We saved the best (and toughest) category for last in the first annual Ultimate Classic Rock awards. You're going to have to decide which artist advanced the cause of rock and roll the most this year.

We're not asking which one is your favorite, but whose accomplishments over the past 12 months were the most significant. We boiled it down to four, and we're going to make the case for each one real quick:

Paul McCartney: First off, he's still carrying the flag for the Beatles music (and his own solo career) high and proud at his amazing, marathon-length concerts. He's also putting out fantastic reissues of his truest solo albums, experimenting in new genres, and even dabbling in documentaries. That's a pretty full slate!

Alice Cooper: Not only did Alice come up with our personal choice for album and song of the year, he was enshrined in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, criss-crossed the country with one hell of an impressive live show and continues to spread the gospel of a wide variety of bands with his syndicated radio show.

Sammy Hagar: Up for best song and album in the 2011 Ultimate Classic Rock Awards with his new group Chickenfoot, wrote one of the most honest and captivating biographies (in any field) of the past several years, tore it up with his solo band in whatever he calls spare time, and was generally the most unfiltered quote machine in the industry. Oh, and he just started a rum company!

Nikki Sixx: The Motley Crue mastermind put together another spectacular tour with his bandmates, released a very well received album with his other current band, Sixx: A.M, has his own fast-growing syndicated radio show and also wrote another inventive, critically acclaimed book. (Most of which happened before we launched!)

That's some pretty exclusive company, right? So, who's gonna get your vote? You have until 11:59 PM EST on Jan. 1, 2012 to decide, and the winners will be announced on Jan. 3!