With three nominations, British pop/rock act Coldplay is the frontrunner leading up to the 51st annual Ivor Novello Awards, which will be held May 25 at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

With three nominations, British pop/rock act Coldplay is the frontrunner leading up to the 51st annual Ivor Novello Awards, which will be held May 25 at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.

The band's U.K. chart-topper "Speed Of Sound" is up for international hit of the year and the PRS most performed work category, and their follow-up "Fix You" is in the running for best song musically and lyrically. Both songs are lifted from the international hit Parlophone album "X&Y," which was recently certified by the IFPI for five million pan-European shipments.

Coldplay's songs are written by bandmembers Guy Berryman, Jonathan Buckland, William Champion and Chris Martin, and represented by BMG Music Publishing.

The gala was established by trade group the British Academy of Composers and Songwriters in 1956 in the name of songwriter and actor/manager Novello, who died in 1951. The Performing Rights Society is sponsor of the event.

The 15 awards are judged either by a panel of BACS members or on sales and broadcast performance.

BACS unveiled the nominations at a breakfast function in London today (April 24) at which it also launched its Songwriters Academy, a new competition which shines the spotlight on unsigned writing talent.

The initiative is divided into categories for 18's and under, solo writers and group writers. Participants are required to submit a demo CD to BACS. Winners from each category will have a song commercially released and receive home recording equipment as part of their prize. The winners will be chosen by a panel including BACS members and representatives of national broadcaster BBC Radio 2.

A total of 30 finalists will take part in songwriting masterclasses in September and October with songwriting mentors from BACS. The masterclasses will be recorded and podcast by BACS, which will also organise London showcases featuring the finalists.

Moody Blues frontman Justin Hayward delivered an acoustic performance of "Nights In White Satin" at the launch to pay tribute to BACS for its dedication to songwriters. U.K. Singer-songwriter Thea Glilmore also performed, ahead of the May 1 U.K. launch of her new album "Harpo's Ghost" on Sanctuary.