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Sam Smith, Ed Sheeran, George Ezra among leading contenders for UK music's Brit Awards

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LONDON — Man of the moment Sam Smith leads the nominations for Britain's most prestigious music awards, the Brits.

The soulful 22-year-old "Stay With Me" singer was nominated for five awards Thursday, including best album and best male artist.

It was a good year for male British singer-songwriters, as Ed Sheeran and George Ezra each received four nominations.

British rock duo Royal Blood is up for three awards, and female British contenders include FKA Twigs and Ella Henderson. International nominees include U.S. band The War On Drugs, Swedish duo First Aid Kit and solo artists Taylor Swift, Beyonce and Beck.

The winners will be announced during a concert-style ceremony at London's 02 Arena on Feb. 25.

Most winners are decided by a ballot of music-industry members, with some chosen by public vote.

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