On November 8th, in the rotunda of the Nashville Country Music Hall of Fame, Scott Borchetta, President and CEO of Big Machine Records announced to invited media guests that the talented and beautiful Martina McBride would be joining the sister music label, Republic Nashville. Below is the transcription of the press conference:
I think this might be my favorite room here in the Hall of Fame. I always look around and say “Will the Circle be Unbroken.” I think of all the work that we all collectively do to make sure that the circle stays complete. In August of 2005, right before we officially launched Big Machine Records, I signed a girl named Taylor Swift right here in this building, in the Community Room right here at the Hall of Fame. We were a brand new label, with big dreams and high hopes, and I had a couple of people who believed that we might have a chance to do it. And we thought, “Why not sign her at the Hall of Fame? Why should we not aim to make history?” Well, just last week Taylor did just that with the debut of more than a million copies sold of her new album, “Speak Now”, a feat that has only happened sixteen times in the sound scan era. And it has only happened twice for a country artist, the other one being our good friend Garth Brooks. So why not dare to dream? When she and I were talking about what we hoped might happen in the first week of sales for “Speak Now”, we dreamed of selling a million unit’s the first week. Dreams do come true.
Speaking of Garth, I think we all would like to thank him for the amazing things he is doing for our city. Just this past weekend, he sold over one hundred and forty thousand tickets for the nine shows and possibly counting that he is going to do here in Nashville for our flood relief and our flood victims. (applause) I think we all just so appreciate what he does on a daily basis for country music. Speaking of Garth, one of the last times we were in this room was around the time that the label had turned two years old. We were able to announce, with Garth, in this room, that we were able to achieve one of his dreams, when “More Than a Memory” shattered all first week airplay records, and debuted at number one on the Bill Board chart. Dreams come true. (applause)
So in 2007 I came into my executive meeting and I said “Hey guys and girls, I have a crazy idea. I want to start another label. Shoot holes in this plan.” We went over the whole plan and thought this plan just might work. November of 2007, we opened the Valory Music Company. And as many of you know, I have worked with Reba McEntire for quite a long time. I was with her during the nineties at MCA. We had a wonderful bond and a great working relationship. I had always dreamed that she might want to come over to our new label group. So in August two thousand nine, Valory Music Company released Reba’s titled album “I Keep on Loving You”. Reba had always dreamed that she would have an album debut at number one on the Billboard top two hundred album chart. Well, that dream came true on August eighteen, two thousand and nine. We also achieved her longest running number one single of her career earlier this year when “Consider Me Gone” rode atop of the country airplay charts for four weeks. Obviously working with Reba for me is; a dream come true. An interesting statistic about Valory, every act we have signed to Valory; Reba, Justin Moore, Jewel, and Jimmy Wayne have all had either a number one album or a number one single. Dreams come true.
Right when the industry started to get used to the fact that we had two labels, my good friend Jimmy and I started scheming and scamming about starting a third label. Jimmy and I previously worked together at DreamWorks. We opened the Republic Nashville label in the spring of last year. We have already had break out success with The Band Perry who are on the way to a platinum single and a gold album. I am proud to say the CMA nominated The Band Perry. And it looks like we have a big old hit with Sunny Sweeney. One of the dreams that we had was could we build something that would have the appeal and the opportunity and the ability to lure a superstar artist. And that is what today is about.
(He hands the microphone to Jimmy) When you hear the name Martina McBride, you immediately think of one of the most powerful voices in any genre of music; a voice that drove eighteen million albums sold, a combined total of seven CMA and ACM top female vocalist of the year awards. She has had twenty-four top ten singles and six number one singles. Even more impressive than that were the songs that inspired and moved a generation such as “Independence Day”, “Broken Wing”, “Concrete Angel”, and “In my Daughter’s Eyes”, just to name a few. What I find even more amazing is that after all of this, Martina’s music and her new music still gives me goose bumps and evokes strong emotions. Last week, Scott and I, Martina’s team and Allison Jones had the honor to sit and listen to her new music. I am telling all of you it is absolutely incredible.
Scott Borchetta: The Country Music Hall of Fame is not just about the history of country music. It is a home for dreams. It is a beautiful place to house those dreams and those dreams that do come true. It is a destination, not just for the preservation for our music and for our fans, it is a destination for those who dare to dream. Today, for the Republic Nashville, a dream comes true. Please welcome the newest member of the Big Machine label group, on Republic Nashville, Martina McBride.
Martina: Thank you guys for being here today on this incredibly exciting day for me. John and I moved to Nashville in nineteen ninety with a big dream. I am living proof that dreams do come true. All I ever wanted to do since I was four years old was sing. I have had an amazing career. We have been fortunate enough and blessed to have sold a lot of records and get to see the world and all of the great fifty states that we have. I have had an amazing life. I had a great eighteen year partnership with RCA and Joe Galante. We had a wonderful run. When this opportunity came up, to work with Jimmy and Scott, it just felt right. Change is not always easy. Sometimes it is difficult. All I could see was the future, my future. I have the utmost respect for them and everything they have done. Their passion and excitement and energy are contagious. I am so excited to have that passion and energy and excitement focused on my career now. I am over the top excited today to be here. I cannot wait for you guys to hear the new music. I am fired up and feel like I have a focus and energy for making music that I have not had in a long time. So, here is; to the future. (applause)
Scott: Before we go to the press, I think we have one or two questions right quick that we are going to address.
Q: Martina, it seems like you have been working with a lot of interesting people lately like Train, Kid Rock, and TI. Can you share if you will be releasing anything out of the ordinary?
Martina: Well, we are doing a rap record. Did we not mention that? ( a joke) Creatively for me it is such an exciting time right now because I have had a lot of interesting opportunities come across my plate these past few months. I just try to be open to any opportunities that feel right. We did Crossroads with Train a couple of days ago and it was unbelievable. I cannot wait for you guys to see it. It was such a great night. He is such an amazing singer. We had a great time. As for Kid Rock, TI and Dave Stewart, who is playing a show here in Nashville on December ninth and I am excited about that. I just want to take every opportunity I can right now that feels right for me and for my fans. I want to have fun.
Q: Along that line of questioning, you are combining forces with some of the biggest up and up and coming artists with this new venture. Any new label mates you might consider collaborating with?
Martina: Well, you know it is no secret how much I love Reba McEntire. Obviously, any time I can be in a room with her just talking let alone singing is a thrill for me. And of course The Band Perry, I am really excited for them. I think they have an amazing future.
Scott: Thank you all for coming. We are going to do a couple of photos and then Martina will be available for the TV and Video press. Thanks again.