Newcomer Sam Smith joined Beyonce and Pharrell Williams on Friday to lead in nominations for the Grammy Awards, with the music industry’s annual picks weighted toward R&B-influenced artists.
Smith — the British blue-eyed soul singer who emerged in force this year with “Stay With Me,” a ballad about a one-night stand — was tied with Beyonce and Williams for nominations in six categories at music’s most-watched awards.
“What is going on! 6 Grammy nominations. Dear Lord,” Smith wrote on Instagram as he posted a picture of his face somewhere between tears and a grimace.
Smith’s debut album “In the Lonely Hour” was nominated for the most prestigious Album of the Year along with the prolific Williams’ “Girl,” which features the globally viral anthem “Happy.”
Beyonce, who won six Grammys in 2010 in one of the awards’ biggest-ever hauls, was also tapped for Album of the Year with her latest, self-titled album, which includes her tune of marital bliss “Drunk in Love” sung with husband Jay Z.
One Grammy surprise was Beck, whose collage-like and sometimes ironic songs have won him a passionate following over two decades but who has often been considered outside the mainstream.
Beck was nominated in four categories including Album of the Year for his introspective “Morning Phase.”
British songwriter Ed Sheeran, who has collaborated with superstar pop acts such as One Direction, was also nominated for Album of the Year for his second studio album “X.”
The Grammy winners will be announced at a gala ceremony in Los Angeles on February 8.