Scooter Braun’s celebrity clients are parting ways with the mega-manager — here’s everything we know so far

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Scooter Braun’s celebrity clients are parting ways with the mega-manager — here’s everything we know so far

  • 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.

Scooter Braun has long been hailed as a titan in the music industry, credited with giving Justin Bieber his start 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. Variety corroborated, describing the disunion as “amicable.” A source close to the “Sorry Not Sorry” singer confirmed the news to Insider.

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 Braun and Bieber denied this was true in statements to Page Six — but Bieber himself has remained silent.

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. When reached by Variety, sources close to Braun “strenuously denied” the news. But sources close to the Grammy-winning singer said she had departed, Billboard reported.

Broadway actress Idina Menzel reportedly left Braun’s SB Projects earlier this year, but The Hollywood Reporter only broke the news on Tuesday, citing a source close to her camp.

Scooter Braun and Ariana Grande backstage at the Dangerous Woman World Tour.Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Later on Tuesday, Variety reported that Bieber and Grande were not, in fact, firing Braun as a manager.

Instead, Braun is planning to take a step back from day-to-day management, Variety reported, 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, SB Projects, to HYBE America for $1.05 billion in 2021, according to Variety.

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 feuded 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.”

Scooter Braun and Taylor Swift.Rich Fury/JMEnternational for BRIT Awards/Getty Images

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.”

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