While artists like Lady Gaga, Jay-Z and the Black Eyed Peas grabbed the headlines, country music played a key part of the inaugural iHeartRadio Music Festival, which featured performances by Kenny Chesney, Carrie Underwood and Rascal Flatts last weekend (Sept. 23-24). On the red carpet at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas, Big Machine Records head Scott Borchetta spoke to Billboard about the crossover appeal of Rascal Flatts and Taylor Swift's historic chart record, spectacular Speak Now world tour and her upcoming DVD.
"When you say Rascal Flatts, you get a picture. says Borchetta of Rascal Flatts, who performed tracks like "Easy" and "Life is a Highway" on Saturday night at iHeartRadio fest. "We've cut through. We have the audience. "There's so much value to what they've done, and all the work that they've done, and all the goodwill, and I'm really good at reminding people about all the work that's been done."
While Rascal Flatts spent most of 2011 on the road supporting their albm "Nothing Like This," Big Machine Records is also celebrating the success of Taylor Swift's Speak Now world tour, which wraps up on Nov. 22 in New York after visting Japan, the U.K. and most of North America. On Nov. 21, Big Machine will release "Speak Now World Tour - Live," a CD/DVD and CD/Blu-ray set that captures Swift's theatrical stage show.
"We knew that she was really on to something with the ideas she had as Fearless tour was wrapping up," says Borchetta. "There's so many different influences within the Speak Now tour, and it's so amazing that we all wanted to have a DVD of it… it's an amazing show, and we wanted everybody to have a chance to see it."<
(Reporting by Phil Gallo, Billboard)