People's Choice Country Awards/Instagram
Hosted by Little Big Town, this brand new awards show has been one to remember. From honoring legendary country stars like Toby Keith and Wynonna Judd to crediting some artists who have just put their boots in the water, this awards show has already made a huge impact on many.
“The lineup is about the best celebration, and what the fans want to see as they celebrate the year in country music,” Cassandra Tryon, the Senior Vice President of Entertainment Live Events, NBCUniversal Television and Streaming, notes. “It’s about reflecting on the biggest moments in country music of the year. So, so many artists have had such incredible years, tours, songs and albums, so it’s really about ‘what is the best celebration of that music and how many performances can we pick?”
While there are many amazing categories, there are two categories that really stand out from other awards shows. Crossover Song and Social Country Star.
Tryon adds, “I would say Social Country Star and Crossover Song are probably the most unique and different categories than we’re used to from some of the other award shows out there. It’s really trying to celebrate the best in country music, including new artists and up-and-comers.”
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The Social Country Star category is a new nod to the rising trend of artists using their social media platforms to actively engage with fans. This category will reflect the country stars that not only have the biggest followings, but also have high fan engagement rates.
Some may see this award as a fan popularity contest. It is unique in the way that it is not based solely on talent and artist performances. Some of the few ways that this award is unique is that it considers the artist tours, interpersonal relationships with fans, and their interaction with fans on their social media platforms.
Tryon shared, “We have a proprietary system that ingests data from sources like Spotify and Billboard, and all the usual sources like social media, etc., so when we announce the nominees, we know they’re truly reflective of what the fans are consuming and talking about in country music.”
The eight country artists who were nominated for the Social Country Star of 2023 award are Bailey Zimmerman, Blake Shelton, Carrie Underwood, Dolly Parton, Kelsea Ballerini, Luke Combs, Morgan Wallen and Shania Twain.
All of these artists have a unique way of engaging with their fans. They have all been majorly successful this year, and have made a tremendous impact on their fans. While they are all amazing, there can only be one Social Country Star of 2023.
In true Blake fashion, he brought plenty of humor to his acceptance speech.
“I moved to Nashville in 1994 and man, I had a lot of dreams. This was not one of them,” Blake joked. “I don’t even know what this means. But, if the fans want me to have it, I’m da** well gonna put it on my mantel.”
After a great presentation tonight, many viewers are already excited for the 2024 People’s Choice Country Awards. Who will be the next recipient?
CONGRATULATIONS, BLAKE SHELTON!
Watch his hilarious acceptance speech below!