While the 2021 Golden Globes and Academy Awards have been postponed due to COVID-19, music’s biggest night, the Grammy Awards, were still a-go for their originally scheduled date. With an increase in the amount of music that was released during the pandemic, it was decided that the 63rd annual Grammys would not be delayed. Then, as COVID cases increased in Los Angeles, where the Grammys were to be held, the Recording Academy had to rethink that decision. Variety confirmed Jan. 5 that the award show has been postponed.
The decision was made based on health and travel concerns, sources told Variety.
Originally, the show would go on as planned, in part because of the abundance of music released throughout the quarantine. “The amount of music released has actually increased during the pandemic, so we would not want to delay our date with so much great music coming out,” the Recording Academy’s Interim President and CEO Harvey Mason Jr. told Variety in June. “I also think it’s important and helpful to have shows like this, when there’s been so much uncertainty and unrest—to have something you know is coming around every year and to know there’s a time when we all sit down together and watch great entertainment and art.”
In September, Mason teased to Variety, that the upcoming ceremony is “going to be a spectacular show.” “Obviously, this is a very unique year. We’ve been looking at all of the shows really closely and I’ve been talking with some of the people who put them together—the creative and also the business side,” he said. “I think there have been some great examples of how to present music and awards at these shows, and I think there’s some other things that we’re gonna do pretty differently.”
Ahead of the big show, here is everything we know about the Grammy Awards 2021, including the performers!
When are the Grammy Awards 2021?
The awards show was slated for Sunday, Jan. 31 at 8 p.m. ET. They will now be held March 14.
Grammy nominations 2021
Dua Lipa, Sharon Osbourne, Gayle King and more announced the nominees Nov. 24. Beyoncé leads the pack with nine nominations, including Record of the Year and Song of the Year. Meanwhile, first-time nominees include Megan Thee Stallion, BTS, Harry Styles and the Strokes.
The Grammys 2021 performers include Taylor Swift and Harry Styles
The list of performers is pretty impressive. It includes Harry Styles, Cardi B, Megan thee Stallion, Post Malone, Maren Morris, Miranda Lambert, Bad Bunny, Billie Eilish and Taylor Swift.
Related: Complete List of 2021 Grammy Nominees
Where and how to watch or stream the Grammys 2021 on TV or online?
The 63rd annual Grammys will be broadcast in HDTV and 5.1 surround sound on CBS. Viewers can also stream the ceremony live on Paramount+, as well as on CBS.com and the new CBS app after signing in with a TV provider.
Will the 2021 Grammys have a live audience?
Probably not. Mason previously revealed to Variety that the goal is for the show to be 100 percent live without pre-recorded elements. “We’re looking at Staples with a limited audience, although that seems increasingly unlikely; Staples with live performances and no audience; or something a little more virtual, with some elements from different locations,” he said. “We’re still waiting to hear back from our partners at the network and the venue and our medical experts, because obviously we want this to be safe for everyone.”
Who is the 2021 Grammy Awards host?
Trevor Noah is set to host the Grammys for the first time. “Despite the fact that I am extremely disappointed that the GRAMMYs® have refused to have me sing or be nominated for best pop album, I am thrilled to be hosting this auspicious event,” the host of The Daily Show said in a statement. “I think as a one-time GRAMMY® nominee, I am the best person to provide a shoulder to all the amazing artists who do not win on the night because I too know the pain of not winning the award! (This is a metaphorical shoulder, I’m not trying to catch Corona). See you at the 63rd GRAMMYs!”
Who is receiving the Lifetime Achievement Award?
The late Selena Quintanilla will be posthumously honored with the award during the show.
Sunday’s Grammy Awards telecast is set to open with a performance by Harry Styles, who is nominated for three awards on music’s biggest night.
“You don’t want to miss the top of the show,” Jack Sussman, CBS’ executive VP of specials, music and live events, tells Variety. “It’s going to be music coming at you heavy and hard like you’ve not seen it before. We’ve got Harry Styles, this incredible entertainer, at the top of the show and we’ll just keep coming at you.”
The hope is that the burst of a rousing kick-off to the three and a half hour ceremony will soothe an audience that has been starved for live shows for a year and be a moment of renewal for the artists themselves.
Styles is a contender for best pop solo performance for “Watermelon Sugar,” best pop vocal album for “Fine Line” and best music video for “Adore You.” On the heels of several hit singles, his latest album has sold 2.5 million units since its release in December 2019, according to Alpha Data, moving more than 20,000 just last week, a gain of 11%.
For his maiden voyage as Grammycast executive producer, Ben Winston has been working with artists for months to develop a show that is extremely ambitious in scope and production needs. The cameras will move around from live performances spaces created inside the Los Angeles Convention Center to an outdoor open-air tent in the plaza of L.A. Live. Some performances will also be taped.
Says Sussman, a 20-year veteran of the Grammy Awards from the TV broadcast side: “We wanted to do it right for the artists. It’s been a tough year. This is a moment in time for these artists to get out on stage and connect with fans who have been starving for these kinds of moments. We have a wonderful group of diverse musical talent — some of the best live performers on the planet.”
Sussman is bracing for seismic activity in downtown L.A. when K-pop sensations BTS take the stage. He wouldn’t give any hints about plans for their performance other than to say that fans won’t be disappointed.
“It will be what you really love and want to see BTS do,” Sussman hints. “They’re going to have fun and engage the audience at home. They’ll get you up on your feet in your living room.”
Naturally, the pandemic conditions of the past 12 months had a big impact on planning for every aspect of this year’s show. Sussman, who has steered Grammy moments for two decades, adds that he’d never seen less stress in getting talent on board for the show.
“It’s been easier to deal with artists because they know the boat that we’re in,” he says. “Everybody’s trying to row in the same direction.”
A new element to the presentation this year is a series of short films shot by filmmaker Gibson Hazard for each of the record of the year nominees. The films are designed to tell the stories behind the songs and the backstory of artists who might not be as familiar to viewers. Sussman cites the Black Pumas, nominated for “Colors,” as an act that just a few years ago was busking with that tune on Santa Monica’s Third Street Promenade.
Doja Cat, nominated for “Say So,” is another example of an “unbelievably talented” newcomer, Sussman offers. The films aim to “provide some context around these nominees so you have some sense of who they are before they walk on stage.”
Winston and his team had the misfortune of taking over an enormous production (after two years of apprenticeship under longtime Grammy executive producer Ken Ehrlich) in extraordinary pandemic circumstances that required much of the show to be reinvented. But in hindsight, the timing of the handover from Ehrlich to Winston was opportune.
Winston “is coming in with a new way of looking at everything,” says Sussman. “He doesn’t have experiential blinders on because ‘that’s the way we’ve always done it.’”
First-time Grammy host Trevor Noah, moonlighting from Comedy Central’s “Daily Show,” also brings a freshness to the telecast. “He’s amped up, he can’t wait to get out there,” Sussman says. “He’s the perfect host for the Grammys in 2021.”
As always, Sussman is consumed in the days before the big night about all the things that have to go right in order for the team to pull off 210 minutes of live musical spectacles.
“For the viewer at home, this isn’t going to be a remote Zoom telecast,” he emphasizes. “You’re going to be as entertained as if you were watching it at the Staples with 14,000 other fans.”
The Grammy Awards air live on CBS from the Los Angeles Convention Center at 8 p.m. ET / 5 p.m. PT on Sunday, March 14.