Scooter Braun officially retires from music management

Scooter Braun officially retires from music management

Scooter Braun has officially stepped back from his role as a music manager.

The controversial music mogul, who is known for representing Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and his feud with Taylor Swift over the rights to her master recordings, announced in a 1,400-word statement he would be stepping down from management to focus on his business and family.

Widely considered to be the man who “discovered” Bieber in the late 2000s, Braun also famously organised the One Love Manchester charity concert – after the 2017 terrorist bombing outside Grande’s concert in the city killed 22 people –  in just two weeks.

Writing in the lengthy statement, Braun said “God” had been “pushing me in this direction” for some time and claimed he has “nothing but love” for the musicians he has worked with – even the artists who have distanced themselves from him to “spread their wings”.

Braun pinpointed Colombian artist J Balvin’s success, Carly Rae Jepsen’s “Call Me Maybe”, and PSY’s “Gangnam Style” as a selection of his career highlights. “The list of artists goes on and on over 23 years,” he continued. “So many stories it would take me forever to name.”

The 42-year-old was hit with controversy in 2018 when he purchased Big Machine Record Group and therefore acquired the rights to Swift’s first six albums. This meant that anybody who wanted to licence any of the musician’s back catalogue for a film or TV show would have to get Braun’s permission and pay him a fee.

Swift said she was dismayed by the news that her master recordings had been sold, claiming she had previously begged for the chance to buy back her own work.

Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun has retired (Getty)
Justin Bieber’s manager Scooter Braun has retired (Getty)

“For years I asked, pleaded for a chance to own my work. Instead I was given an opportunity to sign back up to Big Machine Records and ‘earn’ one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in,” she wrote on her Tumblr account in June 2019.

“I walked away because I knew once I signed that contract, Scott Borchetta [CEO of Big Machine Records] would sell the label, thereby selling me and my future.

“I had to make the excruciating choice to leave behind my past. Music I wrote on my bedroom floor and videos I dreamed up and paid for from the money I earned playing in bars, then clubs, then arenas, then stadiums.”

The “Cruel Summer” singer explained that she had only learnt about Braun’s purchase of her masters when it was announced to the world. “All I could think about was the incessant, manipulative bullying I’ve received at his hands for years,” she said.

The controversial music mogul released a 1,400 word statement to announce the news (David Livingston/Getty Images)
The controversial music mogul released a 1,400 word statement to announce the news (David Livingston/Getty Images)

“Now Scooter has stripped me of my life’s work, that I wasn’t given an opportunity to buy. Essentially, my musical legacy is about to lie in the hands of someone who tried to dismantle it,” Swift said, calling it her “worst-case scenario”. Braun then sold Swift’s catalogue to Shamrock holdings for $300m.

In August 2023, reports circulated that Demi Lovato, Idina Menzel, Grande and Bieber had distanced themselves from Braun’s management. Bieber denied these claims, while Grande confirmed she had new representation with Brandon Creed’s Good World Management four months later.

“We had been through so much together over the last decade, but instead of being hurt I saw it as a sign,” Braun said in his statement about the clients who’d chosen to seek alternative management.

“I will always be in their corner to consult and support them whether it be directly or from afar. Every client I have had the privilege of working with has changed my life, and I know many of them are just beginning to see the success they deserve,” he continued.

“I will cheer for every single one of them.”