The Recording Academy and CBS have postponed the 2022 GRAMMY awards gala scheduled for January 31.
According to the organisations, the award night has been rescheduled due to “uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant” of Covid-19 in the United States in recent weeks.
In a Joint Statement from the Recording Academy and CBS, they revealed that a new date will be announced soon.“After careful consideration and analysis with city and state officials, health and safety experts, the artist community and our many partners, the Recording Academy and CBS have postponed the 64th Annual GRAMMY Awards Show.”
They added that “the health and safety of those in our music community, the live audience, and the hundreds of people who work tirelessly to produce our show remains our top priority. Given the uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant, holding the show on January 31st simply contains too many risks. We look forward to celebrating Music’s Biggest Night on a future date, which will be announced soon.”
A class of pop stalwarts and newbies including Justin Bieber, Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo were among the leading nominees for the 64th annual show, with Jon Batiste, the jazz and R&B artist, television personality and bandleader garnering the most nominations with 11. Last spring’s show was the first Grammys of the pandemic era and was a more television-friendly, socially distanced cabaret-esque show that was heavy on performances.
Those awards were postponed to March 14 after the original date was postponed during last winter’s surge in coronavirus cases.
The 2022 edition was expected to see a return to the usual arena-style celebration at Los Angeles’ Staples Center.
The heavily mutated Omicron variant, the most transmissible to date, accounted for around 95 per cent of US cases in the week ending January 1.
Omicron’s rates of deaths and hospitalizations have been lower across the world, raising hopes the virus could be evolving into a relatively benign seasonal illness.
But the World Health Organization in Europe sounded an ominous note of caution on Tuesday, warning the soaring infection rates could have the opposite effect.