 63rd Grammy as gathered 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).

Dugan also made accusations of financial mismanagement, self-dealing and vote rigging. The Academy’s chairman and now interim chief executive, Harvey Mason Jr, replaced her.

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