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Grammy Awards postpone ceremony, citing omicron COVID variant risk
LOS ANGELES — The upcoming Grammy Awards were postponed Wednesday due to what organizers called "too many risks" due to the omicron variant. No new date has been announced.
The ceremony had been scheduled for Jan. 31st in Los Angeles with a live audience and performances. The Recording Academy said it made the decision to postpone the ceremony "after careful consideration and analysis with city and state officials, health and safety experts, the artist community and our many partners."
"Given the uncertainty surrounding the omicron variant, holding the show on January 31st simply contains too many risks," the academy said in a statement.
Last year, like most major awards shows in early 2021, the Grammys were postponed due to coronavirus concerns. The show was moved from late January to mid-March and held with a spare audience made up of mostly nominees and their guests in and around the Los Angeles Convention Center.
Many performances were pre-taped, and none were in front of significant crowds.
The Grammys had been scheduled this year to return to its traditional home next door, the Crypto.com Arena, formerly the Staple Center.
"We look forward to celebrating Music's Biggest Night on a future date, which will be announced soon," the academy statement said.
Finding that date could be complicated, with two professional basketball teams and a hockey team occupying the arena. The Recording Academy made no mention of a possible venue change in its statement.
The move was announced around the same time the Sundance Film Festival canceled its in-person programming set to begin on Jan. 20 and shifted to an online format.
The multitalented Jon Batiste is the leading nominee for this year's honors, grabbing 11 nods in a variety of genres including R&B, jazz, American roots music, classical and music video.
Justin Bieber, Doja Cat and H.E.R. are tied for the second-most nominations with eight apiece.
The Grammys' move could be the beginning of another round of award-show rescheduling, with the Screen Actors Guild Awards planned for February and the Academy Awards for March.