The next Grammy Awards take place Jan. 31, but Bruce Springsteen’s critically acclaimed Letter to You album, and its singles, are not on the list of nominees that came out today. That’s because the album didn’t come out until October and its first single, the title track, was not released until Sept. 10. The cutoff date for nominations is Aug. 31.
This is a Grammy tradition that really needs some rethinking. The fall is usually the music industry’s busiest season, in terms of new releases. But those releases have to wait … not just until the following year, but until early in the year following that, to be recognized.
If, say, the “Letter to You” single does get a Grammy, it won’t be until about 17 months after it was released. That’s ridiculous.
The Grammys will take place Jan. 31, with Trevor Noah hosting. The exact format of the presentation has not yet been determined.
“We’re looking at Staples (Center in Los Angeles) 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,” said interim Recording Academy president and CEO Harvey Mason Jr. in an interview with Variety. “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. But the date is definitely Jan. 31, and it’s going to be a spectacular show.
“Obviously, this is a very unique year. We’ve been looking at all of the (2020 awards) shows really closely and I’ve been talking with some of the people who put them together— the creative and also the business side. 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.”
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