Scooter Braun was once one of the most lucrative managers in the music industry — but a series of A-list client departures is raising eyebrows.
Demi Lovato reportedly parted ways with Braun in August 2023, four years after signing with him in May 2019. One day after news broke of Lovato’s departure, Us Weekly confirmed that Ariana Grande was also no longer working with Braun, with whom she had been working for 10 years.
While Braun first made headlines in the early 2000s for discovering Justin Bieber, he got his start in the music business years earlier, dropping out of college to work in marketing at So So Def Records after meeting Jermaine Dupri. He was ultimately promoted to executive director of marketing for the record label.
In 2006, Braun discovered Bieber while browsing through YouTube. After meeting with a teenage Bieber and his mom, Pattie Mallette, he convinced them to come to Atlanta so the singer could work with Usher. Bieber ended up signing with Island Def Jam in partnership with Braun and Usher.
Bieber and Braun have since worked together on all six of his studio albums — from his debut record, My World 2.0, to 2021’s Justice — and have maintained a close relationship for years.
Following his success in the industry, Braun went on to start his own record label Schoolboy Records in 2007. He is also a cofounder of TQ Ventures, Mythos Studios, and Raymond Braun Media Group (RBMG) — which he founded in 2008 alongside Usher.
Keep scrolling to see Braun’s ups and downs over the years.
Obtaining A-List Clients
After scoring Bieber as his first big client, Braun attracted the talent of several other performers. Braun signed Grande to her first record deal in 2013. He went on to manage Lovato, Tori Kelly, Carly Rae Jepsen, Martin Garrix, Kanye West, Black Eyed Peas, David Guetta, Lil Dicky, and others.
Justin Bieber Bond
In addition to working together, Braun and Bieber share a close friendship over the years. When Braun tied the knot with Yael Cohen in July 2014, Bieber attended the ceremony. Braun, for his part, returned the favor when Justin wed wife Hailey Bieber in September 2019.
While Justin struggled with his mental health and substance abuse, Braun was by his side. In September 2017, Braun opened up about the responsibility he felt to take care of his client and close friend.
“I failed him day after day. We were living in hell because he was in such a dark place.” Braun said in an interview with Wall Street Journal Magazine. “I have inconveniences, and other people have problems. Mine feel important, but they’re not. They’re not life or death. Justin’s stuff got to a point where it was a problem.”
Buying Taylor Swift’s Masters
Braun made headlines in June 2019 after Swift revealed the music executive owned the rights to her music catalog after purchasing them from Big Machine Records’ Scott Borchetta for $300 million. Swift claimed at the time she did not receive the opportunity to purchase her own work.
“For the past year I’ve been actively trying to regain ownership of my master recordings,” Swift wrote via Twitter at the time. “With that goal in mind, my team attempted to enter into negotiations with Scooter Braun. Scooter’s team wanted me to sign an ironclad NDA stating I would never say another word about Scooter Braun unless it was positive, before we could even look at the financial records of BMLG (which is always the first step in a purchase of this nature). So, I would have to sign a document that would silence me before I could even have a chance to bid on my own work.”
Braun later addressed Swift’s comments calling the situation “very unfortunate.”
“I regret and it makes me sad that Taylor had that reaction to the deal,” Braun said to Variety at the time. “All of what happened has been very confusing and not based on anything factual. I don’t know what story she was told. I asked for her to sit down with me several times, but she refused. I offered to sell her the catalog back and went under NDA, but her team refused. It all seems very unfortunate.”
Two months later, Swift announced she was going to rerecord her albums starting in November 2020. “Next year, I can record one through five all over again,” she said during an August 2019 appearance on Good Morning America. “I just think that artists deserve to own their own work.”
On Swift’s Midnights album, the songs “Karma” and “Vigilante S–t” seemingly allude to the drama she faced with Braun.
Yael Cohen Divorce
Us Weekly confirmed in June 2021 that Cohen and Braun — who share three kids: Jagger, Levi and Hart — decided to separate after seven years of marriage. One month later, Braun officially filed for divorce and requested joint custody of the pair’s children and agreed to pay spousal support.
In September 2022, the twosome finalized their divorce with them agreeing to joint legal custody of the children. Braun obtained several of their properties, over 100 pieces of artwork, several cars, four golf carts and one electric scooter. Braun was also ordered to pay child support and is responsible for the children’s medical and dental insurance.
The Kid Laroi Drama
Laroi shaded Braun by calling their prior deal a “mistake” in an April 2022 TikTok video. Laroi parted ways from SB Projects in 2021 after he was reportedly disappointed that Braun wasn’t more “directly involved” in his career. Braun claimed a few days later that Laroi’s social media post was a publicity stunt that he had prior knowledge of before the posting.
“For those asking about the beef and my friends who are wanted to go hard … don’t believe everything you see on the internet,” Braun wrote via his Instagram Story alongside several screenshots of text conversations between him and The Kid Laroi discussing their plan. “Make sure to check out @TheKidLaroi’s upcoming single.”
Losing Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande and Others
In August 2023, multiple clients — including Lovato and J Balvin — reportedly parted ways with Braun. A source confirmed to Us that Grande dropped Braun as her music manager after working together for a decade.
While rumors swirled that Bieber had also fired Braun, but reps for both parties stated to Us, “This is not true.”