Nine categories of the 2011 Taste of Country Awards nominees have been announced already, and now you have the chance to start voting on the final one. Artist of the Year is the biggest award of them all, as fans can decide which singer or group had the most impressive 2011. The nominees are Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, Jason Aldean, Lady Antebellum and Taylor Swift. This award winner will not be decided by music industry professionals. Instead, the fans that actually buy CDs and concert tickets will be voting.

Blake Shelton: Shelton had the year's high profile wedding. He said "I do" to Miranda Lambert in May while balancing concert dates, a mentor gig on NBC's 'The Voice' and recording songs for his new album. 'Red River Blue' ended up being one of the year's best, and his tour with Brad Paisley was also one of the memorable tours of 2011.

Brad Paisley: Paisley is the veteran in this group. His resume is longer than any other artist's in this category, and his new album, 'This Is Country Music,' was critically hailed, featuring two of the year's biggest hits in 'Old Alabama' and 'Remind Me.' Plus, his summer tour continues to change the face of country concert tours. The water park festival atmosphere he brought to the 2011 H2O II tour forces one to look at how valuable tickets to other shows are.

Jason Aldean: Aldean picked up awards for Album of the Year and Musical Event of the Year at other prestigious awards shows this year. He proved his tour muscle by selling out many amphitheaters across the country. There's little doubt that the Georgia born country star has a long ways to go before he's peaked.

Lady Antebellum: The country trio are right there with Aldean in terms of rising star power. Their album 'Own the Night' is amongst 2011's sales leaders, and every single they release finds its way to No. 1. They are must-have performers for any award show. Later this winter, they'll begin a headlining tour with Darius Rucker.

Taylor Swift: Swift took home a shopping cart full of hardware at recent televised awards shows and is the most nominated artist in the 2011 Taste of Country Awards. 2011 has been a huge year for her; she's sold plenty of albums, concert tickets and digital singles, but her fanbase will have to step up if she is to make a clean sweep of all the awards she is nominated for.

Vote for the 2011 Taste of Country Awards’ Artist of the Year here, or on the 2011 Taste of Country Awards full categories page. Voting ends on Jan. 1, 2012 at 11:59PM ET. Winners will be announced on Jan. 3, 2012.

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