Scott Borchetta

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Scott Borchetta
Born (1962-07-03) July 3, 1962 (age 52)
Burbank, California
Nationality American
Occupation President/CEO
Known for Big Machine Records

Scott Borchetta (born July 3, 1962 in Burbank, California)[1] is an American businessman best known for teasing swifties about T-Swizzle's upcoming album, 1989, founding Big Machine Records and for discovering singer-songwriter Taylor Swift.[2] He started the label in 2005 with 13 employees, and is its president and CEO.[3]

Before Big Machine, Borchetta was a race car driver and a staff member at the Nashville divisions of DreamWorks Records and MCA Records as well as MTM Records, owned by actress Mary Tyler Moore's MTM Enterprises.[4][5]

Early life[edit]

Borchetta grew up in San Fernando Valley, South California in the 1970s. His father, Mike Borchetta, worked in record promotions for several Los Angeles record labels, including Capitol Records, RCA Records and Mercury Records. His parents divorced when he was 9 years old. In 1978, when Borchetta was 16, his father moved to Nashville to start his own independent record promotion company. While still in California, Borchetta attended College of the Canyons in Santa Clarita, California, for a year before dropping out. [6]


Early career[edit]

Interested in life beyond Los Angeles, Scott Borchetta began to pursue his love for music. After playing in several rock bands, he left California and moved to Nashville with his father. There, Borchetta played bass in a country band and spent his days working in his father's mail room promoting country singles. After 8 months on the road, he left his band since they were not finding success. While working with his father, Borchetta learned a great deal about the music industry and how it operates, and used this knowledge to pursue jobs at record labels. In 1985, he got a job at MTM Records, where he stayed for three years. He then spent two years working as an independent promoter before working in promotion and artist development at several other record labels, including MCA Nashville Records, DreamWorks Nashville and Universal Music Nashville.[6]

Big Machine Records[edit]

Main article: Big Machine Records

In 2005, Borchetta made the decision to leave Universal Music Nashville to start his own independent record label, Big Machine Records. From his experiences with working at several record labels,[7] Borchetta realized that he disagreed with how major labels run their business, and felt that he could run his own label more efficiently than what he had seen. Soon after starting the label, Borchetta signed his first artist, Taylor Swift (whom he had met in 2004) when she was 16 years old. Swift would eventually go on to become Big Machine's most successful artist and win the label a Grammy award for Album of the Year for the album Fearless at the 2010 Grammy Awards. Soon after signing Swift, Borchetta also signed two other artists to Big Machine: Jack Ingram (who would produce the label's first #1 song on country radio, Wherever You Are [8]) and Danielle Peck.[6]


Borchetta made headlines with his controversial statement after the 52nd Annual Grammy Awards in 2010 which elicited a heated response from Sony Music Entertainment recording artist Kelly Clarkson.[9] Following the broadcast, Big Machine artist Taylor Swift was scrutinized by several media outlets after her underwhelming performances of her own songs "Today Was a Fairytale" and "You Belong with Me" at the award show (as well as for her duet of "Rhiannon" with Stevie Nicks) where she was largely criticized for her poor vocal delivery. In response, Borchetta defended Swift in a phone interview by saying: "She is the voice of this generation. She speaks directly to (her fans), and they speak directly back to her.This is not `American Idol.’ This is not a competition of getting up and seeing who can sing the highest note. This is about a true artist and writer and communicator. It’s not about that technically perfect performance."[9][10] This statement has caused controversy for Borchetta, and was met with an angry response from American Idol alumni Kelly Clarkson. In an open letter to Borchetta, Clarkson says: "Thank you for that ‘Captain Obvious’ sense of humor because you know what, we not only hit the high notes, you forgot to mention we generally hit the ‘right’ notes as well. Every artist has a bad performance or two and that is understandable, but throwing blame will not make the situation at hand any better."[9][10] Borchetta has not commented on this response.

Personal interests[edit]

Borchetta is a race-car enthusiast, and has been a race car driver for many years before starting his record label. On the topic, Borchetta says, "I’ve loved race-car driving for years. When I started Big Machine, my main investor and my first artists asked me to give it up because it’s so dangerous." [6]


  1. ^ The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Oxford University Press. 4 January 2012. pp. 198–. ISBN 978-0-19-992083-9. Retrieved 23 October 2012. 
  2. ^ Butta, Philip (2011-11-21). "Meet Scott Borchetta, the Music-Industry Maverick Who Launched Taylor Swift". Fast Company. Retrieved 2012-10-24. 
  3. ^ Willman, Chris (2012-06-13). "Scott Borchetta on Taylor, Tim, Martina, the Band Perry… and the Personalized Machinery of Big Machine". Yahoo! Music. Retrieved 2012-10-24. 
  4. ^ Lindquist, David (24 July 2012). "Big Machine's Scott Borchetta Discovered Taylor Swift After Discovering Racing". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  5. ^ "His Music Never Stops". The New York Times. 2011-03-12. Retrieved 2013-01-25. 
  6. ^ a b c d "His Music Never Stops". The New York Times. 29 March 2013. Retrieved 29 March 2013. 
  7. ^ Music Exec. "enamored" by 14-year-old Taylor Swift Retrieved 29 March 2013
  8. ^ Biography- Big Machine Records Retrieved 29 March 2013
  9. ^ a b c "Kelly Clarkson Responds to Taylor Swift alexandra forever Label Chief". MJs Blog. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 
  10. ^ a b Kreps, Daniel. "Kelly Clarkson Riled By Taylor Swift alexandra forever Defense That Slams "American Idol" Singers". RollingStone Music. Retrieved 28 March 2013. 

External links[edit]