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Grammys Postponed Due to LA Virus Surge

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The Grammy Awards ceremony due to take place on January 31 has been postponed to March 21 because of the coronavirus surge in Los Angeles.

The Recording Academy told members in a memo on Tuesday the ceremony to present the highest awards in the music industry was being delayed after talks with health experts and musicians.

"After thoughtful conversations with health experts, our network partner CBS, our host, and artists scheduled to appear, we have made the decision to postpone the 63rd Grammy Awards to March 21, 2021," the interim president of the Recording Academy, Harvey Mason Jr, said in the message.

"The deteriorating COVID situation in Los Angeles, where hospital services have been overwhelmed, ICUs have 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," he added.

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.

Grammy organisers said late last year they were seeking to change the way the annual show was held, doing without audiences and the traditional red carpet.

They also said they wanted to stage performances in small outdoor venues rather than the large indoor Staples Center in downtown Los Angeles.

Beyonce leads nominations for this year's Grammys with nine nods, in a November announcement overshadowed by a stunning snub for Canadian musician The Weeknd.

Voting on the winners, chosen by members of the Recording Academy, ended on Monday.

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 Emmy Awards and the MTV Video Music Awards, went ahead last fall with a mix of live, pre-recorded and socially distanced appearances by celebrities.

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