The 2022 Grammy Awards, initially set to air on January 31, have been postponed over concerns of COVID-19 safety, according to a joint statement from the Recording Academy and CBS posted Wednesday (January 5). No new date has been given.
“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,” the statement begins.
“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.”
The show was set to air live from the Crypto.com Arena in Los Angeles with a full audience, though concerns about surging COVID-19 cases reportedly led to reluctance from key organizers and participants, Variety reports. L.A. County reported over 21,000 new cases of the virus yesterday (January 4) alone. As The New York Times points out, Dr. Anthony Fauci recently predicted that the current wave of cases may reach its peak by the end of January — right around the time the Grammys were set to happen.
The Grammys postponement comes amid large-scale cancellations and pauses in college sports and commercial air travel as well as a return in certain cities to remote-based school learning that increasingly recall the early lockdown days of the pandemic in March 2020.
Last year’s Grammys were initially postponed as well over COVID-19 safety concerns. The show did air much later in the year than usual, on March 14, hosted by Trevor Noah and largely conducted outside the Los Angeles Convention Center. Noah is still on board to host the 2022 show.
Jon Batiste leads the 2022 nominations with 11. Justin Bieber, Doja Cat, and H.E.R. follow behind with eight each, and Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo landed six each.