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64th Annual Grammy Awards postponed due to Covid concerns

64th Annual Grammy Awards postponed due to Covid concerns (Ian West/ PA)
64th Annual Grammy Awards postponed due to Covid concerns (Ian West/ PA)

The 64th Annual Grammy Awards, due to take place later this month, has been postponed due to concerns over coronavirus, it has been announced.

The Recording Academy and CBS said the decision to press ahead with the 2022 ceremony “simply contains too many risks”.

The event, which is regarded as music’s biggest night, was originally scheduled to take place on January 31 in Los Angeles.

A statement online said: “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 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 31 simply contains too many risks.”

The statement added that a new date for the event would be announced in due course.

Artists nominated in multiple categories include Billie Eilish, Olivia Rodrigo, Lil Nas X and Jon Batiste.

Earlier this year the Recording Academy made several major changes to the awards process, including the removal of controversial review committees, following criticism from A-list stars.

The body said nominations for the general and genre fields would now be voted on by a majority of members rather than anonymous groups of experts from within the academy.

Critics had argued it left too much power in the hands of faceless and unaccountable committees.

Artists of colour have long said the system resulted in them missing out on the more prestigious categories.

In addition to doing away with committees the academy also reduced the number of genre field categories on which members can vote, in a bid to ensure they only have a say in their fields of expertise.

However, all voters are still allowed to cast a ballot in the four general field categories – album, record, song of the year and best new artist.

It also said six craft fields would be slimmed down into two – presentation field and production field, while the committees would remain in place for the craft categories.

Two new categories were announced in the form of best global music performance, in the global music field, and best musica urbana album in the Latin music field.

The total number of Grammy categories now stands at 86.

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