Scooter Braun is either imploding or stepping away from daily management

The thing about this Scooter Braun situation is that I can’t stand it when Taylor Swift is right about someone. Taylor has made it clear that Braun is Snake Enemy #1, replacing Katy Perry (presumably). Jake Gyllenhaal and John Mayer are snake-enemies as well, but Scooter is definitely ranked above them. In 2018, Braun purchased Big Machine Record Group, which held the masters for Taylor Swift’s first six studio albums. Taylor threw a massive fit about Braun’s purchase and she weaponized her fans against Braun and Scott Borchetta, to the point where Scooter’s then-wife called out Taylor for her behavior and her fans’ behavior (the Snake Fam were calling in death threats and calling Scooter’s home).

Braun quickly managed to unload Big Machine’s catalog for a profit, then he sold his Ithaca Holdings for $1.05 billion. He is currently phasing into the position of American CEO of HYBE, all while still operating his management company SC Projects. SB Projects is/was the management home of Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, J Balvin and more. Except that the rumor mill is churning that Braun is losing all of his pop star clients and no one knows what’s going on. Variety tried to get to the bottom of it and even they don’t know who to believe. Some highlights:

Demi Lovato is definitely out, but Bieber & Grande might not be: Bieber’s allegedly impending departure was strenuously denied by multiple sources (although Puck, which first reported the news, insists the story is accurate, as does at least one source Variety spoke with). And Grande’s exit — which, if true, would be the second time she’s parted ways with him — was strenuously denied by sources close to Braun while a rep for the singer did not respond to Variety’s requests for comment (although unnamed sources apparently confirmed the split to Billboard).

Braun is stepping back from the daily management of SB Projects: Yet some sources tell Variety that Bieber and Grande are not leaving the company, but rather Braun is continuing to step back from day-to-day management to focus on his role as CEO of HYBE America, the South Korean entertainment giant behind K-pop titans BTS, to which he sold Ithaca Holdings, the parent company for his SB Projects management business, for a whopping $1.05 billion in 2021. “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,” the source says. “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.” However, other sources insist that Bieber, who recently “cleaned house” and brought in a new attorney, agency and business manager, is set on leaving SB Projects.

This quote possibly came from Taylor Swift: “He’s imploding,” one source says, suggesting unsavory revelations are in the works. “It’s a different world since the pandemic. You just can’t be an asshole like that anymore.” However, another source counters, “He’s getting out of management — he has been for years. That’s the real story.”

Braun hasn’t even been involved in the daily careers of his clients in recent years: Indeed, several sources tell Variety that Braun has been only tangentially involved in the careers of even his biggest artists in recent years, with SB Projects’ longtime executives handling the demanding day-to-day work of managing major artists. Indeed, the CEO of a company valued at $11 billion presumably would not have time for such attention, even though both Bieber and Grande have been relatively inactive in recent years. Meanwhile, his first major move as CEO of HYBE America was the acquisition of Atlanta hip-hop powerhouse Quality Control, home to Migos, Lil Baby, Lil Yachty and others, for $320 million.

[From Variety]

Variety is also trying to make it sound suspicious that Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande have been relatively quiet professionally in recent years, to which I say… the pandemic and health issues? Bieber had to cancel his tour because of Ramsay Hunt Syndrome, and Ariana was one of the few people taking the pandemic seriously. I mean, I don’t know. I doubt Braun was like “you guys need to go underground for a while, don’t make any new music for a few years!” That doesn’t make any sense. Anyway, if Taylor Swift was right about Braun, so be it and I’ll admit it. But to me, this sounds like a wannabe mogul who is overextended professionally and trying to transition into a less hands-on executive lifestyle. I also kind of doubt that Bieber and Braun had some kind of falling out, and if Bieber is leaving, it’s more about Bieber wanting to change his professional life overall.

Photos courtesy of Cover Images.

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