By Bee Shapiro
Updated Dec 06, 2014 @ 12:42 pm
Credit: Gareth Cattermole/PW/WireImage

Though the majority of 57th annual Grammy nominations were released earlier this week, the vaunted awards show held out on the Album of the Year nominees until last night (the suspense!), when they revealed the chosen few on “A Very Grammy Christmas” on CBS. We bet the race for music's biggest prize was no easy selection, but here are the ones still in the chase:

Morning PhaseBeckLabel: Capitol Records

BeyoncéBeyoncéLabel: Columbia Records

XEd SheeranLabel: Atlantic

In The Lonely HourSam SmithLabel: Capitol Records

GirlPharrell WilliamsLabel: Columbia Records

While Queen Bey, Pharrell and Smith seemed practically shoo-ins, it was still quite the achievement to lead the total awards nominations pack-- each nabbed six. Smith had the best social media reaction, posting this sweet image and caption to his Instagram feed after hearing word of his Album of the Year nod:

More of a surprise were the exclusions: both Iggy Azalea, whose New Classic spawned the 2014 summer anthem "Fancy," and Taylor Swift and her pop album 1989, which looks like will be number on the Billboard charts for a fifth week in a row. Not that they were totally snubbed though. Both are up for for plenty of other categories. Azalea is in it to win it in the Best New Artist category and Record of the Year for "Fancy," while Swift's catchy "Shake It Off" is nominated for Best Pop Solo Performance and also Record of the Year.

The awards show won't be happening until February though-- let the races begin!