2011 Taste of Country Awards: Best Artist to Follow on Twitter
Each day this week, new nominees for the 2011 Taste of Country Awards will be announced. There are 10 categories in this fan-voted online awards ceremony, including today's unveiling of the Best Artist to Follow on Twitter category. The five nominees -- Blake Shelton, Brad Paisley, LeAnn Rimes, Miranda Lambert and Taylor Swift -- each find creative ways to keep fans involved while revealing bits and pieces of their offstage persona. Sure, sometimes an artist will go too far. But more often, he or she will use Twitter to break news, keep fans updated on new music or tour dates and share personal pictures.
@blakeshelton: Shelton is probably country music's most famous tweeter, but his often inebriated posts sometimes turn people off. Occasionally he's can be offensive to some, but the nearly 800K followers that have stuck with him through the good and bad appreciate how interactive he is. The 'Honey Bee' singer frequently responds to fans and re-tweets other's posts, even if it is just to call them a four-letter word.
@BradPaisley: Paisley has an eye for a great photo, often at the expense of Carrie Underwood. While he doesn't tweet as frequently as some of the others in the category, his clever updates often include photos from backstage at video shoots or awards shows, or from his own home.
@leannrimes: Rimes has posted four times as many tweets as the next most prolific artist on this list (36K tweets to Blake Shelton's 9K tweets). Some may find her constant chatter irritating, but nobody communicates more personally with fans than her. Often her Twitter page turns into a tabloid as she defends herself from accusations, but at least she's open enough to address rumors and critics.
@Miranda_Lambert: Lambert shares photos of animals she's rescued on her Twitter page and gives fans glimpses behind her tough girl persona. The singer is not nearly as outgoing as her husband, but if she were, the two wouldn't be such a perfect match.
@taylorswift13: Swift's tweets often include photos and videos of how she spends her time offstage. While one doesn't get any glimpses of who she spends her off time with (wink, wink), we get plenty of images of her time on the road, her kitten and even her preparations for the holidays during downtime. Swift has more followers than all other artists in this category combined.
Vote for the 2011 Taste of Country Awards’ Best Artist to Follow on Twitter 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.