Country music has a friend in new Today show co-anchor Hoda Kotb. Blake Shelton's girlfriend, Gwen Stefani, may have competition.

Kotb was just named as Matt Lauer's replacement on Today — she filled in for several weeks after he was fired for sexual harassment accusations. Over the last decade she's proven to be a big supporter of country music, visiting Nashville on several occasions and popping up at awards shows and honky-tonks. That's right, on at least two occasions she's been seen on lower Broadway!

Most memorable — if only because it was a skit for the TV show — Kotb came spilling out of a bar with Gifford thinking she was late for her show. Luke Bryan appeared driving a pedal tavern and picked the pair up. That same week she and Shelton shared a stage singing his hit "Boys 'Round Here" together, adorably and awkwardly.

The Blake love is real. Kotb admitted she has a crush on him during an interview with Jay Leno, and since that point they've become friends. Shelton once stopped by her hour of Today to get real about his relationship with Stefani. Kotb even dressed as Shelton when the show cast decided to be country singers for Halloween.

Other friends of Kotb's? Garth Brooks, Lee Brice, Kellie Pickler and Trisha Yearwood. Carrie Underwood and Miranda Lambert both got real with the new anchor while she was doing work for Dateline. Underwood talked about wanting to be a bad girl during a 2012 interview. Lambert shared that she knew Shelton was married when she started to fall for him, but kept her hands off.

Thomas Rhett went as far as allowing the 53-year-old to hold his just-adopted little girl when he appeared on Today in June. Taste of Country was on hand to capture that moment:

Kotb had long been teamed with Kathie Lee Gifford for the fourth hour of Today, a job she'll keep moving forward.

Kotb joins anchor Savannah Guthrie as the show's co-anchors. Immediately after the news was announced on Tuesday (Jan. 2), Darius Rucker tweeted his enthusiasm:

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