Jun 18, 2024 3 min read

Scooter Braun officially retires as an artist manager

Scooter Braun has officially retired as an artist manager - something everyone thought he did three years ago when he became CEO of HYBE America. In a lengthy statement he said that he could “no longer justify” the sacrifices required to be on call 24/7 for his clients

Scooter Braun officially retires as an artist manager

Scooter Braun has officially ended his career as an artist manager, saying that God told him he should spend more time with his kids. Something like that, anyway. Braun - who became CEO of HYBE America in 2021 - was understood to have already taken a backseat in the day-to-day management of his clients. 

“After 23 years this chapter as a music manager has come to an end”, he writes in a lengthy statement. “It’s a strange feeling because I think I have wanted this for a while, but I was truly afraid to answer the question ‘who would I be without them?’”

He goes on to say that he loved being on call at any time of the day or night for 20 years, but then “as my children got older, and my personal Iife took some hits” he realised that “the sacrifices I was once willing to make I could no longer justify”. 

Braun will remain CEO of HYBE America and a board member of parent company HYBE in South Korea. 

Making his name as the manager of then teenager Justin Bieber in the late 2000s, through his management company SB Projects Braun went on to work with artists including Ariana Grande, Carly Ray Jepsen, Kanye West, Psy, Demi Lovato, David Guetta and more. Never one to remain in the background, he achieved celebrity status himself.

However, his reputation took a knock in 2018 when his Ithaca Holdings company acquired Taylor Swift’s original label Big Machine, which still owned her first six albums. 

Swift took the deal as a move specifically designed to upset her, orchestrated by label founder Scott Borchetta, with whom she had fallen out. Braun, she claimed, had bullied her and encouraged some of his artists, including Bieber and West, to join in. 

It was this that led her to re-record her entire catalogue in an effort to stop Braun from being able to make money from her original masters. 

In 2020, Ithaca sold the rights in Swift’s Big Machine albums to Shamrock Holdings for $300 million. If that was an attempt to calm the controversy around the original Big Machine deal, it did not. Swift hit out again, saying that she had not been consulted about the deal, despite previous attempts to buy the masters herself. 

The following year, Ithaca Holdings - which included SB Projects - was sold to HYBE for over $1 billion, with Braun becoming CEO of the newly formed HYBE America. Soon after that deal was done, rumours began to circulate that some of Braun’s management clients, including Bieber and Grande, were seeking new representation.

While not naming anyone, Braun alludes parting with one of his key clients as catalyst for stepping back from management , saying, “One of my biggest clients and friends told me that they wanted to spread their wings and go in a new direction. We had been through so much together over the last decade, but instead of being hurt I saw it as a sign. You see, life doesn’t hand you YOUR plan, it hands you GOD’s plan. And God has been pushing me in this direction for some time”.

“I have nothing but love for those I have worked with over the years, and as we develop a different working relationship, I will always be in their corner to consult and support them whether it be directly or from afar”, he goes on. “Every client I have had the privilege of working with has changed my life, and I know many of them are just beginning to see the success they deserve. I will cheer for every single one of them”.

In the absence of Braun, SB Projects will now be run by Alison Kaye and Jen McDaniels. “These two incredibly powerful women will now step into a role that I know will grow into the most impressive women-led management business our industry has even seen”.

“I made my plan… but it turns out I like God’s plan better”, he concludes.

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