Courtesy FOX
Patrick Gomez
March 11, 2015 09:00 AM

Randy Jackson may no longer be mentoring the American Idol contestants, but the show has found a more-than-worthy replacement in Scott Borchetta.

Though he may not (yet) be a household name, music fans have most certainly heard songs that Borchetta, 52, has made possible.

Here are five things to know about the music mogul before he steps into his role as mentor for season 14 of the Fox reality singing competition:

1. He’s worked with some of the biggest names in the business.
As the president of the Big Machine Label Group, Borchetta has helped foster the careers of Tim McGraw, Rascal Flatts, Florida Georgia Line and many more successful acts.

Now he’s looking forward to bringing his expertise to Idol: “Every week, I’m going to be working with the contestants on song, performance, look and really an entire artist identity,” Borchetta says in the exclusive video above.

“What I am going to do is treat all of these contestants like they are new artists of mine and really make sure they are as prepared as possible for becoming the next American Idol.”

2. He brought Taylor Swift to our radios.
Borchetta is credited for signing Swift when she was just 14 years old, which means he has experience working with young talents like the Idol contestants.

“You have a whole generation now of kids who have grown up with this show,” Borchetta says. “Fourteen years in, I’ve got 15-year-olds we’re dealing with. They don’t know any different. They’re like, ‘Oh, okay. Well, that’s a path I can go down.’ ”

3. He knows his way around a race track.
“I’ve loved race-car driving for years,” Borchetta told The New York Times in 2011. “When I started Big Machine, my main investor and my first artists asked me to give it up because it’s so dangerous. I can understand that, for now. Paul Newman, one of my idols, raced into his 70s. I’ve got plenty of time.”

4. He’s not afraid to put his money where his mouth is.
“The season 14 winner will be on Big Machine Universal,” says Borchetta, who runs five labels under the Big Machine Label Group umbrella. “I’m invested to the point where I’m signing a check. I’m putting up my own money for who wins.”

5. He has been in a few bands himself.
Borchetta has said he grew up in Southern California playing in “new wave rock bands that were pretty bad.”

After following his father – who ran an independent record promotion company – to Nashville, Borchetta took on the sound of his adopted city.

“Almost as a dare, I joined a country band, but quit after eight months on the road because the band was going nowhere,” he told the NYT. “I wanted to go back to playing rock music, but it wasn’t easy to find musicians with the same work ethic I had.”

So, he entered into the family business … and the rest is history.

Borchetta makes his debut as mentor on American Idol Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on FOX.

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