Here's Why Everyone Is Talking About Scooter Braun, Ariana Grande And Demi Lovato

The prolific music manager is best known for his work with stars like Justin Bieber – as well as his infamous beef with Taylor Swift.
Scooter Braun and some of his most prolific clients, past and present
Scooter Braun and some of his most prolific clients, past and present
Penske Media/Getty/Angela Weiss/Sean Zanni/

Music manager Scooter Braun is back in the headlines, amid reports that some of his biggest clients have left his company, some after a decade or more.

One of the most prolific figures in the music industry today, Scooter is known for his work with clients past and present like Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande and Kanye West – not to mention his notorious falling out with another very famous performer.

So, what are all the latest rumours about and where have they come from? Here’s what we know at the moment…

First of all, why do I know the name Scooter Braun? And what does he have to do with Taylor Swift?

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift
Michael Buckner via Getty Images

If the name Scooter Braun rings a bell, it probably has to do with his very public beef with Taylor Swift, which first arose in 2019.

Around four years ago, Taylor spoke out against Scooter when it was announced he had purchased her old record label, Big Machine, and was therefore the owner of the masters to her first six albums, up until 2017’s Reputation.

At the time, Taylor said the situation was her “worst case scenario”, accusing Scooter of “incessant manipulative bullying”, most notably while he was still managing the rapper Kanye West, who was involved in a long-running public feud with the Shake It Off singer spanning a number of years.

Read Taylor’s initial post in full below:

Two of Scooter’s most famous clients spoke out in his defence in response to Taylor’s statement, with Justin Bieber accusing the star of trying to “get people to hate on Scooter” by sharing her feelings on Tumblr.

“What were you trying to accomplish by posting that blog?” Justin questioned. “Seems to me like it was to get sympathy [...] [you] also knew that in posting that your fans would go and bully Scooter.”

Meanwhile, Demi Lovato – who signed with Scooter’s management company SB Projects months before the controversy around Taylor’s masters – wrote on their Instagram story: “I have dealt with bad people in this industry and Scooter is not one of them… please stop ‘dragging’ people or bullying them. There’s enough hate in this world as there is.”

Scooter initially remained tight-lipped on the debacle, but later denied doing “anything with malicious intent”.

He spoke out again in November 2019, after revealing he and his family had received death threats over the matter, and alleged that Taylor had turned down multiple offers to sit down and talk with him about her dissatisfaction over him buying Big Machine.

“It almost feels as if you have no interest in ever resolving the conflict,” he wrote in a lengthy Instagram statement. “At this point with safety becoming a concern I have no choice other than to publicly ask for us to come together and try to find a resolution.

“I have tried repeatedly through your representatives to achieve a solution but unfortunately here we are. This game of telephone isn’t working.”

Scooter Braun pictured in 2019
Scooter Braun pictured in 2019
Steve Jennings via Getty Images

A year after the saga first unfolded, Scooter sold Taylor’s masters to Shamrock Holdings, a private equity firm that’s actually owned by the Walt Disney estate, while the Grammy winner began re-recording her old albums in what have become known as “Taylor’s Versions”, to which she owns the masters.

Taylor has so far released new versions of Fearless, Speak Now and Red, with the re-recorded 1989 slated for release later this year.

So, let’s fast-forward to the present day. The first rumour to come out was that Scooter and his long-term client Justin Bieber were parting ways

Justin Bieber at the 2021 Met Gala
Justin Bieber at the 2021 Met Gala
WWD via Getty Images

If there’s one name that springs to mind when you think about Scooter Braun’s clients, it’s probably going to be Justin Bieber.

Scooter has been part of Justin’s team since “discovering” him on YouTube as a child performer, and has been present throughout the highs and lows of his career.

On Friday 18 August, Puck News published a piece alleging that Justin and Scooter were about to part ways after 15 years of working together, with the report claiming the pair “haven’t spoken in months” and that the What Do You Mean singer was on the look-out for new representation.

Soon after this, Entertainment Tonight quoted “multiple sources” who claimed the pair were still in business and that “the two recently worked on something together”.

Representatives for both Justin and Scooter then confirmed to Page Six the reports weren’t accurate, with a spokesperson telling the Daily Mail: “Reps for all parties confirm this is not true.”

Scooter Braun and Justin Bieber in 2020
Scooter Braun and Justin Bieber in 2020
LISA O'CONNOR via Getty Images

HuffPost UK has contacted Scooter Braun’s team for additional comment.

Then came fresh reports about Demi Lovato and Scooter Braun

On Monday 21 August, three days after the initial Justin Bieber reports were published, Billboard cited “sources” who claimed that Demi Lovato was “seeking new management” after “splitting” with Scooter.

Scooter Braun and Demi Lovato
Scooter Braun and Demi Lovato
Rich Fury via Getty Images

While online chatter linked the Cool For The Summer star’s departure with the now-debunked reports about Justin Bieber, it’s worth pointing out that Billboard claimed that Demi and Scooter parted ways “last month”, before the rumours about Justin were first made public.

HuffPost UK has contacted representatives for Demi Lovato and Scooter Braun for comment.

Demi has previously been among Scooter’s most vocal supporters, describing signing with him as a “dream come true” when they first began working together in 2019.

They also defended Scooter amid his high-profile dispute with Taylor Swift.

Demi Lovato
Demi Lovato
Jerod Harris via Getty Images

Under their tenure with Scooter, Demi released two studio albums, 2021’s Dancing With The Devil... The Art of Starting Over and, more recently, the rock-inspired Holy Fvck.

Next month, they are also set to debut the remix collection Revamped, which will feature new versions of their previous hits in a rockier arrangement.

And it wasn’t long before Ariana Grande became the latest star tipped to have split from Scooter

Scooter Braun and Ariana Grande in 2014
Scooter Braun and Ariana Grande in 2014
Kevin Mazur/MTV1415 via Getty Images

That same day, Billboard also published a report claiming that Ariana Grande, another of Scooter’s most high-profile clients, had left his management company, citing “sources close to the situation”.

HuffPost UK has also contacted representatives for Ariana Grande for comment.

Ariana first signed with Scooter in 2013, the same year she released her debut album Yours Truly.

In the decade since, the Grammy winner has released five additional albums, the most recent of which, Positions, topped the albums chart on both sides of the Atlantic in 2020.

Ariana Grande performing at the Grammys in 2020
Ariana Grande performing at the Grammys in 2020
ROBYN BECK via Getty Images

Although it’s now been three years since Ariana released a new album, more recently she’s been concentrating on her acting career, appearing in the Netflix disaster movie Don’t Look Up and filming the long-awaited movie adaptation of the hit musical Wicked.

Production on Wicked is currently on hold as a result of the US actors’ strike.

Has anyone else left Scooter’s roster lately?

It was first reported that Colombian singer J Balvin – known for hits like Mi Gente and I Like It – had left Scooter’s management company after over a decade in May.

He signed a new deal with Jay-Z’s management company Roc Nation, joining stars like Rihanna, Megan Thee Stallion, Alicia Keys and Miguel.

J Balvin
J Balvin
Axelle/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images

Meanwhile, after the reports of Demi and Ariana’s departures from his company, The Hollywood Reporter claimed that Broadway legend Idina Menzel – perhaps best known nowadays for her voice work in the Frozen franchise – was also no longer being managed by Scooter.

Idina signed with SB Projects in 2019, and apparently left the company in January.

Idina on stage at Pride In London last month
Idina on stage at Pride In London last month
Jack Hall via Getty Images

HuffPost UK has contacted the Wicked and Rent star’s team for clarification.

The Tony winner recently released her seventh studio album Drama Queen, and is now gearing up to play Elsa in the Disney sequel Frozen III.

Which other stars does Scooter Braun currently manage?

Ava Max, Black Eyed Peas, Carly Rae Jepsen, David Guetta and The Kid Laroi are among those listed as Scooter Braun’s current management clients on his website.

Interestingly, at the time of writing, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, J Balvin and Idina Menzel are all also still named on the SB Projects website.

This article has been updated to include reports that Idina Menzel has also parted ways with SB Projects.


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