All-female shortlist is a first for Ivor Novello awards

PJ Harvey, Kate Bush, Adele PJ Harvey, Kate Bush and Adele represent three generations of British songwriting talent

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Adele, Kate Bush and PJ Harvey will battle it out for best album at next month's Ivor Novello awards.

It is the first time the album shortlist has been exclusively female.

Two of Adele's tracks, Rolling in the Deep and Someone Like You, are also nominated for most performed work, alongside Take That's The Flood.

Rolling in the Deep is also up for best song muscially and lyrically. The annual awards will be presented in London on 17 May.

They celebrate British and Irish songwriting and composing and are voted for by songwriters.

While all the albums shortlisted are performed by women, producer Paul Epworth is nominated alongside Adele for 21 as he co-wrote some of the key songs.

PJ Harvey is listed for her Mercury Prize-winning record Let England Shake, a concept album about Britain at war.

Kate Bush's album 50 Words For Snow is also written around a theme, comprising a suite of seven songs "set against a backdrop of falling snow".

This year's nominees for best contemporary song are Nero's Promises, Lana Del Rey's Video Games and James Blake's The Wilhelm Scream.

Justin Parker, who helped Del Rey write Video Games, agreed the music business "seems very female-orientated" at the moment.

"It's been like that for a few years," he told the BBC.

"But it's great to have really classic songwriting represented, like Adele. Without Adele I think Lana might not have happened. She opened the door for that kind of songwriting."

Plan B

Other nominees in the best song musically and lyrically are Florence and the Machine's Shake It Out and Ed Sheeran's The A Team.

Best original film score contenders are Life in a Day, The First Grader and We Need to Talk About Kevin, which was written by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood.

The Shadow Line, Page Eight and Leonardo are all in competition for best television soundtrack.

Adele's second album 21 has won numerous awards in what has been a stellar year for the north Londoner.

The record recently overtook Dire Straits' Brothers In Arms in the list of best-selling UK albums.

The LP has now sold more than 4,142,000 copies in the singer's home country, making it the sixth biggest-selling album of all-time.

Her awards haul includes two Brit awards and six Grammy awards.

Last year, rapper-turned-singer Plan B won three prizes at the Ivor Novellos, including best songwriter - presented by Sir Elton John - and best album.

Special awards went to Muse, Steve Winwood, Free founder Paul Rodgers and musicals legend Stephen Sondheim.

Previous winners in other years include Sir Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Amy Winehouse and Radiohead.

This year's recipients will be announced at the ceremony.

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