Scooter Braun’s manager era may be coming to an end. After a tumultuous week of reports suggesting many of Braun’s A-list clients were seeking new representation, a source close to SB Projects tells Rolling Stone that while some of those clients are still under contract, Braun is preparing to further transition into his role as CEO of HYBE America.
“All of Scooter Braun’s clients are under contract and negotiations have been going on for several months” as Braun focuses more on his Hybe role, 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 [Bieber] and Ariana [Grande] as they work through what this new structure looks like.”
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Braun’s strange few days began last Friday, when Puck reported that Bieber — Braun’s first and arguably biggest client — was looking to leave SB Projects. Both Bieber and Braun, however, denied the report as “not true.”
Since then, there’s been a flurry of rumor and speculation about some of Braun’s other A-list clients. Rolling Stone confirmed that Demi Lovato and Braun had amicably parted ways after four years. And a source confirmed to Rolling Stone that Tony-winner Idina Menzel left Braun back in January, and that the split was unrelated to Braun’s transition. The The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news of Menzel’s departure. (J Balvin, another major client, left Braun back in May to sign with Roc Nation, a move that was reported on at the time, but without the same kind of fanfare as the last few days.)
The biggest rumor, however, was that Grande — another longtime client who’s been working with Braun since 2013 — had also decided to leave. The same Puck reporter who broke the Bieber news announced on Twitter that Grande had “parted ways” with Braun. Sources also appeared to confirm Grande’s departure to Billboard, even though Braun and SB Projects have denied it. (Reps for Bieber, Grande, and Menzel did not immediately return Rolling Stone‘s request for comment.)
Braun, for his part, appears to be doing his best to maintain a public-facing sense of humor about it all. “Breaking news…” he wrote on Twitter Tuesday afternoon. “I’m no longer managing myself.”
Other major clients Braun has worked with include Ava Max, David Guetta, Hillary Duff, Ozuna, and the Kid Laroi (the latter having his own “falling out” with Braun last year that actually turned out to be more of a publicity stunt).
Braun took on his role with HYBE after the South Korean entertainment conglomerate (which is home to BTS and other artists) acquired Braun’s Ithaca Holdings in 2021. Ithaca comprised numerous Braun endeavors and entities, including SB Projects, Atlas Music Publishing, and Big Machine Label Group. (Braun’s acquisition of Big Machine infamously led to the whole Taylor Swift masters fracas, though Ithaca sold the rights to her first six albums to Shamrock Capital in 2020.)
After the merger, Braun became co-CEO of HYBE America with Lenzo Yoon Seok-jun. He officially took over the post solo in January of this year (via Variety), and a month later completed a major deal: The $300 million acquisition of the hip-hop label Quality Control, home to Migos, Lil Baby, City Girls, and Lil Yachty.
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