updated: First Justin Bieber, then Demi Lovato, then Ariana Grande: Reports of artists leaving the management stable of Scooter Braun have piled up faster than the allegations against a certain former president.
Contrary to the allegations, however, there is little solid information to be found about what some are viewing as a model from Braun SB Projects. Lovato’s “amicable” departure has been unofficially confirmed by sources on both sides. However, multiple sources have vehemently denied Bieber’s alleged immediate departure (although Puck, who first reported the news, insists the story is accurate, as does at least one source he spoke to). And sources close to Braun strongly denied Grande’s departure – which, if true, would be the second time she split with him – and a representative for the singer did not respond to requests for comment (although anonymous sources apparently confirmed the split to Billboard ).
Things have reached a strange life where confirmations and denials are not happening, where one set of sources say one thing and another the opposite, and no one may be telling the truth. Representatives are stopping and the informants are quickly falling silent; it’s like trying to get an accurate status update on Fight Club or Voldemort.
Kid Laroi calls his former manager Scooter Braun a “mistake” on TikTok
Justin Bieber splits with his manager Scooter Braun
However, some sources say that Bieber and Grande are not leaving the company, but Braun is continuing to step away from day-to-day management to focus on his role as CEO of HYBE America, the South Korean entertainment giant alongside behind K-pop titans BTS. , which was sold to Ithaca Holdings, the parent company of its SB Projects management business, for $1.05 billion in 2021.
“All Scooter Braun customers are under contract and negotiations have been ongoing for several months as Scooter steps into his broader role as CEO of HYBE America,” says the source. “People are spreading rumors based on what they know, but they are wrong. Scooter’s team at SB Projects is still managing both Justin and Ariana as they work on what this new structure looks like.”
However, other sources claim that Bieber, who has recently “cleaned house” and brought in a new lawyer, agency and business manager, is determined to leave SB Projects.
To complicate matters, the infamous Braun, who has been one of the most powerful figures in music for over a decade, has stirred up so much gear – and envy – in his rise to top that the situation became his Kind. of snowballing with mob mentality: Schadenfreude is so strong, and the enemies want it to fail so badly, that people lose perspective. Braun’s strong desire to be seen as a good person and his amazing ability to spin stories in his favor don’t help; the agendas and interests of the parties involved – including, apparently, some of the media – have only clouded the matter further.
“It’s imploding,” says a source, suggesting that bad revelations are in the works. “It’s a different world from the pandemic. You can’t be in your ass anymore.”
However, another source replies: “He’s been out of management, for years. That’s the real story.”
In fact, various sources say that Braun has only been involved in the careers of even the biggest artists in recent years, and longtime SB Projects executives are taking on the demanding day-to-day job of managing major artists. In fact, the CEO of an $11 billion company probably wouldn’t have much time to care, even though both Bieber and Grande have been inactive in recent years. Meanwhile, his first major move as CEO of HYBE America was the acquisition of the Atlantic hip-hop powerhouse, home of Migos, Lil Baby, Lil Yachty and others, for $320 million.
On the other hand, it is not clear what it means for an artist to “break up” or “stop being with” Braun. Management agreements come in every form imaginable, but there are probably contracts that are legally enforceable for all the artists involved.
The biggest surprise is that it took so long. By the age of 40, Braun had achieved many of his David Geffen ambitions, promoting various artists and, surprisingly, hosting “One Love Manchester” – a huge benefit concert with Grande, Bieber, Coldplay, Katy Perry , Son of Miller. , Miley Cyrus and more in the wake of the 2017 terrorist attack outside Grande’s concert that killed 22 people — in just two weeks.
But her reputation was dealt a fatal blow when she acquired the rights to Taylor Swift’s first six albums in 2018 when she bought Big Machine Record Group, which she says was underwhelming, to put it mildly. and it followed months of teasing Braun and some of him. his clients and friends at the time, including Bieber and Kanye West. Despite her outrageous statements against it – and relentless attacks from her followers on social media – she managed to sell that catalog to Shamrock Holdings for around $300 million, making a handsome profit, and then sold Ithaca Holdings for 1,050 million dollars. Shortly after closing the deal, he bought a $65 million home in the affluent Brentwood suburb of Los Angeles.
Braun often talked about how much money his artists and executives made in the market as shareholders in the company. According to a corporate presentation from HYBE, Braun’s artists and staff, including Ariana Grande, Justin Bieber, J Balvin and Demi Lovato, received shares totaling about $161 million. He and Big Machine Record Group founder Scott Borchetta got the most: Braun got 462,380 shares (about $86.2 million) and Borchetta 166,537 ($31.1 million); Grande and Bieber each received 53,557 shares, just under $11 million each.
Further down the chain, J Balvin, who signed with Braun just 18 months earlier and left shortly after, received 21,423 shares ($4.1 million), while Lovato – who split with him last month – 5,355 shares ($1.06 million).
But since that deal was dropped, Braun’s two biggest artists, Bieber and Grande, have been remarkably quiet. Of course, Bieber was forced to cancel a massive world tour halfway through after suffering from a rare affliction known as Ramsay Hunt Disease, which temporarily paralyzed half of his face; he sold most of the rights to his music to Hipgnosis Songs last year in a deal worth around $200 million (Braun likely took a large percentage). She hasn’t released an album since “Justice” in March 2021, although she has dropped a handful of singles in the intervening months.
Grande has been quiet even longer, and has reportedly been hard at work on her starring role in Universal’s big-screen adaptation of the hit Broadway musical “Wicked,” though it won’t hit theaters until November 2024. She hasn’t released an album. solo single from “Positions” in October 2020, although he has done a few high-profile collaborations with The Weeknd and others.
Also lost in the recent drama is the fact that Braun has had a sordid history with some of his clients—in fact, his company’s website lists it as “past and present,” making it not any indication of who is next with the company. Grande left it for several months in 2016, but returned; J Balvin signed on in 2019, but left “amicably” less than two years later (just weeks after acquiring his shares); Kid Laroi and Kanye West have had ongoing relationships with the company.
But the company continues to hire new clients: Puerto Rican superstar Ozuna and rapper Kalii are two of its latest signings.
You will have more information on this case as it develops.