Music mega-manager Scooter Braun is facing an exodus of clients this week as multiple stars reportedly rescind his services.
His career faced controversy, however, in 2019 when Taylor Swift called him a “bully” and the “definition of a toxic male privilege in our industry”.
Braun bought the master recordings of Swift’s first six studio albums, which the “Love Story” singer had wished to purchase herself. He then sold the masters to an investment fund in a deal believed to be worth more than $300m (£234m).
Swift has since been on a highly successful quest to re-record her albums in order to stem the profits from her original recordings.
It is thus far unclear why Braun’s clients are leaving him; though, sources have told Variety that he is stepping back from day-to-day management to focus on his role as CEO of HYBE America, the South Korean entertainment company behind K-pop giants BTS. None of the stars to have left his management have commented publicly on their decisions.
Braun reacted cryptically to the news on Twitter/X on Tuesday (22 August), appearing to poke fun at the reports.
Below are all the clients to have reportedly left Braun’s management.
The Independent understands that Menzel is the latest star to cut ties with Braun. The actor, 52, is known for her musical success, going nine times platinum for “Let It Go”, Elsa’s anthem in Disney’s 2013 smash hit Frozen.
She announced her signing with Braun in 2019, posting a picture of her and the manager taking a selfie in front of a Time Magazine sign.
“Revealing Time magazine’s June cover story… Idina Menzel joins forces with @scooterbraun & @SB_Projects for music management,” Menzel wrote.
Braun retweeted the post and welcomed her “to the family”.
The Independent understands that Lovato is seeking new management after splitting with SB Projects last month.
The 31-year-old “Heart Attack” singer signed with Braun in 2019, writing on Instagram at the time: “Dreams came true for me. I officially have a NEW MANAGER. And not just any manager but the one and only Scooter Braun.
“Couldn’t be happier, inspired and excited to begin this next chapter,” she continued. “Thank you for believing in me and for being a part of this new journey.”
Columbian superstar J Balvin left Braun’s management in May this year after inking a new deal with Jay-Z’s Roc Nation.
“Looking to mentors who went from artists turned moguls like Jay-Z and Pharrell, J Balvin’s goal is to inspire other Latinos to dream big and work hard to uplift themselves and their communities,” Roc Nation said of the signing.
Announcing Balvin’s addition to his roster in 2019, Braun said: “We are very excited to be working with my long-time friend J Balvin.” In a statement to Billboard, he added: “[Balvin] is not only an incredible talent, but his work ethic and creativity are what has allowed him to be one of the top global acts in any language.”
Citing unnamed sources, Billboard reported on Monday (21 August) that Grande had severed professional ties with Braun.
The pair have worked together for 10 years, ever since the Grammy award-winner released her debut album Yours Truly in 2013.
Sources close to Braun have since strenuously denied the report. However, sources confirmed to People magazine that “they are friendly but she’s outgrown him 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.”
Last week, rumours circulated that Justin Bieber was also leaving Braun’s management after 16 years of working together. Representatives for both Bieber and Braun have since denied the reports; though, Bieber himself has not released a statement.
“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,” a source close to Braun told Variety.
“People are spreading rumours 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.”