The 2015 Brit Award nominations have finally been announced with, it seems, a few surprises alongside the obvious candidates. There's no prizes for guessing who's come out on top for this year's list of award-winning possibles.

Sam Smith promo
Sam Smith leads nominations

Awards season rears its ominous head for another year, with some major ceremonies - in both film and music - having already taken place. We've seen prizes sent out for 2014's films; I.e. Golden Globes, the Critics' Choice Awards, People's Choice Awards, AFI Honours; and now it's time for music, with the BBC Sound of 2015 having already taken place and now The Brits and the Grammys have unveiled their candidates.

More: Brits Critics' Choice Awards winner talks about being a soloist

The biggest name in this year's Brit Awards is, of course, the ever humble Sam Smith. He faces accolades for British Male Solo Artist, British Breakthrough Act, British Single for his number one hit 'Stay With Me', British Album Of The Year for his Platinum debut 'In The Lonely Hour' and British Artist Video Of The Year for 'Stay With Me' which featured a church choir. But closely following him is yet again pop favourite Ed Sheeran who is also up for the same awards (apart from Breakthrough Act) for his Rick Rubin produced album 'X' and single 'Thinking Out Loud'.

More: Watch the video for Sam Smith's 'Stay With Me'

We're also happy to see George Ezra high up in the competition, his single 'Budapest' and album 'Wanted On Voyage' landing him nominations to go alongside his British Male Solo Artist and British Breakthrough Act nods. Behind him we were surprised to see Brighton rockers Royal Blood stand out, despite the success of their number one self-titled debut album. They're looking at awards for British Group, British Breakthrough Act and British album of the year.

More: Read our 5/5 review of Royal Blood's debut album

Other artists being recognised for their achievements include Ella Henderson, FKA Twigs, Alt-J, Clean Bandit and One Direction, with songs from Calvin Harris, Duke Dumont, Mark Ronson, Route 94 and Sigma also having two nominations apiece this year.

Royal Blood promo
Royal Blood land three nominations altogether

They may be named the Brits for a reason but our musical counterparts from the other side of the pond get their own nominations as usual; the likes of Hozier and 5 Seconds of Summer are among the recognised newcomers, alongside John Legend, Beck, Sia, Taylor Swift and Foo Fighters to name but a few.

Of course, the Brits had already begun their award distribution, having awarded singer-songwriter James Bay with the Brits Critics' Choice Award beating George The Poet and Years & Years, the latter of whom became the BBC Sound of 2015 poll winners. There's still time to vote for your favourite in the British Video and British Breakthrough Act categories, but don't miss the award ceremony broadcast on February 25th 2015.

Next page: See the full list of nominations