Why Are Artists Leaving Manager Scooter Braun?

23 August 2023 | 4:23 pm | Ellie Robinson

Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato have reportedly parted ways with the controversial manager, while Justin Bieber apparently hasn’t spoken to him in months.

Ariana Grande / Demi Lovato

Ariana Grande / Demi Lovato (Supplied)

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Controversial music executive Scooter Braun might have some new drama on his hands, as some of his biggest clients have reportedly ditched him for new managers.

At the start of this week, Billboard reported that Ariana Grande and Demi Lovato have both walked away from Braun’s management company, SB Projects, a short while after J Balvin did the same in May. Shortly after those reports emerged, The Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Idina Menzel had also parted ways with Braun as her manager; Menzel and Grande had both inked deals with Braun in 2019, while Lovato had worked with him for an additional six years prior.

Furthermore, People reports that Justin Bieber – a longtime protégé of Braun’s, having been discovered by him at age 13 – is no longer on speaking terms with the executive. An anonymous source reportedly told the publication that Bieber’s relationship with Braun “has run its course”, and that Bieber has been working on a new album without him “for the last six months”. It would mark the first time in 16 years that Braun has not been closely involved in Bieber’s creative process.

“Scooter and SB Projects have not set up one session or done one thing for this [new] record,” the source reportedly told People. It’s been said, however, that Bieber is still being managed by Braun and remains a part of the SB Projects roster. A separate source told the publication that Grande had similarly grown apart from her former manager: “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.”

Braun himself responded to the rumours in a snarky fashion, tweeting earlier today (August 23): “Breaking news… I’m no longer managing myself”.

This isn’t the first time Braun has stirred drama in the pop world. He famously has beef with Taylor Swift, for example, after acquiring the rights to the masters for her first six studio albums when he bought her former label, Big Machine Records, in 2018. A lengthy feud followed, and in retaliation, Swift has been progressively re-recording her older albums and releasing them as new editions dubbed Taylor’s Version.

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So what’s going on here?

In another anonymous statement, this time made to Entertainment Weekly, a “music industry source with knowledge of the situation” reportedly said that Braun is simply restructuring his company, and has no bad blood with any of his current or former clients.

“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,” they said. “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.”

But last year, an unnamed figure associated with Braun told Insider that he is indeed rather difficult to work with. “I've never seen anyone burn so many bridges with so many people,” they reportedly said to journalist Anna Silman. Among those he seems to have burned is The Kid LAROI, who publicly threw shade on him last April.

At the time of writing, neither Grande, Lovato or Menzel have responded to the new rumours. The Music has reached out to representatives for all of them – as well as SB Projects – for comment and clarification.