It’s the encore that nobody wanted: For the second year in a row, the Recording Academy has postponed the Grammy Awards due to concerns over COVID-19. The decision comes as the Omicron variant surges across the world and case counts reach record highs.
The 2022 Grammys were supposed to be doled out on January 31st at Los Angeles’ Crypto.com Arena (formerly the Staples Center). However, an Academy spokesperson has now confirmed that the gala has been postponed to a new date still to be determined.
“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 Academy said in a statement. “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.”
Last year’s event was pushed back to March due to COVID-19 concerns, and the venue was changed from its home at Staples Center to the Los Angeles Convention Center to avoid crowding. The Recording Academy generally counts on revenue from ticket sales to boost its coffers, but the 2021 ceremony was audience-free. Whether it was the date change, the venue change, or the general bizarre circumstances, the 2021 Grammys saw the viewership plummet to less than half of the 2020 ratings.
Like the 2021 iteration, the 2022 Grammys will be hosted by Trevor Noah. The event has already given rise to several controversies, with the Recording Academy CEO forced to defend nominations for Marilyn Manson and Louis C.K., while Drake withdrew his name from consideration. This year’s nominees are led by Jon Batiste, Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett, Olivia Rodrigo, and Japanese Breakfast.