Trevor Noah Shares 'Hope for What's to Come' In 2021 GRAMMYs Opening Monologue
By Jennifer Drysdale
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The 2021 GRAMMYs are here! And they're looking remarkably normal.
The night's host, Trevor Noah, kicked off the show in Los Angeles on Sunday night, remarking in his opening monologue about how far we've come since last year's show. The 2020 GRAMMYs took place last January, before the coronavirus pandemic.
"I know it's been one year, but it feels like 10," Noah said, promising the ceremony would celebrate the music that's gotten us all through the pandemic.
"Rest assured everyone here is following COVID-19 protocols and guidelines. This will be the awards show where the white stuff going up people's noses is cotton swabs," he quipped. "This looks different, the whole thing is going to be different, but folks will be even more excited because our impressive nominees will be sitting at those tables for their awards. So right now there is more tension in that tent than at a family reunion at Buckingham Palace."
Noah noted that the awards show is about "bring us together as only music can."
"Well -- music and vaccines," he noted. "We will celebrate music and hopefully forget our problems, unless some of our problems are being obsessed with Harry Styles because that will only get worse, I can promise you. Tonight we will enjoy performances from everyone from Megan Thee stallion to Cardi B, Bruno Mars, Anderson Paak... We will pay tribute to some of the many great musical artists that we've lost during the last year including Little Richard and Kenny Rogers and John Prine."
"Tonight, we're hoping this is all about what 2021 can be... never forgetting what happened in 2020, but full of hope for what's to come," he added.
This year's GRAMMYs was originally scheduled to take place on Jan. 31, but was postponed amid rising coronavirus cases around Los Angeles. Cases have since decreased, but the GRAMMYs team took health precautions into consideration. This year's show will take place across five stages in and around the Los Angeles Convention Center.
"Most shows, I understand, have been done retrofitted to the pandemic. What they've done for the GRAMMYs, it's really amazing," Noah told ET's Keltie Knight last week. "They've gone, 'No, we're going to bring the artists to the GRAMMYs, but find a way to space everybody out.' The audience is basically going to be like friends and family, plus the nominees. It's like tiny groups, and then it's outdoors as well, so we're finding spaces and places to do the show."
"It's going to be interesting. Just in the rehearsals, it's already felt really intimate," he continued. "What I'm really excited for is seeing which artists are fans of the other artists. Because of how we're doing the show, everyone's watching everyone else perform, so it's almost like they're performing for each other, and for everybody at home, which is a really cool dynamic."
Noah added that as host, he's going to try to "react as honestly as possible while the show is happening."
"I try to watch the show with you, because that's what I'm doing, I'm watching a performance," he explained. "And then if something happens in the performance, I might be like, 'You guys see this? Is this just me?' And what's cool is, I can even talk to the artists after the performance. So I might just ask someone a random question, and hopefully they won't hate me. We'll see what happens."