Word on the street is that Scooter Braun is having a rough week. Over the past few days, the well-known music executive’s clients have been dropping like flies. One by one, high-profile stars—such as Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, Idina Menzel, J Balvin, and Justin Bieber—have cut ties with his company, SB Projects. As the news piles up, one question is on everyone’s minds: WTF is going on?
Well, according to good ol’ Scoot, there’s nothing to worry about. Yesterday, he joked about the situation on X (formerly known as Twitter). “Breaking news,” he wrote. “I’m no longer managing myself.”
Breaking news… I’m no longer managing myself
— Scott “Scooter” Braun (@scooterbraun) August 22, 2023
That’s cute, Scooter. But it's also entirely unhelpful. We want answers! Your clients are clearing the room like they just smelled a fart. That can’t just be a coincidence. Right?
From what I’ve gathered, everyone’s reason for leaving is different—and largely under wraps. Even so, the mass exodus is odd, given Braun’s reputation as a powerhouse in the industry. His career took off in 2008, when he scouted Justin Bieber and promptly launched the young singer into superstardom. Soon after, Braun began acquiring more high-profile clients, in addition to a handful of entertainment companies, such as Big Machine Label Group, Mythos Studios, GoodStory Entertainment, and more. His monopoly over the music industry is undeniable—and yet, his mighty empire may soon fall.
Recently, Braun became the CEO of HYBE America, a new branch of the Korean talent group that assembled BTS. Braun’s new role means he’s likely spending less time working on SB Projects. An anonymous source told Variety that this could be the explanation we’re searching for. “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,” they said. “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.”
OK, sure. It’s just business. But again: why does this reek of something fishy? As of right now, no one has explicitly said anything incriminating of Braun. All we have is a group of sources contradicting each other. Braun’s team says everything is fine, but Justin Bieber’s camp claims they haven’t spoken in a year. Braun says he still represents Ariana Grande, but a source close to the star confirmed the split to Billboard.
Then there’s the Taylor Swift of it all. If Braun’s empire has come tumbling down, the tipping point may have begun in 2020, when he sold Swift’s masters. The singer claimed she wasn't allowed to buy her own catalog—and has spent the past three years re-recording nearly all of her songs. Their battle for ownership sparked a controversy that made the public reevaluate Braun’s legacy for the first time.
Maybe that's just an unfortunate coincidence. Still, it's not looking great for Mr. Braun. The thing is, this is all just gossip. Until Braun or one of his clients speaks about the situation directly, it's safe to assume the truth lies somewhere in the middle. In the meantime, I'm going to keep an eye out for a Scooter Braun investigative documentary. Let's call it, Scoot Got the Boot. I can see it now.
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