On Monday 21 August 2023, Billboard reported that the infamous pop star manager Scooter Braun had been dropped by two huge celebrities—Demi Lovato and Ariana Grande. This comes, of course, after the dramageddon that was Braun selling former client Taylor Swift’s masters, prompting her to re-record a number of her earlier albums.
Although it’s currently unknown as to why Braun was kicked to the curb by some of the biggest names in pop music, it’s clear that something is amiss as even Justin Bieber, who has been with Braun since he was first discovered on YouTube at just 13 years old, is rumoured to be seeking new management too.
A quick check over on Twitter revealed discourse surrounding the recent news, including comments made by Grande during an appearance on the Zach Sang Show in 2019, which may point towards her reasoning behind dropping the renowned executive. The clip shows the singer discussing her dislike for the song ‘ghostin’, which appeared on her record Thank U, Next.
Grande said that the track, which was inspired by her late ex-partner Mac Miller, remained “unfinished.” She went on to say that it was “too much actually,” before adding: “I was literally begging Scooter to take it off [the album].”
The news has sparked something strange online—Swift fans are coming out in full support of the Grande stans, putting an end to what has long been considered stan culture’s biggest beef. So, why are Swifties getting involved?
Braun is an entrepreneur, music executive, and talent manager, best known for discovering Bieber in 2008. Since then, Braun has found his way climbing the industry ladder, and is currently the CEO of Hybe America, a subsidiary of Korean entertainment company Hybe Corporation, which acquired Braun’s holding company, Ithaca in 2021.
In June 2019, Braun was at the centre of severe internet controversy following a dispute with Swift over the purchasing of her masters from her ex-record label Big Machine Records. The singer claimed that she was unjustly denied a fair opportunity to acquire the masters, before they were flogged to Braun and Ithaca upon the media executive’s purchase of Big Machine Records.
The highly publicised conflict saw claims from Swift that Braun was an alleged “incessant, manipulative bully,” and that he was directly involved in the creation of the Kanye West music video for his song Famous, which includes a naked wax work of Swift as well as a targeted misogynist lyric. It’s clear that Braun isn’t someone Swift would have wanted to involve when it comes to her powerful body of work.
The controversy ultimately resulted in the Bad Blood singer re-recording all of her past albums, redubbing them as Taylor’s Version. This strategic move allowed her to reclaim control over her music rights, as well as devaluing the masters that had been acquired by Braun, which was later sold off again in 2020 to Shamrock holdings.
So, with Braun’s biggest talents dropping him one by one, the internet can’t help but speculate that the controversial musician manager might be finally seeing his comeuppance—we’ll just have to wait and see.