Several major pop stars are reportedly dropping Scooter Braun as their talent manager.
Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and Demi Lovato are all rumored to be on the outs with Braun.
Here’s everything we know about the supposed exodus so far.
Scooter Braun has long been hailed as a titan in the music industry, credited with discovering Justin Bieber and managing huge stars like Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato.
But in recent days, the trio of popstars are rumored to have parted ways with the A-list manager, joining a handful of others who reportedly severed ties with Braun in recent months.
Here’s a breakdown of everything we know so far:
Who has definitely stopped working with Braun?
Back in May, reggaetón star J Balvin left Braun’s SB Projects to join Roc Nation.
On Tuesday, Billboard broke the news that Lovato split from Braun after four years of working together. Variety corroborated the report, describing their disunion as “amicable.”
A source close to the “Sorry Not Sorry” singer confirmed the news to Insider.
Just a few days later, representatives for Carly Rae Jepsen, BabyJake, and Asher Roth confirmed to AP that none of them are currently working with Braun “and haven’t for quite some time.”
Whose departures have been reported, but not officially confirmed?
The rumors of an exodus kicked off last Friday, when Puck News reported that Bieber and Braun hadn’t spoken in months. Puck’s Matthew Belloni reported that Bieber was “poking around for a new agency or manager.”
Representatives for both Bieber and Braun denied this was true in statements to Page Six — but Bieber himself has remained silent.
Belloni stood behind his reporting, and five days later, People published a similar report that Bieber and Braun are estranged, even though Bieber is technically “still managed” by Braun. (According to Billboard, Bieber still has four years left in his management contract.)
“Justin’s been working on his new record for the last six months. Scooter and SB Projects have not set up one session or done one thing for this [new] record,” a source told People. “The relationship with Scooter has run its course.”
By Monday, news broke that two of Braun’s other biggest stars, Lovato and Grande, were also leaving his management.
Grande’s situation is a bit murkier than Lovato’s. She began working with Braun in 2013 ahead of the release of her debut album and briefly fired the manager in 2016 before rejoining his team. When reached by Variety, sources close to Braun “strenuously denied” the news of her departure. However, sources close to the Grammy-winning singer said she had dropped Braun for good, Billboard reported.
On Wednesday, People corroborated Billboard’s report. Their anonymous source said that Grande had “outgrown” Braun and is “excited to go in a different direction.”
“Yes there are negotiations happening because of contracts. But this is her choice. It’s time for something new,” the source told People.
Broadway actress Idina Menzel reportedly left SB Projects earlier this year, but The Hollywood Reporter only broke the news on Tuesday, citing a source close to her camp.
Later on Tuesday, Variety reported that Bieber and Grande were not, in fact, firing Braun as a manager.
Instead, Variety’s sources said Braun is planning to take a step back from day-to-day management in order to put more focus on his role as CEO of HYBE America — the South Korean entertainment group that reps BTS.
Braun sold Ithaca Holdings, the parent company for his management business, to HYBE America for $1.05 billion in 2021.
TMZ also reported that Bieber and Grande were staying with his company, although several sources insisted to Variety that Bieber is determined to leave SB Projects, even if his contract is still active.
“He’s imploding,” one source said of Braun. “It’s a different world since the pandemic. You just can’t be an asshole like that anymore.”
It’s unclear who remains on Braun’s roster. His company’s website lists “past and present” clients without differentiating between the two groups.
Has Braun confirmed or denied these reports?
Not directly, no. But he did tweet an ambiguous reference to the news on Tuesday: “Breaking news… I’m no longer managing myself.”
Braun has not responded to Insider’s request for comment.
Why are there rumors of this happening?
At this point, the root of the rumors isn’t obvious.
The mega manager has a history of public clashes. Braun sparked a public feud with Taylor Swift back in 2019, when news broke that he had purchased Big Machine Records. The reported $300 million sale included the legal rights to Swift’s first six albums.
Braun immediately ran afoul of Swift’s fans when he reshared an Instagram story, bragging that he “bought” her.
Swift also condemned the sale with an open letter on Tumblr, accusing Braun of “incessant, manipulative bullying.”
Just 17 months later, Braun sold Swift’s master recordings to a private-equity company called Shamrock Holdings. Swift said that she tried to buy them herself, but Braun’s team asked her to sign “an ironclad NDA” before she could even place a bid.
In March 2022, Insider’s Anna Silman published an investigation into Braun’s empire, which delved into his fraught relationship with Ye (previously known as Kanye West) — another former client — and his complicated reputation among musicians, journalists, and fellow managers.
Several sources told Silman that Braun had burnt bridges in the industry with scorched-earth tactics and “addiction to fame and power.”
“I don’t think you can pretend to be the nice guy on social media but, behind the scenes, be one of the most cutthroat people in the business,” one industry player said. “This is a very small business. You just run out of people to screw.”
Read the original article on Insider