Heroes are often controversial, but never cowards. The seven nominees in this Taste of Country Fan Choice Awards category made an important statement or took important action when it was needed most in 2017.

Miranda Lambert and Kenny Chesney earned nominations for their work during hurricanes Harvey and Irma. Jason Aldean's response to a very different kind of tragedy earned his spot among the nominees. Taylor Swift made her statement in a courtroom, and Meghan Linsey made hers on a football field.

Linsey and Neal McCoy are nominated for their competing points of view about whether it's acceptable to kneel during the National Anthem. In both cases the singers are defending their honest beliefs, and both have found praise and death threats on social media. The debate continues to rage on, and likely will through the end of the NFL season.

Nobody knew who Austin Rick was prior to his accusations against well-known Nashville publicist Kirt Webster. Webster, Rick says, coerced him into performing sexual acts, and for years he was afraid to speak up for fear of retaliation. This fall he spoke up, and learned dozens more had stories to tell as well.

Read about all seven nominees in the gallery above and then vote for the act you think is most courageous. The 2017 Taste of Country Fan Choice Awards will end at 11:59PM ET on Dec. 7.

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