Scooter Braun, controversial record executive, retires from management, but he's not yet done with BTS agency HYBE - Hindustan Times
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Scooter Braun, controversial record executive, retires from management, but he's not yet done with BTS agency HYBE

Jun 17, 2024 09:09 PM IST

Scooter Braun is officially retiring from management, but he's not fully closing the door on the music industry. Read his statement here!

On Monday, June 17, Scooter Braun officially cut his ties with the management aspect of his job as a record executive. The controversial manager, who's had a long-standing professional tiff with Taylor Swift and several other A-list pop artists, in the past unofficially hung up his managing cape two years ago. However, now he's finally issued a lengthy online statement recapitulating his 23-year-long journey on this side of showbiz.

Scooter Braun has managed the likes of Justin Bieber and Kanye West
Scooter Braun has managed the likes of Justin Bieber and Kanye West

Taking to his Instagram feed, he shared a carousel post with a text message announcing his retirement and the next professional chapter on his radar.

“23 years. That's how long I have been a music manager,” began Braun. As he announced, “After 23 years, this chapter as a music manager has come to an end.”

He further detailed his schedule as a music industry veteran, “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.” As for why he finally decided to call off this vocation, he wrote that he redirected his focus to his family.

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What will Scooter Braun be pursuing next?

An extract from his statement reads, “In this next chapter I have been honoured 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.”

He explained that with the “addition of QC to Hybe America and [their] existing business at Big Machine,” his ties with the South Korean giant will continue to “add amazing execs and artists to the roster.” In his statement, Braun also name-drops Jungkook's last year's solo project, the other BTS members and new acts like NewJeans, Tomorrow X Together, LE SSERAFIM, SEVENTEEN, ILLIT, The Scarlet Opera and Ava Max.

Braun's portfolio distinctly ties his beginnings as a music manager with artists like Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande. He's successfully renowned as one of the leading mavericks of the music industry.

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On one side, he's fondly remembered for spearheading a major charity concert featuring Grande, Coldplay, Bieber, Mac Milley, Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus and others in the wake of a 2017 terrorist bombing outside the ‘7 Rings’ artist's concert, which tragically claimed the lives of 22 people.

On the other, he infamously emerged in controversial headlines after tastelessly acquiring the rights to Taylor Swift's six initial albums in 2018 after purchasing the Big Machine Record Group. Shortly after that, rumours of some major artists parting ways with him followed. Braun sweetly addressed several of these artists in his wordy social media statement today despite everything spilling on the Internet.

Recapitulating Scooter Braun and HYBE's history

In 2021, Braun's own company, Ithaca Holdings, merged with HYBE, the South Korean entertainment company home to the K-pop supergroup BTS. Other properties of Braun's company, including SB Projects, Big Machine Label Group and his clients at the time - Bieber, Grande, Demi Lovato and others - were also acquired by HYBE through HYBE America. As a result, the deal, worth more than $1 billion, led Braun to join the board.

“This will be the first time HYBE’s groundbreaking systems and curation will be integrated in the U.S. market at the onset of an artist’s career. Plus, it will help us to continue to further the careers of the artists we already work with,” the SB Projects founder said after the $1B deal.

However, much like the storm he caused on the Western front of the music scene, Braun invited severe disapproval from several K-pop fandoms, especially the BTS ARMY. The fans merciless fury resulted in scathing boycott campaigns, including the social media movement “#HYBEDivestFromZionism.” Per the still-active flames of the fire, fans urged HYBE to sack Braun upon discovering his “Zionist” affiliations. Pro-Palestinian supporters also initiated a “Help Divest Scooter Braun from HYBE” Change.org petition against him in the wake of Israel's war on Palestine's Gaza Strip. (Read more here: #HYBEDivestFromZionism explained: Why BTS fans want K-pop label's American CEO Scooter Braun to be sacked)

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