Los Angeles, CA (January 6, 2021)—With the COVID-19 pandemic spiking throughout California and particularly in Los Angeles, the Recording Academy has pushed its 63rd Annual Grammy Awards broadcast back 42 days, moving it to Sunday, March 14, 2020.
Originally scheduled to take place at Los Angeles’ Staples Center on Sunday, January 31, the event is traditionally the highpoint of the music industry’s year, honoring successes of the previous 12 months while often being used by artists and labels as a highly visible platform for laying the groundwork on upcoming releases and summer tours.
However, with the pandemic raging throughout California—74,000 more cases were reported on January 4, the day prior to the announcement, setting another single-day record for the state—the Recording Academy opted to err on the side of caution. Before the announcement was made, the event was already planned to be drastically different from the often bombastic shows of years past, which have been typically high on production numbers and low on actual award presentations. While still being held at the Staples Center, the ceremony reportedly will still feature performances and award presentations on site—but without the presence of nominees or a live audience.
Most winners of the 83 Grammy Awards categories—including the production categories honoring achievements in production, engineering, mixing, remixing and mastering—are announced and awarded at an entirely separate event: the Pre-Telecast ceremony. In recent years, that occasion has been held midday across the street from the Staples Center at the Microsoft Theater, and livestreamed online. Currently there is no word as to the status of the Pre-Telecast.
A joint statement regarding the main telecast’s changed date was released from Harvey Mason Jr., chair & interim president/CEO of the Recording Academy; Jack Sussman, executive vice president, Specials, Music, Live Events and Alternative Programming, CBS; and Ben Winston, Grammy Awards executive producer, Fulwell 73 Productions, stating, “After thoughtful conversations with health experts, our host and artists scheduled to appear, we are rescheduling the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards to be broadcast Sunday, March 14, 2021. 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. We want to thank all of the talented artists, the staff, our vendors and especially this year’s nominees for their understanding, patience and willingness to work with us as we navigate these unprecedented times.”
The Recording Academy is not alone in punting its ceremony further down the calendar; most of the winter awards season has been shifted to the spring at this point, with the Oscars now set for April 25, and other awards such as the BAFTAs and Golden Globes likewise pushed back.
Recording Academy • www.grammy.com