Meet Scooter Braun, the Hollywood manager who’s caught in a feud with Taylor Swift, used to sell fake IDs in college, and discovered Justin Bieber in 2008

scooter braun

It is Taylor Swift’s “worse case scenario” to have Hollywood talent manager Scooter Braun control her catalog, she wrote on Tumblr June 30, but plenty of other stars including Justin Bieber, Ariana Grande, and Karlie Kloss are happy to let him control their careers.

After signing Bieber in 2008, Braun became “the defining music executive of the social media era, known for aggressive online cross-promotion between clients,” according to The New York Times. Braun’s acquisition of Taylor Swift’s former record label is only his latest move to transform his company, SB Projects, into one of the most powerful forces in Hollywood.

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Keep reading to learn about the rise of Scooter Braun.

Scott “Scooter” Braun, 38, is a native of Stratford, Ontario.

Braun attended Emory University, where he sold fake IDs as a side hustle, according to The Washington Post.

Braun also worked as a party promoter before discovering Justin Bieber, according to The Wall Street Journal.

Braun began his career in Hollywood as Justin Bieber’s manager.

Braun approached Bieber after seeing videos of 13-year-old Bieber singing R&B songs on YouTube in 2008, according to The Washington Post. Bieber’s mother, Pattie Mallette, told The New York Times in 2009 that Braun “tracked down Justin’s school, calling board members, imploring them to contact [her].”

As Bieber’s career took off, so did Braun’s. 

Braun has since become a major player in pop music.

In addition to Bieber, Braun also manages the careers of Ariana Grande, Zac Brown Band, Tori Kelly, Karlie Kloss, Carly Rae Jepsen, The Black Eyed Peas, and J. Balvin. Braun has “broken more new artists than any other music executive in the last decade,” he says on his personal website.

Braun also heads Schoolboy Records label and has a joint venture with Usher, Raymond-Braun Media Group.

Braun has also dabbled in investing.

Braun has stakes in Uber, Spotify, Songza, Casper, Waze, and Pinterest through his company SB Projects, according to his personal website.

Braun has a net worth of $400 million, Fox Business reported, citing Celebrity Net Worth.

In May, Demi Lovato announced that she had joined Braun’s roster of clients.

Dreams came true today for me,” Lovato wrote on Instagram alongside a picture of her and Braun. “Couldn’t be happier, inspired and excited to begin this next chapter with you Scooter!!! Thank you for believing in me and for being apart of this new journey. Let’s DO THIS!!!!!!”

Braun is married to Yael Cohen, the founder of F*** Cancer.

“I saw [a video of] her TEDx talk,” Braun told Architectural Digest about her 2010 lecture on F*** Cancer, “and I just really wanted to meet her.”

The guests at their 2014 wedding included Justin Bieber, Carly Rae Jepsen, Sophia Bush, Tom Hanks, and Rita Wilson, Business Insider previously reported.

The pair has two sons, according to Architectural Digest.

Braun and Cohen split their time between two California homes.

The pair spends most of their time at their house in Los Angeles’ Brentwood neighborhood. On the advice of friends Ellen DeGeneres and Portia de Rossi, they also purchased a second home in Montecito, according to Architectural Digest. Braun said he and Cohen were visiting DeGeneres and de Rossi’s Montecito home when DeGeneres and de Rossi surprised Braun and Cohen with a meeting with a broker.

Braun also does a lot of charity work.

Braun serves on the board of F*** Cancer, and his companies have “granted more wishes for Make-A-Wish than any other organization in the history of the foundation,” he says on his personal website.

On June 30, Braun announced that his Ithaca Holdings LLC would acquire Big Machine Label Group LLC.

In the $300 million purchase, Braun gained control of the masters of Taylor Swift’s six previous albums, though Swift herself signed a contract with Republic Records in 2018, according to The Wall Street Journal.

The Nashville-based label’s current artists include Sheryl Crow, Lady Antebellum, Thomas Rhett, Rascal Flatts, and Florida Georgia Line.

Taylor Swift criticized the deal on Tumblr, calling Braun’s ownership of her catalog her “worst case scenario.”

Swift said in a Tumblr post that she had been the victim of “incessant, manipulative bullying” by Braun for years. She accused him of orchestrating a music video by Kanye West that depicted her naked, as well as of releasing a recorded phone call with West in 2016. 

Swift wrote that she repeatedly asked to purchase her masters, but was never given the opportunity by Big Machine. She also said that she knew they would eventually be sold along with the rest of Big Machine, but wrote that “never in [her] worst nightmares” did she think Braun would purchase them.

Big Machine signed 15-year-old Taylor Swift as its first artist in 2005, according to The Wall Street Journal

Braun maintains a close relationship with Bieber, who defended him against Swift’s accusations on Instagram.

Scooter has had your back since the days you graciously let me open up for you.!” Bieber wrote on Instagram. “I’m sure Scooter and i would love to talk to you and resolve any conflict, pain or or any feelings that need to be addressed.”