2015 Grammys: Sam Smith and Beyoncé lead Grammy nominations
The British newcomer and the American queen of pop have five nods each
British newcomer Sam Smith and Beyoncé — the most nominated female in Grammy history — are the current leaders at the Grammy Awards with five each.
Smith and Beyoncé will likely earn nominations for album of the year, the top award, when The Recording Academy announces the nominees Friday night on A Very GRAMMY Christmas on CBS.
Smith is the real leader so far: He's up for key awards such as best new artist and song and record of the year for his hit Stay With Me.
Beyoncé, surprisingly, was not up for song or record of the year. Her nominations include best urban contemporary album for her fifth album as well as R&B song and R&B performance for Drunk in Love.
Smith's five nominations include best pop solo performance and pop vocal album for his debut, In the Lonely Hour, one of the year's top-selling albums. The big-voiced singer will battle Ed Sheeran, Miley Cyrus, Ariana Grande, Katy Perry and Coldplay in the latter category.
For song and record of the year, Smith's Stay With Me will battle Taylor Swift's Shake It Off, Meghan Trainor's All About That Bass and Sia's Chandelier.
The Canadian contingent
Toronto rap superstar Drake led the Canadian contingent with three nominations — even though this was a year in which the 28-year-old didn't release an album.
That brings his career nomination tally up to a steep 21, though he's won only one Grammy: best rap album in 2013.
Montreal's Arcade Fire also scooped up a pair of nominations, for best alternative music album (for their sprawling experiment Reflektor) and best music video for their equality-minded We Exist clip, which starred Amazing Spider-Man actor Andrew Garfield.
Grammys are feeling Fancy
Iggy Azalea's Fancy is nominated for record of the year, while Hozier's Take Me to Church is up for song of the year, a songwriter's award.
Azalea, the Australian newcomer, earned four nominations, including best rap album for The New Classic, best pop duo/group performance for Fancy and best new artist, pitting her and Smith against pop-rock trio HAIM, English band Bastille and country singer Brandy Clark.
Usher, Jack White, Miranda Lambert and Eric Church also earned four nominations each. Church and Lambert will compete for best country album, along with Clark, Dierks Bentley and Lee Ann Womack.
Sia, who also earned four nominations, had a breakthrough this year with Chandelier after writing songs for other singers, from Rihanna to Beyoncé to Katy Perry.
Pharrell's to battle Queen Bey
Pharrell's Happy and John Legend's All of Me, tunes that peaked at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100 this year, were technically released before Grammy eligibility, so the singers submitted live renditions of the songs so they could be considered for awards. They didn't earn nominations in the top awards, but the hits will compete with Stay With Me, Shake It Off and All About That Bass for best pop solo performance.
U2's Songs of Innocence, originally released for free to iTunes users, is up for best rock album. Other nominees include Beck, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, Ryan Adams and the Black Keys.
Lady Gaga and Tony Bennett's duets album, Cheek to Cheek, is nominated for best traditional pop vocal album, where it will compete with Barbra Streisand's duets album as well as efforts from Annie Lennox, Johnny Mathis and Barry Manilow.
The Grammy Awards will air live Feb. 8 from the Staples Center in Los Angeles.
With files from the Canadian Press