Is Blake Shelton the New Taylor Swift?

He Could Be Country's Latest Greatest Export

Until the Washington Post said it out loud, I hadn’t really thought about it like this:

Trae Patton/NBC/Getty Images

Blake Shelton could very well be kind of the new Taylor Swift.

She’s no longer making country music, so it makes sense that country music would need a new face. And Shelton’s face is that face.

Here’s why the newspaper thinks he’s the best new ambassador we’ve got:

1. His massive mainstream success on The Voice has earned him fans outside the country bubble.

2. His country-boy-in-the-big-city image works, and it is not an act.

3. The way he’s stayed true to his image: the hard-drinking partier — which is “universally relatable.”

4. He’s open about his drinking. Super open. The guy has no shame and nothing to hide.

5. He can’t believe he’s as famous as he is.

6. Nashville needs Shelton.

If all of that is true, Shelton and Swift aren’t on the same exact path.

Even if you look at his recent appearance on Saturday Night Live as his initiation into Swift territory, it took him much longer to cross that threshold. Eleven years longer. Swift debuted in 2006 with “Tim McGraw,” and three years later, she was on SNL. Shelton debuted in 2001 with “Austin,” and 14 years later made it to SNL.

Alison makes her living loving country music. She's based in Chicago, but she's always leaving her heart in Nashville.