British country music duo sign with Taylor Swift's label

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The man who discovered Taylor Swift has signed British country music duo The Shires to his record label.

The group - whose second album My Universe is the fastest selling UK country album of all time - announced they had signed to Nashville-based Big Machine Label under the Dot Records imprint on Friday.

Big Machine's president and CEO Scott Borchetta is widely credited with launching the career of country artist turned pop singer Swift after he first met her when she was 14.

The Shires
(Matt Crossick/PA)

The Shires, made up of Ben Earle and Crissie Rhodes, said they "cant wait to get started" after signing with the US label.

They added: "The UK is our home and we are proud of our success so far, thanks to Decca Records, but it's always been a massive goal for us to build our presence and make a name for ourselves in the USA.

"Scott was one of the first people to approach us as a band, after hearing our original demos nearly three years ago. His advice back then was clear, to break the UK first and come to the US with a story. We took his advice and are extremely excited to be working with him and his team in the US. It is the home of Country Music."

Scott said: "I've been watching The Shires closely and from afar, and now the time is right to have them join the family. I can't wait for America to experience The Shires."