2020 Billboard Music Awards Postponed amid the Coronavirus Outbreak
The award show was set to be hosted by Kelly Clarkson, marking the third consecutive year the music star would have served as the master of ceremonies
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The upcoming award show, which was originally set to take place on April 29 in Las Vegas, has been pushed back to a later date, dick clark productions and NBC announced in a statement Wednesday.
“In accordance with the current guidelines set forth by national and local health officials and in order to ensure the health and safety of our artists, fans, guests and staff – we are postponing the Billboard Music Awards. For more than two decades, the Billboard Music Awards has honored the best in music based on the Billboard charts, and we look forward to celebrating the incredible artists who topped those charts over the last year. dcp and NBC will announce a new date and venue for the show in the near future.”
The award show was set to be hosted by Kelly Clarkson, marking the third consecutive year the music star would have served as the master of ceremonies. Garth Brooks was also set to receive the coveted icon award, becoming the ninth artist to ever receive the honor.
Amid growing fears over the COVID-19 outbreak, a number of public events have been pushed back or canceled, including the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, the annual Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival and their sister country music festival Stagecoach as well as the SXSW festival in Texas.
The World Health Organization declared the coronavirus outbreak a global pandemic on Wednesday urging world leaders and citizens to take action to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
The CDC recommends that the best prevention methods are basic forms of hygiene — careful hand washing, avoiding touching the face, moving away from people who are coughing or sneezing and staying home at signs of illness.
As PEOPLE previously reported, initial cases of COVID-19 can be traced back to Wuhan, China in late December. Wuhan is a major transportation hub with hundreds of flights leaving and landing from the city of 11 million each day, and the virus quickly spread worldwide, leading the World Health Organization to declare a public health emergency, the first since the Zika epidemic in 2016.
As of Tuesday morning, there have been at least 4,482 confirmed cases of coronavirus and 86 deaths in the U.S., according to a New York Times database.