Recording Academy officials are hitting pause on plans to celebrate the 2021 Grammy Awards in person later this month due to a spike in COVID-19 cases.

Music's big night was to take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on 31 January but the Recording Academy has now moved the annual show to a later date in March.

The organisation posted a tweet announcing the postponement, which read: "After thoughtful conversations with health experts, our host and artists scheduled to appear, we are rescheduling the 63rd #GRAMMYs to be broadcast Sunday, March 14, 2021."

The Recording Academy and broadcast partner CBS also released a statement to Entertainment Weekly that explained: “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.”

Producers of the event had already decided against having an audience in attendance for the prizegiving, insisting only presenters and performers could be in the building for the show, with nominees expected to appear virtually.

Beyonce leads all nominees heading into the 63rd Annual Grammy Awards, with Taylor Swift, Dua Lipa, and Roddy Rich landing six apiece.

Comedian Trevor Noah had previously been announced as the host of the big event, although it is currently unclear if he will still serve as emcee for the rescheduled show.