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Grammy Awards called off owing to Covid-19 surge

This year’s Grammy Awards ceremony honouring top performances in music has been postponed indefinitely because of the rapid spread of the Omicron variant of the coronavirus.

“Given the uncertainty surrounding the Omicron variant, holding the show on January 31 simply contains too many risks,” the organisers said in a joint statement on Thursday.

A new date will be announced soon according to the organisers, CBS and the Recording Academy.

The show had been scheduled to take place at an arena in downtown Los Angeles and broadcast live on the CBS network on January 31.

Organisers said they consulted local officials, health experts and artists before deciding to scrap the January date.

“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,” they said.

Late-night television host Trevor Noah had been tapped to host the event and nominations for the awards were announced in November.

Last year’s show which ironically was also scheduled for January 31 was moved up six weeks to March 14, after a virus spike in Southern California.

Ultimately, the 2021 Grammys took place in a scaled-down, tasteful setting at the Los Angeles Convention Center before small, rotating groups of nominees that changed every 45 minutes.

The 2022 Grammy nominee list is led by Jon Batiste with 11 nods, followed by Justin Bieber, Doja Cat and H.E.R. with eight apiece. Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo followed with seven nominations each.