Scooter Braun

Summary

Scott Samuel "Scooter" Braun (/brɔːn/ BRAWN; born June 18, 1981) is an American entrepreneur, record executive, and the CEO of HYBE-America, the North American subsidiary of South Korean entertainment company Hybe Corporation.[4][5][6] He is credited with having discovered Canadian singer Justin Bieber in 2008, whose success foresaw the establishment of his record label RBMG Records, a joint venture with R&B singer Usher. Braun has also served in career management for artists including Kanye West, Ariana Grande, Demi Lovato, J Balvin, Ozuna, Dan+Shay, and the Kid Laroi, among others.[7][8]

Scooter Braun
Braun in 2022
Born
Scott Samuel Braun

(1981-06-18) June 18, 1981 (age 43)
EducationGreenwich High School
Emory University (no degree)
Occupations
  • Talent manager
  • record executive
  • businessman
  • investor
Years active2002–present
Organization(s)Hybe, SB Projects, TQ Ventures[1][2]
Labels
TitleCEO of Hybe America[3]
Founder of School Boy Records and co-founder of Raymond-Braun Media Group (RBMG)
Spouse
(m. 2014; div. 2022)
Children3
Websitescooterbraun.com

He is also the founder of Schoolboy Records, co-founder of TQ Ventures and Mythos Studios, and founder of Ithaca Holdings, whose 2019 acquisition of Big Machine Records resulted in a publicized dispute with Taylor Swift.[2][9][10] Five years later, he retired from artist management.[11]

Early life

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Braun was born in New York City to Conservative Jewish parents, Ervin and Susan (née Schlussel) Braun.[12][13] Following the Holocaust,[14] Ervin's parents lived in Hungary until 1956, when they immigrated to the United States. Ervin grew up in Queens, and became a dentist and high-school basketball coach; Susan Schlussel Braun was an orthodontist.[15] After the couple married, they settled in Cos Cob, Connecticut.[16]

Braun has four siblings. He attended Greenwich High School, where he was elected class president.[13] Braun attended Emory University in Atlanta, where he played college basketball until his sophomore year.[16] He dropped out of college in his junior year.[17][18][19]

Career

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Braun began organizing parties while studying at Emory University.[13][20] In 2002, Braun was hired to plan after-parties in each of the five cities on the Anger Management Tour, which featured Ludacris and Eminem.[13] He subsequently met Dupri, the founder of So So Def Records, who offered him a job as So So Def's executive director of marketing.[21] Events organized by Braun in this era included parties for the 2003 NBA All-Star Game and after-parties for Britney Spears' 2004 Onyx Hotel Tour.[13][22] Braun left So So Def[17] in 2005, and a few weeks later brokered a $12 million campaign deal between Ludacris and Pontiac. After the Pontiac deal, Braun was hired as an entertainment consultant for the Atlanta Hawks.[13]

In 2008, Braun scouted Bieber, then 13, after accidentally clicking on a YouTube video of Bieber singing. Braun urged Bieber's mother, Pattie Mallette, to bring her son to Atlanta to record demos and meet Usher. He eventually convinced them to move permanently from Canada to the United States. Both Usher and Justin Timberlake expressed interest in signing Bieber, who ultimately signed with Island Def Jam in partnership with Raymond-Braun Media Group (RBMG).[23][24] Braun signed Ariana Grande to his management label in 2013.

Braun also managed Psy, Tori Kelly, Carly Rae Jepsen, Martin Garrix, Kanye West, Black Eyed Peas, David Guetta, Lil Dicky, and others.[25] He acquired half of the management companies of Jason Owens’ Sandbox Entertainment, Morris Higham, Brandon Creed, Troy Carter, and a partnership with Future and Drake.[15]

Film and television

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Braun produced Never Say Never, a documentary about Bieber that MTV reported in 2011 as "one of the highest grossing music documentaries in domestic box-office history".[26] The film's budget was $13 million and earned over $100 million worldwide.[27] Braun was the executive producer of Burden, Demi Lovato: Dancing with the Devil, The Giver, The Boy from Medellin, and Project Runway among others.[15] Braun was also an executive producer for the CBS drama Scorpion, which aired from 2014 until 2018.[28] In 2018, Variety reported that FX had ordered a pilot of Dave, a comedy executive-produced by Braun that included actor Kevin Hart and rapper Lil Dicky.[29] In its first season, Dave was the most-watched show in FX history.[30][31] In July 2019, SB Projects signed a first-look deal with Amazon Studios that included television and film scripts.[32] Braun's SB Projects has also had film and television projects at Netflix, Hulu, and Fox.[32]

SB Projects

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In 2007, Braun established SB Projects, an entertainment and marketing company that encompassed ventures including Schoolboy Records, SB Management, and Sheba Publishing, a music publishing firm.[33][34] The group also included RBMG, a joint venture between Braun and Usher. School Boy Records was founded as a joint venture with Universal Music Publishing Group. In early 2013, Braun signed Ariana Grande.[35][36] As of August 2023, Braun no longer managed Grande, Lovato, and Idina Menzel.[37][38][39][40][41][42]

SB Projects has handled television campaigns, branding, music-licensing deals, and tour sponsorships, including Bieber's Calvin Klein endorsement for the 2016-2017 Purpose World Tour.[43] The company also brokered a partnership between Kanye West and sneaker brand Adidas.[44][45]

 
Braun (left) onstage at TechCrunch Disrupt SF 2019 with Matthew "NadeShot" Haag and TechCrunch Editor Jordon Crook

Ithaca Holdings, HYBE

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Ithaca Holdings, Braun's holding company that includes SB Projects, raised $120 million in venture capital in 2010.[2][46] Media reported that Ithaca, with $500 million under management as of 2018, financed GoodStory Entertainment, a collaboration between Braun and entertainment executive J. D. Roth, to acquire live event content, unscripted programming, and documentary films.[47][48]

In 2019, Ithaca acquired Big Machine Label Group in a purchase that included the masters to the first six albums of singer-songwriter Taylor Swift.[49] The purchase resulted in a public denouncement from Taylor Swift regarding the transfer of ownership of Big Machine album masters. As a minority shareholder in Ithaca, the label's founder Scott Borchetta remained with the company as its CEO.[50][51] In 2020, Ithaca Holdings sold the album masters to Shamrock Holdings for a reported $405 million, earning Ithaca $265 million.[52][53] As of 2023, Braun had netted nearly $400 million from the Big Machine deal.[53]

In April 2021, South Korean company Hybe announced that it would acquire Ithaca Holdings via the subsidiary Hybe America in a deal estimated to be around $1.05 billion.[4] As part of the sale, Braun became Hybe America's CEO and joined Hybe's board of directors. Long-time staffers were gifted $50 million in stock from Braun's personal allotment, with artists Bieber and Grande receiving $10 million each.[54][55][56] On May 31, 2022, Braun met with BTS and US President Joe Biden at the White House to discuss the recent rise in anti-Asian hate crimes.[57] Braun and Clive Davis presented Hybe's Chairman Bang Si-Hyuk with the Visionary award at Billboard's Power 100 Party in 2023.[58]

In 2023, Hybe acquired Quality Control Music for $300 million, with Kevin “Coach K” Lee and Pierre “P” Thomas maintaining control of the label under Braun.[59]

Braun was named the sole CEO of Hybe's American division in January 2023.[60] In 2023, Braun oversaw Hybe's cash and stock purchase of the Atlanta-based hip-hop level Quality Control Music for $300 million, with Kevin “Coach K” Lee and Pierre “P” Thomas maintaining control of the label under Braun.[60]

Dispute with Taylor Swift

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The 2019 purchase of Big Machine Records by Ithaca resulted in a publicized dispute with Taylor Swift regarding the ownership of the Big Machine album masters. Swift condemned Ithaca's purchase,[61] and denied the claims by Big Machine's former president, Scott Borchetta, who said that Swift declined an opportunity to buy the masters.[62] According to a May 2020 email, Braun expressed an openness to selling the master recordings to Swift.[63]

Mythos Studios

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In 2018, The New York Times reported that Braun had joined David Maisel, founding chairman of Marvel Studios to form Mythos Studios to produce comic book movie franchises in live-action and animated formats.[64][65][66]

Investments

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Braun is a partner in the investment firm TQ Ventures.[67][68] He was an early investor in Uber, Spotify, Waze, DropBox, Pinterest, Lyft, Ro, Noom, Liquid I.V., among others.[69] The acquisition of holdings company, Ithaca, brought Braun's net worth beyond $1 billion in 2021.[70]

Awards

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In 2012, Braun was awarded an ACLU Bill of Rights award.[71] In 2013, Braun was included in the annual Time 100 list of the most influential people in the world.[72] He also appeared a second time on the cover of Billboard in its April 20, 2013, issue, alongside Guy Oseary and Troy Carter.[73]

Braun was nominated for Grammy awards for his work as a producer and songwriter on Bieber's albums Purpose in 2017 and Justice in 2022.[74] In 2017, he appeared on the cover of Variety magazine's Hitmakers.[75][76] With Grande, Simon Moran, and Melvin Benn, he organized One Love Manchester, a June 14 benefit concert and British television special in response to the Manchester Arena bombing after Grande's concert two weeks earlier.[75][76]

In 2018, Braun received the Harry Chapin Memorial Humanitarian Award for his philanthropic efforts in 2017.[77] He also received the Save the Children's Humanitarian Award that year.[78]

ln 2019 he was inducted into the Midem Hall of Fame.[79] In 2020, Fortune named him to its "40 Under 40" list in media and entertainment.[80][81] In 2021, Braun was named Variety magazine's "Music Mogul of the Year."[82]

Politics

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Braun hosted a fundraiser for Hillary Clinton at his home in 2015.[83] In 2019, he hosted a fundraiser for the Kamala Harris 2020 presidential campaign.[84][85] He supported developer Rick Caruso in the 2022 Los Angeles mayoral election.[86]

Braun, a supporter of Israel,[87] has emerged as a vocal advocate during the Israel–Hamas war hostage crisis. In December 2023, Braun spoke at a rally in Tel Aviv's Hostages Square,[88] and featured the mother of an Israeli hostage in a video posted to his Instagram calling for the music industry to spread awareness on the issue.[89]

Philanthropy

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Braun is involved in various charities including the Braun Family Foundation.[90][91][92] He also assists with his brother Adam's charity, Pencils of Promise.[93] Billboard reported that as of 2017, Braun—along with his then-clients and companies—had granted more wishes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation than any other organization in the history of the foundation.[94] He received the Humanitarian Award at the 2016 Billboard Touring Awards for his philanthropic support of Pencils of Promise, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and Fuck Cancer.[95] Braun and actor George Clooney held significant roles in March for Our Lives and aided in fundraising efforts behind the scenes. In 2017, Braun was an organizer of Hand in Hand, a telethon which raised $55 million for relief efforts related to Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.[96]

Braun coordinated the charity single, "Stuck with U" by Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, which benefitted the First Responders Children's Foundation to fund grants and scholarships for children of first responders and health care workers that worked on the front lines during the pandemic.[97] In 2023, Braun joined the board of directors of the Make-A-Wish Foundation.[98]

In March 2024, Braun launched a fundraising project with Care.org and the Hostages and Missing Families Forum in Israel.[99]

Personal life

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In 2013, Braun began dating Yael Cohen.[100][101][102] The couple wed on July 6, 2014, in Whistler, British Columbia, Canada, at Cohen's parents' house.[103][104] They had a son in 2015,[105][106] another son in 2016,[107] and a daughter in 2018.[108][109][110] Braun filed for divorce in July 2021,[111] which was finalized in September 2022.[112]

Filmography

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Year(s) Title Notes Credited as Ref.
2011 Never Say Never Documentary Producer [26]
2014–2018 Scorpion TV series Executive producer [28][27]
2015 Jem and the Holograms Film Musical producer [113]
2016 Radio Disney Music Awards TV show Creative executive producer [114]
2020 Karma TV series Co-creator [115]
2020–2022 Dave TV series Executive producer [29]

See also

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References

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  • Scooter Braun website
  • Scooter Braun at IMDb