The Grammy Awards ceremony due to take place on January 31 has been rescheduled to March 14 because of the coronavirus surge in Los Angeles.
The Recording Academy and broadcaster CBS said in a joint statement on Tuesday the ceremony to present the highest honours in the music industry had been delayed after talks with health experts and musicians.
“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,” it said.
“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,” it added.
“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 Grammys will be held in Los Angeles at the Staples Center.
The postponement was earlier reported by Rolling Stone magazine and Variety and the Recording Academy had told its members in a memo the new date would be March 21.
Los Angeles is experiencing a spike in coronavirus deaths and hospital admissions. Gyms, hair salons and restaurants have been shut down and residents urged to stay at home as much as possible.
The Daily Show host and comedian Trevor Noah is set to host the 2021 Grammys.
Beyoncé leads nominations for this year’s Grammys with nine nods in a November announcement overshadowed by a stunning snub for Canadian musician The Weeknd.
She scored nominations for song and record of the year with Black Parade, which she released on Juneteenth, while Savage — her number one collaboration with Megan Thee Stallion — picked up nominations for record of the year, best rap song and best rap performance.
Beyoncé’s Black Is King, which aired on Disney+, is nominated for best music film while Brown Skin Girl, a song dedicated to dark and brown-skinned women, is nominated for best music video.
Her daughter Blue Ivy Carter sings on Brown Skin Girl and also earned a Grammy nomination.
Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, Roddy Ricch, Jhene Aiko, Post Malone, Renee Zellweger, Billie Eilish and her producer-brother Finneas also scored nominations.
First-time nominees include The Strokes, Megan Thee Stallion and Harry Styles.
The Recording Academy had not announced who would be performing at the show, which is usually a three-hour mixture of live performances by top international musicians and speeches by winners.
Organisers of the Oscars ceremony last year moved the 2021 presentation to April from late February because of the pandemic, while this year’s Golden Globes ceremony was moved to February 28 from its usual early January date.
Other major awards shows, including television’s Emmys and the MTV Video Music Awards, went ahead last fall with a mix of live, pre-recorded and socially distanced appearances by celebrities but without an audience.