Ed Sheeran, Jessie J, Adele Lead 2012 Brit Award Nominations
Ed Sheeran, Jessie J, Adele Lead 2012 Brit Award Nominations

As anticipated, female solo artists dominate the front runners for this year's Brit Awards with Adele and "Price Tag" singer Jessie J both picking up multiple nominations. It is, however, fast-rising male singer-songwriter Ed Sheeran who is the surprise leader of the pack with the 20-year-old artist picking up four nominations ahead of the February 21 ceremony, which is held at London's O2 arena.

Sheeran, who topped the U.K. album charts last year with his debut studio set "+" (Asylum/Atlantic/Warner Music), is nominated in the categories of best male, breakthrough act, album of the year and best single for his U.K. top 5 hit "The A Team."

Adele and Jessie J both received three nominations each. Adele is in the running for best female, album of the year and best single for "Someone Like You" (XL Recordings). Jessie J is up for best female, breakthrough act and best single for "Price Tag" featuring B.o.B (Lava/Universal Island).

The nominations were announced today at London's Savoy hotel, where it was confirmed that the Feb. 21 ceremony will see Adele make her first
U.K. (and first officially confirmed) live performance since recovering from throat surgery.

Florence and the Machine and Coldplay also received two nods a piece. Florence is nominated in the categories of British female solo artist and album of the year for her sophomore set "Ceremonials" (Island Records/Universal). Coldplay are up for British group and album of the year for "Mylo Xyloto" (Parlophone/EMI).

PJ Harvey's eighth solo set "Let England Shake" (Island Records) is also in the running for the album of the year category, although the artist - who won the 2011 Mercury Prize and has received near universal acclaim for her latest album - is a surprising omission from the best female solo artist category.

In the international categories, Beyonce (up for international female solo artist), Bon Iver, Bruno Mars (both international male solo artist), Fleet Foxes, Foo Fighters (both international group) and Nicki Minaj (international breakthrough act) all receive nominations.

As previously announced, U.K. rock pop band Blur is set to be honoured with the outstanding contribution to music award and will be performing at the event, while Scottish artist Emeli Sandé will take home the Critics Choice award.

The full list of nominees:

British Male Solo Artist

Ed Sheeran
James Blake
James Morrison
Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds
Professor Green

British Female Solo Artist

Florence & the Machine
Jessie J
Kate Bush
Laura Marling

Mastercard British Album of the Year
Adele - 21
Coldplay - Mylo Xyloto
Ed Sheeran - +
Florence & The Machine - Ceremonials
PJ Harvey - Let England Shake

British Breakthrough Act

Anna Calvi
Ed Sheeran
Emeli Sandé
Jessie J
The Vaccines

British Group
Arctic Monkeys
Chase & Status

British Single

Adele - Someone Like You
Ed Sheeran - The A Team
Example - Changed The Way You Kissed Me
Jessie J ft Bob - Price Tag
JLS ft. Dev - She Makes Me Wanna
Military Wives/Gareth Malone - Wherever You Are
Olly Murs ft Rizzle Kicks - Heart Skips A Beat
One Direction - What Makes You Beautiful
Pixie Lott - All About Tonight
The Wanted - Glad You Came

International Male Solo Artist
Aloe Blacc
Bon Iver
Bruno Mars
David Guetta
Ryan Adams

International Female Solo Artist

Lady Gaga

International Group
Fleet Foxes
Foo Fighters
Jay Z/ Kanye West
Lady Antebellum
Maroon 5

International Breakthrough Act
Aloe Blacc
Bon Iver
Foster The People
Lana Del Rey
Nicki Minaj

Outstanding Contribution to Music


Critics Choice

1st - Emeli Sandé
2nd - Maverick Sabre
3rd - Michael Kiwanuka

British Producer

Paul Epworth
Ethan Jones