NASHVILLE – May 28, 2009 – Music superstar Big Kenny¸ of the multi-platinum duo Big & Rich, and Big Machine Records’ President and CEO Scott Borchetta will join Naomi Judd as judges on the second season of CMT’s, CAN YOU DUET. Hosted by Lance Smith, the weekly music competition series from “American Idol” producers FremantleMedia North America is looking to find country music’s next great duo and award them a record deal with Big Machine Records.
Best known as one half of country megastars Big & Rich, Big Kenny was a solo artist before joining John Rich to create Big & Rich in 2003 and together they signed a record deal with Warner Bros. Records. From their first studio album, came the duo’s signature song “Save a Horse (Ride a Cowboy),” as well as three other top 40 singles. In 2005, the duo released “Comin’ To Your City” and added another top-20 single and two other top-40 songs to their roster. The duo’s third studio album, “Between Hell and Amazing Grace,” produced their first Number One single, the wedding ballad “Lost in This Moment.” Big Kenny recently took time away from music to document his visit to Sudan, which debuted at the Nashville Film Festival last year.
Scott Borchetta recently accepted the 2009 Academy of Country Music Award for executive producing “Fearless,” the ACM Album of the Year from Taylor Swift. For years, Borchetta has been the driving force behind the some of music’s most successful careers. He is currently known for his position as the founder and CEO of Big Machine Records, which he opened in 2005. In three short years the label has accomplished unprecedented success. Under Borchetta’s leadership, Big Machine Records has become the #1 selling country music label, with artist Taylor Swift ending 2008 as the highest selling artist across all genres.
Prior to starting Big Machine Records, Borchetta was Senior Vice President of Promotion & Artist Development for all three of Universal Music Group’s country imprints: DreamWorks, MCA Nashville and Mercury Nashville. During his tenure at UMG, Borchetta was instrumental in the careers of George Strait, Reba McEntire, Vince Gill, Trisha Yearwood, Wynonna, Toby Keith, Darryl Worley, Jimmy Wayne, Jessica Andrews and Randy Travis.
In addition to Swift, Big Machine Records’ current artist roster includes Trisha Yearwood, Jack Ingram, Sunny Sweeney, Adam Gregory and season one CAN YOU DUET finalists Kate & Kacey. In 2007, Big Machine Records became the exclusive radio promoter for Garth Brooks’ new music and the two made history with his new single “More Than a Memory,” when Brooks became the first artist in history to debut at #1 on the Billboard Country Singles Chart, making him the highest Country debut leader of all time.
Unlike other talent competition shows, each contestant on CAN YOU DUET will compete as part of a duo, sometimes working with different partners as the competition progresses. As a result, viewers will witness first-hand all the on and off-stage drama to be had in creating a dynamic musical duo. In addition critiquing each performance, the three judges will decide who will advance to the next round, be sent home, and ultimately be crowned country music’s next great duo.
CAN YOU DUET is produced by FremantleMedia North America. Jeff Boggs (Nashville Star, Spy TV) and Borchetta are executive producers. Bob Kusbit, John Hamlin and Melanie Moreau serve as executive producers for CMT.