The 2021 Grammy Awards will no longer take place this month in Los Angeles and will broadcast in March due to a recent surge in coronavirus cases and deaths.
The annual show would shift from its original Jan. 31 broadcast to March 14, according to a joint statement released Tuesday from the Recording Academy and CBS, which broadcasts the ceremony. The statement said the decision was reached “after thoughtful conversations with health experts, our host and artists scheduled to appear.”
“The deteriorating COVID situation in Los Angeles, with hospital services being overwhelmed, ICUs having reached capacity, and new guidance from state and local governments have all led us to conclude that postponing our show was the right thing to do. 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,” read the statement from Recording Academy interim CEO Harvey Mason Jr., CBS executive Jack Sussman and Grammys executive producer Ben Winston.
“We want to thank all of the talented artists, the staff, our vendors and especially this year’s nominees for their understanding, patience and willingness to work with us as we navigate these unprecedented times.”
The Grammys will be held in Los Angeles at the Staples Center. Los Angeles County, the epicenter of the crisis in California, has surpassed 11,000 COVID-19 deaths and has had 40% of the deaths in California. It is the third state to reach the 25,000 death count.
An average of six people die every hour from COVID-19 in Los Angeles County, which has a quarter of the state’s 40 million residents. County health officials fear the incoming Christmas and New Year’s surge.
The new Grammys date coincides with the scheduled hosting of the Screen Actors Guild Awards, which is typically held at another downtown Los Angeles venue, the Shrine Auditorium. That show honors the best performances in film and television.
“The Daily Show” host and comedian Trevor Noah is set to host the 2021 Grammys, where Beyoncé is leading contender with nine nominations. She scored nominations for song and record of the year with “Black Parade,” which she released on Juneteenth, while “Savage” — her No. 1 collaboration with Megan Thee Stallion — picked up bids for record of the year, best rap song and best rap performance.
Beyoncé’s “Black Is King,” which aired on Disney+, is nominated for best music film while “Brown Skin Girl,” a song dedicated to dark- and brown-skinned women, is nominated for best music video. Her daughter Blue Ivy Carter sings on “Brown Skin Girl” and also earned a Grammy nomination.
Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, Roddy Ricch, Jhené Aiko, Post Malone, Renée Zellweger, Billie Eilish and her producer-brother Finneas also scored nominations. First-time nominees include The Strokes, Megan Thee Stallion and Harry Styles.
Since the pandemic, a number of awards show were postponed and later revamped due to COVID-19 restrictions. The BET Awards was the first major awards show during the pandemic and was a success thanks to its artsy, highly produced, well-crafted pre-taped performances. The MTV Video Music Awards featured Lady Gaga winning awards and performing onsite in a mask, and the Latin Grammys pre-taped several performances the week of the show, handing out some of its awards to the winners who attended the show.
Performers at the upcoming Grammys will be announced at a later date.
Legendary dancer and actor Zinnat Barkatullah, who has recently been put in life support at a city hospital due to her deteriorating physical conditions, has been shifted from ICU to the cabin.
Explaining her physical updates, Zinnat’s daughter and renowned actor Bijori Barkatullah shared the detailed information on her mother’s condition through a Facebook status on Tuesday evening.
Also read: Renowned dancer Zinnat Barkatullah put on life support
"Today my mother has been shifted to the hospital room from the ICU, after her life support was pulled off two days ago due to her improving conditions,” Bijori wrote on her post.
“Although my mother’s conditions are improving, she is going through unbearable pain which is nightmarish to witness for me as her child. However, Alhamdulillah and all thanks to the almighty that the 15 days-long ICU battle has come to an end, and my heartiest gratitude goes to all who prayed for my mother,” she added.
Also read: Noted dancer, actor Zinnat Barkatullah in ICU
Zinnat has recently been physically unwell and shifted to ICU ventilation with a critical condition at Anower Khan Modern Hospital in the capital.
She was cured of COVID-19 which she got infected with back in August. Her husband and renowned producer at the Bangladesh Television Md Barkatullah lost his battle with COVID-19 on August 3.
As an accomplished dancer, Zinnat is trained in Kathak, Bharatnatyam, Manipuri and Folk dance format. Also being a renowned television actor, she has acted in more than 80 drama for various television channels.
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Zinnat Barkatullah served Bangladesh Shilpakala Academy (BSA) as the director of the Production Department as well as the Dance and Music departments since 2002.
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In its second weekend in U.S. theaters, “Wonder Woman 1984” earned an estimated $5.5 million in ticket sales according to studio estimates Sunday. It’s a 67% drop for the superhero sequel, which is simultaneously playing on 2,151 screens and streaming free for HBO Max subscribers.
“Wonder Woman 1984” has made $28.5 million to date from the U.S., where about 39% of theaters are open and most major markets, including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, Philadelphia and San Francisco, are closed. Internationally, it added $10.1 million, bringing its global total to $118.5 million, reports AP.
While $5.5 million would be a terrible second weekend for a $200 million movie in a pre-pandemic world, under the unique circumstances it was enough to top the domestic charts. In second place is Universal’s “The Croods: A New Age,” which saw a 25% increase in ticket sales in its sixth week in theaters. It’s made $34.5 million since it opened at Thanksgiving and is also now available to rent on premium video on demand.
Disney and Pixar’s “Soul,” which skipped U.S. theaters and is available for free for Disney+ subscribers, added $16.5 million internationally — a 114% increase from its opening in the same markets last weekend. The film featuring the voices of Jamie Foxx and Tina Fey has done particularly well in China, where it more than doubled its opening sum and added $13.7 million this weekend. The studio attributed the gains to strong social media reactions and word of mouth.
Ridley Scott’s 1979 classic “Alien” also opened this weekend through Disney’s 20th Century Studios. It made $75,000 from 505 locations.
UNHCR, the UN Refugee Agency, on Saturday appointed singer-songwriter and actor Tahsan Khan as its first goodwill ambassador for Bangladesh.
Tahsan will join a global team of 30 UNHCR goodwill ambassadors, who are helping highlight the situation of refugees and the work of UNHCR in every corner of the world through their influence, dedication and hard work.
The popular musician has been supporting UNHCR’s advocacy and outreach activities since 2019.
He visited the Rohingya refugee settlements in Cox’s Bazar and supported agency in the promotion of World Refugee Day and other events.
Through these engagements, Tahsan witnessed the complex Rohingya humanitarian response in Cox’s Bazar, met with refugees, and deepened his understanding of the root causes of displacement.
“I feel privileged and honoured to be engaged with UNHCR which ensures protection, provides life-saving assistance and seeks solutions for millions of refugees and displaced people worldwide,” he said.
“More than 1% of humanity – 1 in every 97 people – are displaced by conflict and persecution. As part of the privileged 99%, I feel a moral obligation to offer every support I can extend to uphold their voices.”
Steven Corliss, the UNHCR representative in Bangladesh, said: “Not only is Tahsan a brilliant musician and actor, but he is also a passionate refugee advocate and a wonderful human being, who is well-respected and liked in Bangladesh and beyond.”
“I am very sure that Tahsan will be able to use his reach and influence to give a voice to refugees and advocate for their well-being and protection.”
UNHCR engages prominent individuals like Tahsan as Goodwill Ambassadors and supporters as advocates to draw attention to the need for refugees and other forcibly displaced people to be protected, live decently and find solutions for their plight.
Bangladesh hosts over 1.1 million Rohingya refugees in the largest refugee camp in the world in Cox’s Bazar district, according to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
UNHCR’s history in Bangladesh dates back to the Liberation War of 1971 and successive influxes of Rohingya refugees into Bangladesh from Myanmar since the late 1970s, including the influx of some 740,000 refugees following August 2017.
The ongoing global pandemic of COVID-19 has changed the landscape of the world's economy and put closures to many businesses while others to struggle, and the country’s one of the pioneer video streaming sites Bongo made the best usage out of the situation through improving their workplace environment, says a press release.
Launched on January 20, 2014 in Dhaka and is currently one of the major video streaming sites of the nation at www.bongobd.com. - Bongo became one of the many examples of being proactive and providing more towards its employees during the catastrophic lockdown period in 2020, in order to spread positivity and sail through tough times.
Through transforming the entire company from manual to digital operations within a brief span, the company implemented a work-from-home policy on March 15 when the virus started affecting lives in Bangladesh.
For ensuring better communication and task management, Bongo made the best use of Google applications and conducted communication and meetings on video-conference applications such as Google Meet and Zoom. The company actively performed surveys, recognition programs, “Workplace Feedback Survey” all targeted to understand and appreciate the employees more.
"One of our most popular projects of 2020 was the Virtual Internship Program. When most businesses were bidding farewell to their permanent employees, Bongo was offering virtual work experience for youths who were spending idle time at home,” the company said in a statement.
To assist the employees and develop their skills at home, the company offered free online training courses. Bongo also dealt with mental health wellness of its employees in two praiseworthy ways - firstly, by paying their employees for 'relaxing' as they call it the "stress-busting hour" where Bongo employees get the opportunity to do what they enjoy and get paid for the task. Secondly, it organized ‘bi-monthly Happy Hour’ where the entire Bongo Tribe met online to have a digital ‘chit-chat.’ Tribe Members shared their singing, dancing and instant stand up comedy performances to uplift their co-workers’ mood.
Also read: Robi, Bongo to bring video streaming service
To ensure friendships remain strong amid social distancing, Bongo said that they implemented monthly virtual “Friends at Work” events to encourage digital friendships. Additionally, the company stated that it started quarterly “No Face Podcast' by CoN”, company-wide quarterly “Virtual Town Hall'' and “Ask Me Anything” Quarterly Virtual Session led by its COO, Fayaz Taher during the hard times, to lift up the mood of its employees in order to ensure a better working environment for everyone.