The nominees for the prestigious accolade have been announced ahead of the ceremony taking place at The Dorchester hotel in London on October 9.
Zayn is in the running for 'Pillowtalk', Bay for 'Let It Go' and Ed has been nominated for penning Justin Bieber's 'Love Yourself'.
The trio also face competition from DJ Paleface & Kyla for their contributions to 'One Dance' by Drake and Alexander Palmer, who write 'Somewhere On A Beach' performed by Dierks Bentley.
The Song of the Year prize is given to the UK or European songwriter responsible for creating the most performed track on US radio and TV of the past 12 months from the BMI catalog.
For the last two years the award has been taken home by British songwriters; Sam Smith claimed it in 2015 for mega-hit 'Stay With Me' and last year Ed was recognised for global smash 'Thinking Out Loud'.
Whoever takes home the main prize, each of the five nominees will receive a BMI London Pop Award on the night.
'Pillowtalk' was the debut solo single by the former One Direction member, written and performed by Zayn and it went straight in at number one in the US Billboard Hot 100 chart
Ed's 'Love Yourself' was recorded by Justin and was produced and co-written by Benny Blanco and Bieber, and it reached number one in eight countries including the UK and the US and went on to spend an incredible 24 non-consecutive weeks in the Top 10 of the Billboard Hot 100.
Bay's 'Let It Go' is the self-penned lead single from the rocker's EP of the same name and it debuted in the Top 20 on the Billboard Hot 100.
Kyla and DJ Paleface's 'One Dance' - which samples their 90s dancehall track 'Do You Mind' - was a huge worldwide hit for Drake and in 2016 it spent a total of 10 non-consecutive weeks at the top of the Billboard Hot 100 and accumulated over one billion individual streams, making the track one of the best-selling singles of all time.
'Somewhere On A Beach', performed by by Dierks Bentley, was written by German songwriter and producer Palmer and the song peaked at the top of the Hot Country Songs and Billboard Country Airplay chart in the US, granting Alexander his first number one country song.
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