Ed Sheeran has taken out the BRIT Award for Album of the Year.

The Thinking Outloud singer also beat favourite Sam Smith by scooping the British Male Solo Artist prize.

Actor Orlando Bloom and pop star Rita Ora were on hand to present the award to Sheeran, who also triumphed over Damon Albarn, George Ezra and Paolo Nutini to pick up the first prize at London's O2 Arena.

*SCROLL DOWN TO SEE THE 2015 BRIT AWARDS FULL WINNERS LIST*

Taylor Swift opened the show with a performance of her hit Blank Space. Other performers are set to include Smith, Kanye West and Madonna.

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Taylor Swift has picked up her first ever Brit Award.

The pop star took the stage at London's O2 Arena and thanked Ed Sheeran, presenter Ellie Goulding and Cara Delevingne for making her feel welcome in the UK.

"I've been coming to England and playing shows for eight years and this is my first BRIT Award. I'm so happy," she said during her International Female Artist acceptance speech.

The Love Story singer singled out Sheeran, the ceremony's British Male Solo Artist prize winner, and thanked him for taking her to British pubs, adding, "He taught me how to make a good cup of tea."

Swift, who also opened the show with a performance of her hit Blank Space, then name checked Goulding and Delevingne, insisting she was "lucky to have them in my life".

Sam Smith will be hoping for a repeat of his success at the Grammys when he takes to the stage at the Brits today.

The Stay With Me singer leads the nominations at the annual event and is set to perform alongside names such as Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift.

Smith, who won four Grammys this month, is in the running for five Brits, narrowly ahead of Sheeran and George Ezra, up for four apiece.

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The 22-year-old is up for prizes including best male, best album and best newcomer at the bash - a year after collecting the critics' choice title.

Rock duo Royal Blood will compete for a trio of awards, while singer Jess Glynne also finds her name on the shortlists three times as a guest vocalist on singles by Route 94 and Clean Bandit.

Smith, who has become one of the world's most played acts over the past year, goes up against Sheeran, Ezra and Paolo Nutini for best male as well as Damon Albarn, who collects his first Brit nomination in his own right after years of acclaim for his output with acts such as Blur and Gorillaz.

Smith's release In The Lonely Hour lines up for the best album award against Sheeran's x, Alt-J's This Is All Yours, Ezra's Wanted On Voyage and Royal Blood's self-titled debut.

Although many of the British categories are dominated by male artists, FKA Twigs and Ella Henderson are among the women who picked up two nominations. They are both up for solo British female, as are Jessie Ware, Lily Allen and Paloma Faith.

The British group category sees bass and drums duo Royal Blood taking on One Direction, Coldplay, Alt-J and Clean Bandit.

The international group category sees US act The War on Drugs taking on Swedish folk duo First Aid Kit, with Foo Fighters, Australians 5 Seconds of Summer and The Black Keys.

Swift has been shortlisted for best international female with Beyonce, Lana Del Rey, Sia and St Vincent.

Watch the worldwide live stream of the 2015 BRIT Awards:

Brit Awards 2015: Winners list

MASTERCARD BRITISH ALBUM OF THE YEAR

Ed Sheeran -

x

BRITISH ARTIST VIDEO OF THE YEAR

Winner: One Direction -

You & I

BRITISH MALE SOLO ARTIST

Winner: Ed Sheeran

BRITISH FEMALE SOLO ARTIST
Paloma Faith

BRITISH GROUP
Winner: Royal Blood

BRITISH BREAKTHROUGH ACT
Winner: Sam Smith

CRITICS' CHOICE
Winner: James Bay

BRITISH SINGLE
Winner: Mark Ronson ft. Bruno Mars - Uptown Funk
GLOBAL SUCCESS AWARD
Winner: Sam Smith

BRITISH PRODUCER OF THE YEAR
Winner: Paul Epworth

INTERNATIONAL MALE SOLO ARTIST
Winner: Pharrell Williams

INTERNATIONAL FEMALE SOLO ARTIST
Winner: Taylor Swift

INTERNATIONAL GROUP
Foo Fighters

What: The Brits 2015, Britain's answer to the Grammys
When and where: Screening today on UKTV, 2pm and 8.30pm
Also: Streaming live from 9am on www.brits.co.uk

- PA, WENN