Grammy Awards pushed to April due to coronavirus

Music awards ceremony is rescheduled to April 3 in Las Vegas amid rising COVID-19 infections linked to Omicron variant.

Grammy award statuettes are pictured
Nominations for the 2022 Grammys were announced in November, with pianist and bandleader Jon Batiste leading the field of nominees [File: Carlo Allegri/Reuters]

The Grammy Awards ceremony honouring top performances in music has been rescheduled for April 3 in Las Vegas, the Recording Academy and broadcaster CBS have announced, due to rising coronavirus infections.

The awards had been set for January 31 in downtown Los Angeles, but organisers scrapped that plan amid a surge in coronavirus cases linked to the highly contagious Omicron variant across the United States.

The 64th annual Grammys – featuring nominees including Justin Bieber, Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo – now will take place on April 3 at the MGM Grand Garden Arena in Las Vegas. The event will be hosted by comedian Trevor Noah.

“We are excited to take the Grammys to Las Vegas for the very first time, and to put on a world-class show,” Recording Academy CEO Harvey Mason Jr said in a statement.

Nominations for the 2022 Grammys were announced in November, with pianist and bandleader Jon Batiste leading the field of nominees.

The 2021 Grammy Awards also were postponed because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The ceremony was staged in March instead of January and included a mix of pre-recorded and live segments in front of a small, socially distanced audience.

Organisers have provided few details about the 2022 show beyond the new date and location.

They had previously said that hosting a Los Angeles ceremony on January 31 “simply contains too many risks”.

The Grammys are one of several entertainment industry events that have been delayed in the hope that sky-high COVID-19 caseloads will drop in the coming months.

Film and television events such as the Critics Choice Awards and Producers Guild Awards have also been postponed, while this week’s Sundance film festival is taking place online. The Oscars currently are still on for March 27, one week before the rescheduled Grammys.

The US has seen a surge in coronavirus infections linked to Omicron in recent weeks.

The fast-moving variant may cause less severe disease on average, but COVID-19 deaths in the US are climbing. Modellers have forecast 50,000 to 300,000 more people in the US could die by the time the wave subsides in mid-March.

The seven-day rolling average for daily new COVID-19 deaths in the US has been trending upward since mid-November, reaching nearly 1,700 on January 1.

The US has reported more than 67 million cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to Johns Hopkins University data, as well as more than 853,000 deaths – the highest death toll in the world.

Source: News Agencies