In a statement, the Recording Academy explained that the committee that judges the award, which essentially recognizes superior sound quality, was unable to meet together in a suitable and safe environment with the appropriate high-end audio equipment.
“Due to complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the nominations for the 63rd Grammys for Best Immersive Audio Album will be announced next year in addition to (and separately from) the 64th Grammy nominations in the category,” the statement reads. “The judging of the entries in this category has been postponed until such time that we are able to meet in a way that is appropriate to judge the many formats and configurations of the entries and is safe for the committee members.”
Formerly known as Best Surround Sound Album, the category was renamed in 2019 to Best Immersive Audio Album to include the many immersive formats beyond surround sound and to reflect evolving technology.
The award recognizes the engineer(s) and producer(s) along with the artist. The posthumous Ray Charles duet collection “Genius Loves Company” was the first album to win the award when it was initiated in 2005. Past winners have included “The Beatles: Love” and “Dire Straits: Brothers In Arms – 20th Anniversary Edition.”
The full list of nominations can be found here. Beyonce led with nine, followed by six apiece for Taylor Swift, Roddy Ricch and Dua Lipa. The winners for the 2021 Best Immersive Audio Album award will be announced at the 2022 show.