2011 Taste of Country Awards: Song of the Year
The eighth category to be revealed for the 2011 Taste of Country Awards is the prestigious Song of the Year category. Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood, Luke Bryan, Ronnie Dunn and Taylor Swift will need plenty of fan support to win this award, as all Taste of Country Award winners are decided by voters. To be eligible, a song must have been released as a radio single during the calendar year 2011. All five of these songs can be found on our personal list of the Top 10 Country Songs of 2011. Listen to each track and decide which is your favorite from the past 12 months.
Blake Shelton, 'Honey Bee': Shelton's hit spent multiple weeks on top of the Billboard country singles charts this summer. It's an adorable tune that one would almost not expect from the man with the dirtiest Twitter page in country music, but with his new album, 'Red River Blue,' he's proving to be a many sided puzzle that fans can't get enough of. [Listen to Blake Shelton's 'Honey Bee']
Brad Paisley Feat. Carrie Underwood, 'Remind Me': Surprisingly, Paisley had to convince Carrie Underwood that singing this song together would be a good idea. The final performance is full of passion and real longing. It's almost hard to believe the two are just friends, but when a couple of the best in the business get together one would expect nothing short of magic. [Listen to Brad Paisley and Carrie Underwood's 'Remind Me']
Luke Bryan, 'Country Girl (Shake it For Me)': Bryan's uptempo party anthem has become a club mainstay since he released it earlier this year. While it didn't reach No. 1 on the Billboard charts, it did become the No. 1 catchiest song of the summer. OK, nobody does official studies on catchiness, but few will disagree that -- for better or worse -- this song wouldn't get out of your head at one point in 2011. [Listen to Luke Bryan's 'Country Girl (Shake it For Me)]
Ronnie Dunn, 'Cost of Livin'': Dunn says this song was easy to record because its lyrics and the story they tell are so relevant. His humble childhood provided the inspiration he needed to turn this slice of blue collar life ballad into a sure hit. [Listen to Ronnie Dunn's 'Cost of Livin'']
Taylor Swift, 'Mean': This is Swift's sixth Taste of Country Award nomination and her second for 'Mean' (also nominated for Video of the Year). Any song written for the underdog is sure to catch on amongst country music fans, and the singer's sharp lyrics and contagious hook ties up one of the more meaningful songs of the year. [Listen to Taylor Swift's 'Mean']
Vote for the 2011 Taste of Country Awards’ Song of the Year here, or on the 2011 Taste of Country Awards full categories page, which will be available on Friday, Dec. 2. Voting ends on Jan. 1, 2012 at 11:59PM ET. Winners will be announced on Jan. 3, 2012.