Grammys Return to NYC in 2003

Awards will be held in Madison Square Garden

By |

The Grammy Awards will return to New York City in 2003 for the forty-fifth annual ceremony. Michael Green, president of the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, made the announcement today from the stage at the theater adjoining Madison Square Garden, where next year's awards will take place.

"New York taught the world to celebrate humanity in the midst of treachery in the midst of loss of life and innocence," Green said. "Responding to that was something that I think everybody felt a personal obligation to do -- to dig deep inside themselves and find that center, that heart and spirit, the unique voice that each of us had during that time. We never left New York -- we have been here the entire time."

"It's wonderful news for the city," said New York City Mayor Mike Bloomberg, who joined Green onstage. "We had a terrible tragedy that befell us. That's a good reason to come here and show some solidarity, and to show the terrorists that they can't win and that New York will come out better than ever. But I think the other reason to be here that this is simply the capital of culture of the whole world, and certainly the capital of music. This is where the Grammys belong, and this is where the great artists want to come to work and live."

Neither Bloomberg or Green suggested that the awards -- which can generate as much as $40 million in revenue for the host city -- would stay in New York beyond 2003.

Pop star Marc Anthony and Sony Music CEO Tommy Mottola came onstage together at the end of the announcement to present Mayor Bloomberg with a guitar from Les Paul's personal collection, decorated with a 9/11 scene by a retired NYC firefighter and signed by Paul.

"Do you play?" Bloomberg asked Anthony, who shook his head and pointed at Mottola. Bloomberg then announced he'd donate the guitar to the MusiCares auction, with proceeds to go to the Uniformed Firefighters Association Widows and Children Fund.

The 45th Annual Grammy Awards will be broadcast live from Madison Square Garden Sunday, February 23rd at 8 p.m. ET.