2021 Grammy Awards Host Trevor Noah Says Performances Will Have a Music Festival Feel
Miranda Lambert, Mickey Guyton, Maren Morris and more country and Americana artists are performing at the 2021 Grammy Awards on Sunday night (March 14), and Trevor Noah, the show's host, says their performances will take on a music festival-like feel. The COVID-19 pandemic means this year's event will look much different than Grammys past.
"It's going to be multiple stages, everything is happening outdoors and socially distanced. It's almost taking on the feel of a music festival but designed for an audience at home, which is really cool," Noah, a comedian and late-night TV host, tells Billboard. "That's one of the reasons I decided to jump on ... I was interested in, 'How do you do an awards show that doesn’t feel pandemic-y?' It's music and great performances done in a stylistically fresh way, and that's what I'm excited to see."
Before the 2021 Grammy Awards were pushed from late January to mid-March in early 2021, the show's executive producer, Ben Winston, explained the same plan to Billboard. "Live music almost has a need for an audience," he said at the time, noting that, given that, "the artists can be each other’s audience."
"It won’t feel like a big, wide, expansive room where all you can see is empty seats. It will feel more intimate — yet still big enough that it’s more than socially distanced," added Winston, who is a nine-time Emmy Awards winner and executive produced Kacey Musgraves' 2019 Christmas special. "I think we can strip back some of the grandiose elements and bling of the event, because that’s not necessarily what feels right as a tone for the world now anyway."
Noah notes to Billboard that, even this close to the annual awards show, certain logistics are still being figured out. "I know until the day [of the show] they're going to be making decisions about who is where and how," he admits.
"The number one thing is safety," Noah continues. "I don't think you're going to be seeing an audience in that way, but you may be seeing the artists gathered or the artists getting ready or a few people who are there with them. I can't speak to that."
In addition to Lambert, Guyton and Morris, Brandi Carlile; country-turned-pop superstar Taylor Swift; Brittany Howard, a solo artist and the lead singer of Alabama Shakes; and Austin-based psychedelic soul band Black Pumas will also be performing at the 2021 Grammy Awards. The performance lineup also includes rapper Cardi B, indie-pop star Billie Eilish, sister trio Haim, Coldplay lead singer Chris Martin, rapper Post Malone, former One Direction member Harry Styles and others.
A number of artists will also perform during the pre-telecast Grammy Awards Premiere Ceremony, which will stream online prior to the televised ceremony. The full lineup for the day is available at Grammy.com.
Per a press release from the Recording Academy, the presenter roles usually filled by a variety of celebrities will instead be filled by box office managers, bartenders and other staff from a variety of small music venues around the country. Workers from Nashville's Station Inn will be among the presenters, who will also come from Los Angeles' Troubadour and Hotel Cafe, and New York City's Apollo Theater.
The 2021 Grammy Awards will air at 8PM ET on CBS, and will be available to stream live and on demand on Paramount+. Nominees include Ingrid Andress, Mickey Guyton, Eric Church and more country artists; Andress is the only country nominee in the show's four General Field categories, having picked up a Best New Artist nod.
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