Best New-Model Country Star 

Taylor Swift

With its loyal fans and splinter-proof radio stations, country music fought off the erosion of album sales well after rock 'n' roll suffered a mighty defeat. But eventually Music Row had to signal its own retreat, and who among them would have guessed that their knight in shining armor would be a teenage gal penning original tunes about, of all things, boys? With more than 20,000,000 streams on MySpace and gold sales on iTunes, Swift's gallant embrace of the digital age alone is a breakthrough for a genre hesitant to leave the bricks and mortar behind. But Swift is more than just a teen with an acoustic and a MacBook—she's also the first female artist to actually write or co-write all the songs on her 2006 debut, which sold millions. Chivalry ain't dead; it's just wearing a sundress and cowboy boots. —TRACY MOORE

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(Sorry, no information is currently available for other years in this same award category.)

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