Music

Scooter Braun Retires From Artist Management: ‘This Chapter Has Come to an End’

Scooter Braun has announced his retirement from artist management after a 23-year run that has seen him guide the careers of acts ranging from Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato and J Balvin, among others.

“I have been blessed to have had a ‘Forrest Gump’-like life while witnessing and taking part in the journeys of some of the most extraordinarily talented people the world has ever seen,” Braun said in a statement issued on Monday (June 17). “I’m constantly pinching myself and asking ‘how did I get here?’ And after 23 years this chapter as a must manager has come to an end.”

Braun sold Ithaca Holdings, the parent company of SB Projects, to South Korean entertainment conglomerate HYBE in 2021. Braun will continue his work as HYBE America’s CEO.

Read his full announcement:

23 years. That’s how long I have been a music
manager. 23 years ago a 19 year old kid started
managing an artist named Cato in Atlanta, GA
and my journey began. Along the way I have had
so many experiences I could never have dreamt
of. I have been blessed to have had a “Forrest
Gump”-like life while witnessing and taking part in
the journeys of some of the most extraordinarily
talented people the world has ever seen. I’m
constantly pinching myself and asking “how did I
get here?” And after 23 years this chapter as
a music manager has come to an end.

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?” I was really just 19 years old when I
started. So for my entire adult life I played the
role of an artist manager on call 24 hours a
day, 7 days a week. And for 20 years I loved
it. It’s all I had known. But as my children
got older, and my personal Iife took some
hits, I came to the realization that my kids
were 3 superstars I wasn’t willing to lose. The
sacrifices I was once willing to make I could
no longer justify. It was time to step into a
new role.

In this next chapter I have been honored to join
as a board member of Hybe and serve as the
CEO of Hybe America. My brilliant partner these
past 3 years, Chairman Bang, has a vision I truly
believe in. But even beyond that he has become
a true friend who understands where I must be
in my life these days. And that is a father first,
a CEO second, and a manager no more.

Over the past 2 years I have been heading
towards this destination, but it wasn’t until last
summer that this new chapter became a reality.
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. 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.

I have gotten to see my friend Andrew Watt
win the Grammy for Producer of the year. I have
laughed and cried as Lil Dicky truly became
DAVE. I have witnessed an angel of a human
Tori Kelly win Grammys and star in films. I have
seen J Balvin live out his dreams of breaking
boundaries, and Demi show kindness and grace
that few megastars have. I have been moved as
Zac Brown Band raised our flag and delivered the
hits. I was excited the first time I heard Animals
with Martin Garrix, and learned a new world with
David Guetta and Steve Angello. I have danced to
Carly Rae Jepsen’s Call Me Maybe and smiled ear
to ear as PSY brought us Gangnam Style. I have
watched Quavo grow to be an entrepreneur, and
served as Kanye’s “gateway drug to business”
as we had amazing years of success when I was
once able to call him my friend. I have marched
with YG and flown to Australia with Laroi to see
the hometown kid rock an arena. I have seen Dan

Shay go from local Nashville writers to sold out
headliners and award winners. The list of artists
goes on and on over 23 years. So many stories it
would take me forever to name. From those first
years with Asher Roth to watching my partner and
brother Usher dominate the Super Bowl this year,
it is truly overwhelming.

But it was this past Christmas Day when Ariana
and Justin became the biggest male and female
in the history of the Spotify Billions club that I
just smiled and thought “what a ride.” Justin
and Ariana were both young teenagers when
I began with them. Justin a 13 year old kid
busking in Canada and Ariana a young actress
on Nickelodeon. To see them both come up to
be the legends they are today will forever be
one of my greatest honors. As we change our
working relationships now, I will continue to root
for them with the same passion that I did at
each of their humble beginnings. I remember the
pranks and the water park shows with Justin, and
the first time Ari opened an arena tour and her
excitement side stage. I remember as they both
stepped up for others and I got to witness them
each change the world and make history. There
will never be a day where I don’t take great pride
and honor in what we accomplished together.
The same can be said for so many I have had the
pleasure of once being called “manager”.

There has been a lot said about what is
happening in our company… and in my career.
When we had success I smiled, and when we
were attacked I tried to always take the high
road. But for the last 3 years I have begun
to feel that taking the high road has created
confusion and ambiguity as to who we are. I
may have left my role in management, and
my business relationship with many clients will
alter and change, but this does not mean we
as a company are leaving. Both Allison Kaye
and Jennifer McDaniels are more than capable
to lead and as we combine new resources the
opportunities with their leadership are endless. 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. While my name may
have been on the door all these years, the truth
is there is no one as brilliant as Allison Kaye, and
few who can manage with the grace and poise
of Jen McDaniels.

We at Hybe will continue to grow. With the
addition of QC to Hybe America and our existing
business at Big Machine, we will continue to
add amazing execs and artists to the roster.
Our WeVerse platform and growing gaming unit
is something the whole industry can celebrate
and join. Getting the opportunity to A&R and
Executive Produce the solo career of Jung Kook
last summer, and work with the other members
of BTS as we break worldwide records, has been
an absolute honor. With new acts like NewJeans,
TXT, LE SSERAFIM, Seventeen, ILLIT, The Scarlet
Opera, Ava Max, and many other new artists
and ventures, the future is bright. I’m honored to
join Chairman Bang and Jiwon Park as we grow
HYBE from the multi-billion dollar publicly traded
company it is today to the worldwide multifaceted
entertainment platform it is destined to be.

With Hybe going strong I am also looking
forward to continuing to invest in a new generation
of entrepreneurs and serve as a national board
member of Make A Wish and help individuals
and communities through our family’s Braun
Foundation. Between all of this and coaching
my kids I’m not worried about being busy 🙂

So yes, it’s been 23 years. And yes, this chapter
has come to an end. But the great Berry Gordy
once told me “young man, it never ends the
way you wanted, but it doesn’t mean it didn’t
happen.” That wisdom has proven to be correct.
I never saw how this chapter would end, hell, I
never even saw it happening. But it did. And I will
cherish every moment of it. I made my plan…
but it turns out I like God’s plan better. Cheers!

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