The host of Sunday night’s Grammy Awards, Trevor Noah, opened the show by acknowledging the nature of the socially distanced ceremony, but still struck a hopeful note as he pointed to the healing role music played during the past year of the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’ll be your host tonight as we celebrate the last 10 years of music that got us through the last 10 years of coronavirus,” he said. “I know it’s been one year, but it feels like 10.”

Noah began by explaining how the show is taking place following coronavirus safety guidelines, joking that “this is gonna be the rare awards show where the white stuff going up people’s noses is cotton swabs.”

As he walked through a large outdoor tent outside of the Staples Center, he explained how the nominees are seated in the tables surrounding him awaiting their awards.

“So right now, there’s more tension in that tent than at a family reunion at Buckingham Palace,” he said.

He continued to walk down the empty red carpet into the Staples Center, saying the musicians will head into the stadium to perform for each other and the audience at home. “And unlike an actual concert,” he went on, “two teenagers stacked on top of each other won’t stand in front of you and block your view.”

“Tonight, we’re hoping that this is all about what 2021 can be,” he said inside of the Staple Center. “Full of joy, new beginnings and coming together — never forgetting what happened in 2020, but full of hope for what is to come.”

Noah ended his opening monologue by introducing the first performer of the night, Harry Styles. Also on deck to perform on the ceremony, airing live on CBS, are Taylor Swift, Megan Thee Stallion, Cardi B, BTS and more.