Alicia Keys will be returning to host the 2020 Grammy Awards show, which will take place at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on Sunday, January 26, 2020. This will be Keys second time hosting the event and will also mark Deborah Dugan’s first Grammy Awards as Recording Academy President/CEO.
“At first I did think last year was a one-time thing but when the opportunity came back around there was no question about returning as host of the GRAMMY Awards,” Keys said in a press statement. “Last year was such a powerful experience for me. Not only did I feel the love in the room, but I felt it from around the world and it confirmed the healing and unifying power of music.”
It is not uncommon for Grammy hosts to return to the awards show in a consecutive year. Andy Williams is the event’s most prolific host, hosting the event 7 times in a row, while LL Cool J comes in at a close second, having served as the host 5 times. Comedian James Corden succeeded LL Cool J, and hosted the event twice, before Keys joined the event as a host last year.
Keys return to the ceremony has marked an important step for the ceremony. Prior to Keys, the last woman to host the awards was Queen Latifah in 2005. A woman has not returned to host the awards show since Rosie O’ Donell’s tenure as host for the ceremony’s 1999 and 2000 awards shows.
Dugan’s first year as Recording Academy President/CEO is also noteworthy, as she stepped into the position after its previous president Neil Portnow resigned after making some controversial statements. Portnow stated that female artists should “step up,” in response to accusations that the show had intense institutional bias and gender inequality.
The awards ceremony in 2018 saw only one female artist, Alessia Cara, receiving the only televised award for Breakout Artist, while only two other women, Karen Fairchild and Kimberly Schlapman, won best country duo/group performance as part of the group, Little Big Town. The most nominated female artist, SZA went home empty handed, as did the 4 women in the Best Pop Solo Performance category, who lost to the only male nominated for the award, Ed Sheeran.