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Grammy awards fete postponed to March 14

By Stevens Muendo | January 7th 2021

Singer Alicia Keys and CBS television host Gayle King announce nominations for the 2020 Grammy Awards at a news conference in Manhattan, New York, US, on November 20, 2019. [Mike Segar, Reuters]

The Grammy Awards has become the first casualty in the showbiz calendar this year following a persistent Covid-19 pandemic.

The big ceremony night of music – where the crème-de-la-crème in the music world are feted - that was slated for January 31 in Los Angeles, has been moved to March 14 as the pandemic infection cases surge in the US.

Even though the organisers of the event had already announced this year’s ceremony would largely be virtual, it now seems even the logistics behind the ‘distance show’ have had to face extra precautions.

"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," said a statement from the Recording Academy, which runs the Grammys.

"After thoughtful conversations with health experts, our host and artistes scheduled to appear, we are rescheduling the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards to be broadcast Sunday, March 14, 2021.

The deteriorating Covid-19 situation in Los Angeles, with hospital services being overwhelmed, ICUs having reached capacity, and new guidance from the State and local governments have all led us to conclude that postponing our show was the right thing to do,” a joint statement posted on the Grammy Awards official website yesterday read.

It was signed by Harvey Mason, Jr, chair and interim president and CEO of the Recording Academy; Jack Sussman, executive vice president of specials, music, live events and alternative programming for CBS, and Grammy Awards Executive Producer Ben Winston.

South African comedian and host of The Daily Show, Trevor Noah, was set to host the 2021 Grammy Awards and following the new set dates, it remains unclear whether he will still take up the role.

This year’s Grammys have placed Beyoncé, Taylor Swift and Dua Lipa in the lead. Beyoncé has been nominated in nine categories — four for Black Parade, her Black Lives protest anthem.

English singer Dua Lipa is tied with Taylor Swift on six, thanks to Future Nostalgia, her second studio album released by Warner Records this year.

Nigerian singer Burna Boy has his second Grammy nomination this time in the Best Global Music Album for Twice As Tall. In 2018, the 29-year-old had been nominated in the Best World Music Album category, a class that was won by Beninese music legend Angelique Kidjo.

With many international entertainment festivals and concerts having been cancelled or postponed last year due to Covid-19, there is doubt that the industry will get on its feet this year.

Most international stars are shelving their plans to release major projects, with celebrities such as Taylor Swift only promising to share tens of re-worked old numbers. Adele and Rihanna won’t be releasing albums.

The Covid-19 regulations might also affect the New York Fashion Week whose fall show takes place in February as well as the Super Bowl LV slated for Tampa Bay, Florida on February 7 – where The Weekend is expected to headline the halftime show.

Locally, the entertainment sector is facing worse times after an extension of government-imposed health regulations was announced early this week. Having been postponed last year, it still remains unclear if the Kalasha International TV and Film Market, whose booking is going on – according to the Kenya Film Commission website – will take place in March.

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