It’s no secret that Taylor Swift is popular among the younger generation, girls especially — even the singer herself recognizes that she’s a role model for millions. In a new interview with USA Today, ‘Tattoos on This Town’ crooner Jason Aldean tips his hat to the 22-year-old songstress, praising her for the innovative way in which she has expanded country music’s audience.

“Taylor has gone out and brought a whole new fanbase to our world,” Aldean remarks. “All these teenage girls that might not have listened to country before, she has brought them all into our genre. Nobody else is really doing that.” Given that he has two young daughters at home, it’s likely that Aldean is all too familiar with Swift’s wide outreach.

The ‘Ours’ singer — who just celebrated her birthday on Tuesday — was recently honored as one of CMT’s 2011 Artists of the Year alongside Aldean, Brad Paisley, Lady Antebellum and Kenny Chesney.

Swift and Aldean are currently both in the running for the 2011 Taste of Country Awards, with winners to be determined based on digital fan votes.