Who is Scooter Braun? The music mogul whose clients include Justin Bieber and who clashed with Taylor Swift | Ents & Arts News

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Music mogul Scott “Scooter” Braun is known for managing some of the biggest stars of the 21st century.

His business moves have seen him amass a multi-million dollar fortune and he’s represented several big names including Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, Justin Bieber and The Kid Laroi.

Braun, 42, is also no stranger to controversy, having become embroiled in a public feud with Taylor Swift over acquiring the recordings of her first six albums after he bought her former label.

Now he’s back in the headlines, as rumours swirl that he’s lost a string of high-profile clients.

Frozen star Idina Menzel and Lovato have recently parted ways with Braun, according to reports, after both being represented by him since 2019.

A source also told US outlet People that Grande had split from the talent manager after 10 years, saying “she’s outgrown him”.

But who is Scooter Braun, and how did he end up becoming one of the biggest talent managers in the US?

Early days and discovering Justin Bieber

Braun’s early success came from promoting parties in Atlanta, which attracted high-profile guests.

It was here that he connected with mogul Jermaine Dupri, who ended up offering him a top marketing role at record label So So Def Recordings at the age of 20.

Scooter Braun and Justin Bieber in 2012
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Scooter Braun and Justin Bieber in 2012

In 2007, Braun came across a video of a teenage Bieber singing a Ne-Yo cover on YouTube and recognised his potential for superstardom.

He tracked down the Canadian singer who eventually signed with Raymond Braun Media Group (RBMG), a joint venture between Braun and singer Usher.

Braun has been Bieber’s manager since 2008 and is best known for handling his hugely successful career, which has seen him break a US chart record held by Elvis Presley for 59 years – by becoming the youngest artist to have seven number-one albums.

The mogul went on to work with other artists such as Grande, the Black Eyed Peas, J Balvin, Lovato, Ava Max and Tori Kelly.

Row with Taylor Swift

In 2019, Braun entered a public feud with Taylor Swift when his former company Ithaca Holdings bought Big Machine Label Group, which released her first six albums.

Swift signed a six-album record deal with Big Machine when she was relatively unknown in 2005, aged 15. It gave the label full legal ownership of her masters (official song recordings) as well as free rein over her videos and album art.

The Shake It Off singer called Braun’s purchase of her back catalogue her “worst case scenario” and alleged that he had subjected her to “incessant, manipulative bullying” for years. In response, Braun told Variety Swift’s reaction was “very confusing and not based on anything factual”.

Swift also said she pleaded for years to own her work but was instead given an opportunity “to sign back up to Big Machine Records and ‘earn’ one album back at a time, one for every new one I turned in”. She turned it down.

Read more:
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Taylor Swift's back catalogue has been sold on by Scooter Braun
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Taylor Swift said she was ‘grossed out’ when Braun bought her back catalogue

After his purchase of Swift’s masters sparked a huge online backlash, Braun denied there was “malicious intent” and said he had tried to “do the right thing”.

Swift announced plans to re-record her own songs to own the copyright to the new albums, known as Taylor’s Versions, after her original contract’s restriction on re-recording expired in November 2020.

Braun sold the rights to his share of Swift’s masters to US private equity firm Shamrock in a deal worth hundreds of millions of dollars, less than two years after acquiring them.

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