A cruel summer for Scooter Braun? Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande reportedly drop longtime manager

Separate photos of Demi Lovato in a silver choker, Scooter Braun in a black T-shirt and Ariana Grande in diamond earrings
Demi Lovato, left, and Ariana Grande have reportedly parted ways with longtime manager Scooter Braun.
(Evan Agostini / Invision / AP; Richard Shotwell / Invision / AP; Jordan Strauss / Invision / AP)
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Is Scooter Braun having a cruel summer?

Demi Lovato has parted ways with their longtime manager, Scooter Braun, and his company SB Projects, according to Billboard. A music-industry source with knowledge of the situation told The Times that the split was mutual and amicable.

Shortly after news surfaced that Lovato had severed ties with Braun, Billboard reported that Grande had also dropped the music mogul as her manager. Meanwhile, Puck reported earlier this week that Justin Bieber was distancing himself from Braun as well.

Braun issued a snarky response to the reports Tuesday on X (formerly Twitter).


“Breaking news … I’m no longer managing myself,” he joked.

Scooter Braun acquired Taylor Swift’s former label, Big Machine, and her master recordings in 2019. Now Braun says he would have changed his approach.

Sept. 30, 2022

Braun was recently appointed United States chief executive at Hybe, the entertainment giant that controls more than half of the South Korean pop music scene. A music industry source cited the Hybe move while disputing reports that Grande and Bieber were leaving Braun.

“All of Scooter Braun’s clients are under contract and negotiations have been going on for several months as Scooter steps into his larger role as Hybe America CEO,” the source told The Times on Tuesday.

“People are spreading rumors based on what they know, but they are off. Scooter’s team at SB Projects are still handling both Justin and Ariana as they work through what this new structure looks like.”

Representatives for Grande did not immediately respond Tuesday to requests for comment.

Citing death threats amid his spat with Taylor Swift, manager Scooter Braun posts a public appeal to the pop star to end their label dispute.

Nov. 22, 2019

Braun has repped Lovato for about four years and Grande for 10, per Billboard.

During her time with SB Projects, Lovato released two albums, 2021’s “Dancing With the Devil ... the Art of Starting Over” and 2022’s “Holy Fvck.”

Grande’s professional relationship with Braun dates back to her transition from child TV star to serious pop musician. Their partnership has spanned six albums, starting with the singer’s debut, “Yours Truly.”

A possible hostile takeover of one K-pop megacorp by another could have ramifications for the global music industry.

Feb. 22, 2023

Lovato, Grande and Bieber aren’t the only artists rumored to have separated from Braun.

Reggaeton musician J Balvin reportedly left SB Projects for Jay-Z’s Roc Nation in May. And Broadway legend-turned-”Frozen” star Idina Menzel ended her contract with Braun last year, according to a source with knowledge of the situation.


For the record:

7:57 p.m. Aug. 22, 2023An earlier version of this article said that Taylor Swift was a former client of Scooter Braun.

Aside from managing some of the biggest names in entertainment, Braun is best known for his public falling-out with Taylor Swift. The Grammy-winning singer-songwriter famously embarked on a mission to re-record her entire back catalog after the music exec sold her masters without her consent.

Swift recently released her 10th studio album, which includes the hit track “Karma.”

Times staff writer August Brown contributed to this report.