Why's everyone scooting away from Scooter Braun?
All week long, there have been rumblings in the music industry of Scooter Braun's dwindling client list. For the unfamiliar, the famous manager and producer has repped some of the biggest music stars for years (Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and Demi Lovato, just to name a few). He even credits himself with discovering Biebs on YouTube back in 2008. In the last couple of weeks, though, many of his A-list clients have allegedly cut professional ties with Braun and his company, SB Projects.
His former clients have yet to address their split from Braun and no concrete reason has been given for the falling outs. Of course, leave it to the internet to produce rumors and theories behind the firing of Braun, and anonymous sources have shared their two cents with publications like Variety. Ahead, we're breaking down the drama and all the information to know about the situation, so far.
Who has parted ways from Scooter Braun?
So far, People has confirmed that both Grande and Lovato parted ways with Braun, though Variety reports that some sources said Grande is not leaving SB Projects entirely and that Braun is just stepping back from managerial duties. Billboard confirmed that Lovato cut ties with Braun last month, though both Braun and Lovato's reps declined to comment.
On Tuesday, a source told The Hollywood Reporter that Idina Menzel terminated her contract with Braun in January, though no further explanation was given as to why she had gone in a different direction. J Balvin also dropped Braun back in May 2023.
Conflicting reports have also come to light the last few days regarding Bieber's relationship with Braun. Despite reports that Bieber and Braun had split ways, reps for both parties confirmed they are still working together, according to Page Six.
Why are these artists parting ways with Braun?
While there is no overall consensus as to why all of Braun's biggest clients have dropped in recent months (yet), some sources told Variety that he is just taking a step back from management.
“All of Scooter Braun’s clients are under contract and negotiations have been going on for several months as Scooter steps into his larger role as HYBE America CEO,” the insider told the outlet. “People are spreading rumors based on what they know, but they are off. Scooter’s team at SB Projects are still handling both Justin and Ariana as they work through what this new structure looks like.”
Another source agreed, saying, “He’s getting out of management — he has been for years. That’s the real story.” But, a separate source told Variety that “unsavory revelations are in the works" against Braun.
In regards to Bieber's standing with Braun, a source told Variety that Bieber is "cleaning house" and will be leaving SB. Page Six also wrote that Justin's wife Hailey had began getting involved with his business affairs, with Puck News noting she was behind the switch up of management.
“Hailey has taken control and is heavily involved. She’s a part of meetings and she’s talking a lot for him,” an insider told Page Six. “She’s the voice. They’re becoming this power couple. She’s a big part of everything he’s doing.”
As previously stated, reps for Justin and Braun denied the reports of a split.
What other industry drama has Braun been involved in?
This isn't the first time Braun has found himself embroiled in drama. Besides having on-and-off relationships with many of clients, including Grande, Braun notoriously shafted Taylor Swift when he purchased the masters of her first six albums in 2019 from Big Machine Records just to later sell them to private equity firm Shamrock Holdings, according to Elle. At the time, Swift published an open letter condemning Braun's actions, and she later began re-recording those albums in order to own the rights to her catalogue of music. (She recently announced during a show that 1989 will be the next re-record.)
Insider also published an exposé in 2022 alleging that the exec is not always the "good guy" he paints himself to be but rather a power-hungry exec and one of the industry's most "ruthless players." And in 2021, Braun and his ex-wife, Yael Cohen, went through a public divorce. Eventually, they settled in 2022, with Braun paying Cohen $20 million, according to People.
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