Scott Borchetta

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Scott Borchetta
Born (1962-07-03) July 3, 1962 (age 61)
Other namesScott C. Borchetta
Occupation(s)Record executive, entrepreneur, racing driver
Known forBig Machine Label Group

Scott Borchetta (born July 3, 1962) is an American record executive and founder of the Big Machine Label Group. He started the label in 2005 with Taylor Swift as its first signed artist and 13 employees, he served as its president/CEO, encompassing four imprints: Big Machine Records, BMLG Records, The Valory Music Co. and Nash Icon Records.[1] In 2015, he became an in-house mentor on American Idol in the program's 14th and 15th seasons. He is also a sports car racing driver in the Trans-Am Series and owner of NASCAR Xfinity Series team Big Machine Racing.

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.[2][3]

Early life[edit]

Borchetta was born in Burbank, California[4] 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. [5]


Early career[edit]

Interested in life beyond Los Angeles, Borchetta began to pursue a career in 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 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.[5]

Big Machine Label Group[edit]

In 2005, Borchetta left Universal Music Nashville to start his own independent record label, Big Machine Records. Borchetta 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.[6]

Borchetta signed his first artist, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift (whom he had met in 2004) when she was 14 years old. Swift went 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 Swift's first six albums.[7] Swift voiced her frustrations in a Tumblr post, saying to have been trying to buy the masters for years and described Braun as an "incessant, manipulative bully".[8] Swift also said Borchetta's loyalty was only through contracts, and that he knew "exactly what he was doing" when making this deal with Ithaca Holdings.[8] Swift expressed that these men were "controlling a woman who did not want to be associated with them".[8] The dispute escalated throughout the year, both parties claiming to be owed millions of dollars from the other.[9] 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.[10] On the same day Swift posted on her Tumblr account, Borchetta went on Big Machine Records and posted his own statement. He said he forewarned Swift through text the night before. "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." He said that she had the opportunity to own not just her recordings, but everything else.[11]

Television work[edit]

In its 14th season, Borchetta became the senior mentor of the reality music competition American Idol.[12]

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".[13] The new series, The Launch, premiered in January 2018, with Borchetta as executive producer.[14]


In his youth, Borchetta competed in motocross and quarter midget racing in Southern California. After a dormancy as he focused on music, he began racing legends cars in 1995 at Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway as part of the Summer Legends Shootout Series founded by country music group Brooks & Dunn.[15] In 1999, he moved to the NASCAR SuperTruck Weekly Series and won three consecutive championships from 2003 to 2005, and also raced in the Valvoline Cup Truck Series.[16][17] He was inducted into the Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway Hall of Fame in 2020; his SuperTruck crew chief James Buttrey was enshrined a year later.[18] In March 2021, Borchetta was named executive advisor to the Hall of Fame.[19]

Borchetta befriended NASCAR crew chief Ray Evernham while filming a 2014 episode of Evernham's television series AmeriCarna, and Evernham invited him to drive a 1972 Chevrolet Corvette in the Sportscar Vintage Racing Association.[16] He won the SVRA Group 6 national championship in 2020.[15]

In June 2020, Borchetta debuted in the Trans-Am Series TA2 class at Mid-Ohio Sports Car Course.[20] A year later, when Trans-Am joined the IndyCar Series at the new Music City Grand Prix in Nashville, Big Machine Records assumed naming rights of the weekend while Borchetta entered the Trans-Am support event.[21][22]

Big Machine Racing, a NASCAR Xfinity Series team owned by Borchetta, began competition in 2021 with Jade Buford as the driver[15] for 32 of the 33 races, with Danny Bohn running the other. In 2022, Borchetta fielded his car for a variety of drivers, these being Marco Andretti, Jade Buford, Ross Chastain, Austin Dillon, Ty Dillon, Kaz Grala, Parker Kligerman, Tyler Reddick, Nick Sanchez, and Ricky Stenhouse Jr..[23] In 2023, Kligerman returned to the team to run the full schedule, making the playoffs. Buford also returned to the team on a part time basis driving a second entry.


  1. ^ Willman, Chris (June 13, 2012). "Scott Borchetta on Taylor, Tim, Martina, the Band Perry… and the Personalized Machinery of Big Machine". Yahoo! Music. Archived from the original on September 8, 2014. Retrieved October 24, 2012.
  2. ^ "Scott Borchetta | Racing career profile | Driver Database". Archived from the original on October 15, 2021. Retrieved October 15, 2021.
  3. ^ "His Music Never Stops". The New York Times. March 12, 2011. Archived from the original on October 23, 2014. Retrieved January 25, 2013.
  4. ^ The Encyclopedia of Country Music. Oxford University Press. January 4, 2012. pp. 198–. ISBN 978-0-19-992083-9. Archived from the original on October 15, 2021. Retrieved October 23, 2012.
  5. ^ a b "His Music Never Stops". The New York Times. March 29, 2013. Archived from the original on October 23, 2014. Retrieved March 29, 2013.
  6. ^ "Music exec. "enamored" by 14-year-old Taylor Swift - CBS News Video". CBS News. Archived from the original on April 3, 2013. Retrieved April 3, 2013.
  7. ^ Grady, Constance (July 1, 2019). "The Taylor Swift/Scooter Braun controversy, explained". Vox. Archived from the original on February 11, 2020. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  8. ^ a b c "Taylor Swift". Taylor Swift. June 2019. Archived from the original on February 12, 2021. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  9. ^ Blistein, Jon (November 15, 2019). "Big Machine, Taylor Swift Camp Spar Over American Music Awards, Netflix Controversy". Rolling Stone. Archived from the original on November 15, 2019. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  10. ^ "Taylor Swift Says Scooter Braun & Scott Borchetta Won't Let Her Perform Her Old Songs at 2019 AMAs". Billboard. November 14, 2019. Archived from the original on April 13, 2020. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  11. ^ "So, It's Time For Some Truth…". Big Machine Label Group. June 30, 2019. Archived from the original on April 2, 2020. Retrieved April 12, 2020.
  12. ^ Michele Amabile Angermiller; Shirley Halperin (December 2, 2014). "It's Official: Scott Borchetta Joining 'American Idol' Season 14 as Mentor". Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on December 14, 2014. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  13. ^ "Scott Borchetta's Big Machine, Canada's Bell Media Ring Up Deal on New TV Talent Property". Billboard. Archived from the original on January 1, 2018. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  14. ^ Yeo, Debra (January 10, 2018). "New singing competition The Launch takes off on CTV". The Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Archived from the original on January 23, 2018. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  15. ^ a b c "Scott Borchetta Announces Big Machine Racing Team". Big Machine Label Group (Press release). January 19, 2021. Retrieved October 19, 2021.
  16. ^ a b Wilhelm, Chase (February 2, 2021). "Music executive Scott Borchetta's lifelong passion for racing fuels desire to start new team". NASCAR. Retrieved October 19, 2021.
  17. ^ Woody, Larry (July 24, 2003). "Music Row executive finds thrills in racing". The Tennessean. Retrieved October 19, 2021 – via
  18. ^ Organ, Mike (July 16, 2021). "Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway 2021 Hall of Fame class includes several with NASCAR ties". The Tennessean. Retrieved October 19, 2021.
  19. ^ Hiser, Zach (March 31, 2021). "Borchetta Executive Advisor for Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway Hall of Fame". Nashville Fairgrounds Speedway. Retrieved October 19, 2021.
  20. ^ Trans-Am Series (June 28, 2020). "Merrill masters Mid-Ohio with Trans Am TA2 win". Racer. Retrieved October 19, 2021.
  21. ^ "Why Nashville music mogul Scott Borchetta is racing on Music City Grand Prix weekend". The Tennessean. August 6, 2021. Retrieved October 19, 2021.
  22. ^ "Big Machine Vodka Spiked Coolers and Franklin Road Apparel set to sponsor Trans Am in Nashville Music City Grand Prix". Trans-Am Series. August 3, 2021. Retrieved October 19, 2021.
  23. ^ Owner Statistics - Racing Reference

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