Blake Shelton Wins Four 2011 Taste of Country Awards
With all votes in and the ballots tabulated, Blake Shelton has won four 2011 Taste of Country Awards, including the 2011 Album of the Year, Cover Performance of the Year and Best Artist to Follow on Twitter honors. Shelton also earned a 2011 Taste of Country Awards co-honor alongside his wife, Miranda Lambert: the Headline of the Year title for the news of their wedding in 2011. Fans rewarded Shelton for a year's worth of hard work and great music. There's little doubt 2012 will prove to be just as fruitful for the 'God Gave Me You' singer.
Shelton's rise to the top of country music's conscious in 2011 began in the spring with his wedding to Miranda Lambert and a spot mentoring contestants on the hit NBC show 'The Voice.' His 'Red River Blue' album was released in July, and it proved to be a favorite amongst critics and fans. With over 38 percent of the votes, he earned the Album of the Year award. Lambert's 'Four the Record' finished with just over 28 percent of the votes, followed by Eric Church's 'Chief,' Pistol Annies' 'Hell on Heels' and Sunny Sweeney's 'Concrete.'
In the fall, it was announced that Shelton would be recreating the theme song to the remake of 'Footloose,' a 1984 movie starring Kevin Bacon. The country singer stayed true to Kenny Loggins' original, and the two even performed the hit together to kick off the CMA Awards in November. That recording of 'Footloose' earned Shelton his second Taste of Country Award. Scotty McCreery finished just over one percentage point behind Shelton in the Cover Performance of the Year category with his version of 'Your Man,' which was followed by Taylor Swift's cover of 'Mumford and Sons' 'White Blank Page,' Lady Antebellum's parody of 'Dirt Road Anthem' and Steel Magnolia's recreation of Adele's 'Rolling in the Deep.'
Shelton was an early favorite to win the Best Artist to Follow on Twitter award, but Swift and her 10 million followers made it a close call. Once again, a category was decided by only one or two percentage points, but @blakeshelton was left atop the tally board after voting closed on Sunday night. Brad Paisley, Lambert and LeAnn Rimes rounded out the nominees in this category.
Congratulations to Blake Shelton and to all the nominees in these categories. We're expecting big things from each of you in 2012.