Scott Borchetta

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Scott Borchetta
Born (1962-07-03) July 3, 1962 (age 58)
OccupationRecord executive, entrepreneur
Known forBig Machine Label Group
Scott Borchetta signature, Billboard Open Letter 2016.png

Scott C. Borchetta[1] (born July 3, 1962) is an American record executive and entrepreneur best known for founding Big Machine Label Group. He started the label in 2005 with 13 employees, as its president/CEO and today it encompasses four imprints: Big Machine Records, BMLG Records, The Valory Music Co. and Nash Icon Records.[2] In 2015, he became the new in-house mentor on American Idol for the program's 14th and 15th seasons.

Before Big Machine, Borchetta was a race car driver and executive at the Nashville divisions of DreamWorks Records and MCA Records as well as MTM Records.[3][4]

Early life[edit]

Borchetta was born in Burbank, California[5] to parents Shari and Mike Borchetta. He grew up in the San Fernando Valley of Southern 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. In 1978, when Borchetta was 16, his father moved to Nashville to start his own independent record promotion company. [6] He continued to develop his passion for the music industry through high school and college.[citation needed]


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 Label Group[edit]

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 and his friend Neil Adams could run his own label more efficiently than what he had seen.[citation needed]

Soon after starting the label, Borchetta signed his first artist, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift (whom he had met in 2004) when she was 14 years old. Swift would eventually go on to become Big Machine's most successful artist and win the label two Grammy Awards for Album of the Year for the albums Fearless at the 2010 Grammy Awards and 1989 at the 2016 Grammy Awards.

On June 30, 2019, Ithaca Holdings, run by Scooter Braun, bought Big Machine Records, with Borchetta staying on as CEO. This transaction included the masters of Taylor Swift's first six albums.[8] Swift voiced her frustrations in a Tumblr post, claiming to have been trying to buy the masters for years and described Braun as an “incessant, manipulative bully”.[9] Swift also claimed Borchetta's loyalty was only through contracts, and that he knew “exactly what he was doing” when making this deal with Ithaca Holdings.[9] Swift expressed that these men were “controlling a woman who did not want to be associated with them”.[9] The dispute escalated throughout the year, both parties claiming to be owed millions of dollars from the other.[10] Swift accused Braun and Borchetta of holding her back from being able to perform her older songs during her American Music Awards for her Artist of the Decade award, as well as for her Netflix documentary, Miss Americana.[11] On the same day Swift posted on her Tumblr account, Borchetta went on Big Machine Records and posted his own statement. He claimed to have given Swift a heads up through text the night before. “Out of courtesy, I personally texted Taylor at 9:06pm, Saturday, June 29th to inform her prior to the story breaking on the morning of Sunday, June 30th so she could hear it directly from me.”[12] He continued on to say “Taylor and I remained on very good terms when she told me she wanted to speak with other record companies and see what was out there for her. I never got in her way and wished her well.”[12] He also mentioned she had the opportunity to own not just her recordings, but everything else. “Taylor had every chance in the world to own not just her master recordings, but every video, photograph, everything associated to her career. She chose to leave.”[12]

Television work[edit]

In its 14th season, Borchetta became the senior mentor of the reality music competition American Idol.[13]

In February 2017, Canadian media company Bell Media announced that it had partnered with Borchetta to develop a new, international television format that would "uncover, develop, and promote pop culture's next musical superstars".[14] The new series, The Launch, premiered in January 2018, with Borchetta as executive producer.[15]


  1. ^ "Scott Borchetta". Rate Your Music.
  2. ^ 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.
  3. ^ Lindquist, David (24 July 2012). "Big Machine's Scott Borchetta Discovered Taylor Swift After Discovering Racing". Indianapolis Star. Retrieved 24 October 2012.
  4. ^ "His Music Never Stops". The New York Times. 2011-03-12. Retrieved 2013-01-25.
  5. ^ The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Oxford University Press. 4 January 2012. pp. 198–. ISBN 978-0-19-992083-9. Retrieved 23 October 2012.
  6. ^ a b "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. ^ Grady, Constance (2019-07-01). "The Taylor Swift/Scooter Braun controversy, explained". Vox. Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  9. ^ a b c "Taylor Swift". Taylor Swift. Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  10. ^ Blistein, Jon (2019-11-15). "Big Machine, Taylor Swift Camp Spar Over American Music Awards, Netflix Controversy". Rolling Stone. Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  11. ^ "Taylor Swift Says Scooter Braun & Scott Borchetta Won't Let Her Perform Her Old Songs at 2019 AMAs". Billboard. 2019-11-14. Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  12. ^ a b c "So, It's Time For Some Truth…". Big Machine Label Group. 2019-06-30. Retrieved 2020-04-12.
  13. ^ Michele Amabile Angermiller, Shirley Halperin (December 2, 2014). "It's Official: Scott Borchetta Joining 'American Idol' Season 14 as Mentor". Hollywood Reporter.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  14. ^ "Scott Borchetta's Big Machine, Canada's Bell Media Ring Up Deal on New TV Talent Property". Billboard. Retrieved 2018-01-23.
  15. ^ Yeo, Debra (2018-01-10). "New singing competition The Launch takes off on CTV". The Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved 2018-01-23.

External links[edit]