Ed Sheeran leading pack with four Brit Award nominations

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Singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran heads the field for this year’s Brit Awards with four nominations.

The 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 and The Machine and Coldplay are each up for a pair of prizes at the event in London next month.

Halifax-born Sheeran has landed plenty of critical acclaim in the past year. He goes up against Noel Gallagher, James Blake, James Morrison and Professor Green for the best British male title and is one of 10 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 the likes of 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. She has been nominated for the best female prize a total of seven times but last won it 25 years ago.

Coldplay are up for the best British group title and face Elbow, Kasabian, Sheffield band Arctic Monkeys and Chase & Status. Coldplay are the only group with more than one nomination.

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, which will 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.