Scooter Braun’s Evolution through Time: Taylor Swift Conflict, Divorce, Client Controversies, and Beyond



Courtesy of Scooter Braun/Instagram
Scooter Braun at one point enjoyed a position as one of the music industry’s most prosperous managers. However, a succession of A-list clients parting ways with him has generated significant attention and speculation.
In August 2023, Demi Lovato reportedly ended her professional association with Braun, marking a separation four years after originally joining forces in May 2019. Shortly following the revelation of Lovato’s departure, sources verified that Ariana Grande had also concluded her professional relationship with Braun. This decision came after a collaboration spanning a decade between the two.
“The story of the career of Scooter Braun, while volatile, is not atypical of any high profile manager,” said entertainment attorney Richard Roth of the Roth Law Firm, who is not involved.
“For decades, Braun has dealt with a series of high-profile, strong-headed personalities, including Bieber, Lovato and others. And the amount of money at issue is always extraordinary, so it is no shock that he had been fired, rehired and re-fired. But that’s the business,” Roth said.
In the early 2000s, Scooter Braun initially gained prominence for his role in discovering Justin Bieber. However, his journey in the music industry had commenced years earlier when he decided to leave college and delve into marketing at So So Def Records after an encounter with Jermaine Dupri. His dedication led to his elevation as the executive director of marketing at the record label.
By 2006, Braun’s path intersected with Bieber’s. While perusing YouTube, he stumbled upon Bieber’s talent. Following a meeting with the young artist and his mother, Pattie Mallette, Braun successfully persuaded them to journey to Atlanta, where Bieber collaborated with Usher. This collaboration eventually led to Bieber’s signing with Island Def Jam in conjunction with Braun and Usher.
Bieber and Braun’s collaboration has spanned across all six of Bieber’s studio albums, commencing with his inaugural release, “My World 2.0,” and extending through to 2021’s “Justice.” Their enduring partnership has thrived over the years, solidifying a strong bond.
Subsequent to his accomplishments in the industry, Braun ventured into establishing his own record label, Schoolboy Records, in 2007. Additionally, he co-founded TQ Ventures, Mythos Studios, and Raymond Braun Media Group (RBMG) in 2008, a venture he embarked upon alongside Usher.
As you continue scrolling, explore the various highs and lows that Braun has encountered throughout his journey over the years.
Securing High-Profile Clientele
Following his breakthrough with Bieber, Braun’s appeal expanded as he drew in the expertise of numerous other artists. In 2013, he successfully secured Grande’s initial record contract. His managerial roster expanded to encompass Lovato, Tori Kelly, Carly Rae Jepsen, Martin Garrix, Kanye West, Black Eyed Peas, David Guetta, Lil Dicky, and a host of other notable figures.
Courtesy of Scooter Braun/Instagram
The Justin Bieber Connection
Alongside their professional collaboration, Braun and Bieber have fostered a deep and enduring friendship throughout the years. This bond was evident when Braun exchanged vows with Yael Cohen in July 2014, an event that Bieber attended in support. In turn, when Justin entered marital bliss with Hailey Bieber in September 2019, Braun reciprocated the gesture by being present.
During periods when Justin faced challenges related to his mental well-being and substance use, Braun stood steadfastly by his side. Reflecting on this dynamic, Braun candidly shared his sense of duty to care for both his client and dear friend in September 2017. He acknowledged the struggles they faced and the responsibility he bore.
In an interview Braun admitted, “I failed him day after day. We were living in hell because he was in such a dark place. 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.”
Courtesy of Taylor Swift/Instagram
Acquisition of Taylor Swift’s Masters
In June 2019, Braun captured headlines when Swift unveiled that he had gained ownership of her music catalogue, having acquired it from Scott Borchetta of Big Machine Records for $300 million. Swift contended that she was not afforded the opportunity to secure her own creative endeavors.
Swift expressed her efforts to reclaim her master recordings over the preceding year. Via Twitter, she shared, “For the past year I’ve been actively trying to regain ownership of my master recordings. 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.”
Subsequently, Braun responded to Swift’s remarks by describing the situation as “very unfortunate.”
“I regret and it makes me sad that Taylor had that reaction to the deal,” Braun commented to Variety during that period. “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 after these events, Swift revealed her intention to re-record her albums, commencing in November 2020. During an August 2019 appearance on Good Morning America, she asserted, “Next year, I can record one through five all over again. I just think that artists deserve to own their own work.”
In her album “Midnights,” the tracks “Karma” and “Vigilante S–t” appear to allude to the challenging situation Swift faced with Braun.
“At one time, Scooter was a darling of the music industry, however, his run-in with Taylor and her masters really altered this frame,” said Marcus Collins, author of “For the Culture: The Power Behind What We Buy, What We Do, and Who We Want to Be.”
“It wasn’t just a case of negotiations falling through, rather it was positioned as the patriarchy impeding on a young female’s artist ability to fully realize her talent as a business leader. When Taylor decided to leverage her agency and re-record her early albums, it gave people an opportunity to participate in the discourse — through consumption — and choose a side,” Collins said.
“This framing, of course, is then applied to Scooter more broadly in his dealings with other female artists and even his wife,” Collins said.
Courtesy of Scooter Braun/Instagram
Divorce with Yael Cohen
In June 2021, sources confirmed that Cohen and Braun, parents to their three children: Jagger, Levi, and Hart, chose to part ways following a seven-year marriage. Just one month later, Braun formally filed for divorce. In his filing, he sought joint custody of their children and expressed his willingness to provide spousal support.
By September 2022, their divorce proceedings concluded, and they settled on joint legal custody of their children. In the division of assets, Braun acquired several properties, more than 100 pieces of artwork, a selection of vehicles including four golf carts and an electric scooter. Furthermore, Braun was mandated to provide child support and cover the children’s medical and dental insurance expenses.
Courtesy of Scooter Braun/Instagram
The Kid Laroi Controversy
In an April 2022 TikTok video, Laroi subtly criticized Braun, labeling their previous agreement as a “mistake.” Laroi’s departure from SB Projects in 2021 stemmed from his purported disappointment in Braun’s perceived lack of direct involvement in his career. A few days after Laroi’s social media post, Braun contended that the post was a premeditated publicity tactic, implying he was informed of it beforehand.
Braun addressed the situation on his Instagram Story, sharing screenshots of text conversations between himself and The Kid Laroi. The messages indicated a collaborative plan, with Braun advising, “For those asking about the beef and my friends who are wanted to go hard … don’t believe everything you see on the internet. Make sure to check out @TheKidLaroi’s upcoming single.”
Courtesy of Scooter Braun/Instagram
Facing the Departure of Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, and More
August 2023 witnessed the departure of several clients, notably Lovato and J Balvin, from Braun’s representation. A reliable source verified that Grande terminated her professional relationship with Braun, severing ties after a collaboration that had persisted for ten years.
Although speculations circulated regarding Bieber’s potential separation from Braun, both parties’ representatives unequivocally clarified to sources that these rumors were unfounded, asserting, “This is not true.”
“Scooter Braun is reinventing himself. New life, a new profession, taking risks to build a reputation on his accomplishments, and not on the backs of others. Braun put on his big-boy pants and said, ‘It’s my time’,” said strategic communications consultant Robbie Vorhaus, founder and CEO of Vorhaus Communications, Inc.
“That’s the beauty of taking control of your reputation, because even if he fails (and he won’t), he’ll still get credit for giving it his best shot. A reputational reset always looks like an over adjustment until you view it in hindsight,” Vorhaus said.