Sheeran leads nominations for Brits
Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran heads the field for this year's Brit Awards with four nominations.
The 20-year-old star - who has three top five hits to his name - tops the shortlists ahead of Adele and Jessie J, both up for three prizes.
Florence + The Machine and Coldplay are each up for a pair of prizes at the event, to be held at London's O2 Arena on February 21.
Hotly tipped Emeli Sande has already won one trophy ahead of this year's show - the Critics' Choice Award - and stands to win another as best British breakthrough act, competing against Jessie J, Sheeran, Anna Calvi and The Vaccines.
Sheeran has landed plenty of critical acclaim and airplay in the past year with singles such as The A Team and Lego House, as well as topping the album chart with his debut, called +. He goes up against Noel Gallagher, James Blake, James Morrison and Professor Green for the best British male title and is one of ten acts in contention for best British single.
Best British album - which has now become the centrepiece of the Brits - will be fought over between Sheeran's +, 21 by Adele, Mylo Xyloto by Coldplay, Ceremonials by Florence and the Mercury Prize-winning Let England Shake by PJ Harvey.
The best British female category features Adele, Florence, Jessie J, Laura Marling and Kate Bush. Bush, 53, figures in the shortlist for the first time in six years, on the back of her 50 Words For Snow album which came out in November. She has been nominated for the best female prize a total of seven times but last won it 25 years ago.
Coldplay - the only group with more than one nomination - are up for the best British group title, a category they have previously won three times. They face Elbow, Kasabian, Arctic Monkeys and Chase & Status. Other acts with two nominations are Bon Iver and Aloe Blacc, who both figure in the international categories.
Nominations for the awards - officially called the The Brit Awards 2012 with MasterCard - were announced at an event at London's Savoy Hotel. The shortlisted acts will be competing for a trophy designed by pop artist Sir Peter Blake, renowned as the man behind the sleeve for The Beatles' Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band.
The event - to be broadcast live on ITV1 - will also feature performances from Adele, Bruno Mars, Coldplay, Sheeran, Florence, Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds and Rihanna. Blur have already been named the winners of the Outstanding Contribution to Music award for this year.