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2011 Taste of Country Awards: Cover Performance of the Year

Taste of Country Awards

The 2011 Taste of Country Awards look to honor serious country accomplishments, but also the more spontaneous and impulsive flashes of creativity that artists have shown over the past year. All week long, the categories for these fan-voted upon honors are being unveiled one at a time, including the Cover Performance of the Year category, which includes country recreations by Blake Shelton, Lady Antebellum, Scotty McCreery, Steel Magnolia and Taylor Swift. Watch all five and then decide which cover is the best.

Blake Shelton, ‘Footloose‘: Shelton recorded Kenny Loggins’ classic tune for the soundtrack of the movie remake starring Julianne Hough, but his performance with Loggins at the CMA Awards in November reminded people just how much fun this song — and the movie — really can be. He stayed true to the original arrangement, adding only minimal country style. [Watch Blake Shelton Perform 'Footloose']

Lady Antebellum, ‘Dirt Road Anthem’ (Parody): This video may be the crown jewel of all Lady Haze pranks to date. They even got the song’s primary writer, Colt Ford, in on the fun. Charles Kelley raps about Croakies, Hillary Scott breaks down in her ‘God voice’ and Dave Haywood makes Urkel look hip. [Watch Lady Antebellum Parody 'Dirt Road Anthem']

Scotty McCreery, ‘Your Man’: McCreery almost made this song as famous as Josh Turner did when he used it to audition for season 10 of ‘American Idol.’ In May, Turner surprised the then 17-year-old onstage for a memorable duet of the hit. McCreery has since gone on to perform it just about everywhere he goes.  [Watch Scotty McCreery Cover 'Your Man']

Steel Magnolia, ‘Rolling in the Deep’: Joshua Scott Jones and Meghan Linsey got together in an empty (we assume) bathroom to recreate Adele‘s big hit, and they do a great job. The pair are as soulful as any combo in Nashville, and their recreation drips with emotion. Jones starts the song slowly, but eventually the song becomes the one we all know and recognize.  [Watch Steel Magnolia Sing 'Rolling in the Deep']

Taylor Swift, ‘White Blank Page’ — Swift slows down this Mumford and Sons song. The original is distinctly British, which is probably why Swift chose to play it on the BBC. The 21-year-old seems to be thinking of someone specific as she works her way through the melancholy lyrics. It’s a beautifully stripped down acoustic cover. [Watch Taylor Swift Cover 'White Blank Page']

Vote for the 2011 Taste of Country Awards’ Cover Performance 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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