What Scooter Braun's Life Was Really Like Before Signing Justin Bieber

Scooter Braun's career skyrocketed after he discovered Justin Bieber. Since taking the then-unknown singer under his wing and helping to launch his career, the talent manager has signed on some of the music industry's biggest names. While he's been embroiled in his fair share of controversies, Braun has undeniably achieved remarkable success. But what was Braun's life like before he became a high-profile executive?

Amid news about clients like Demi Lovato and Ariana Grande cutting ties with Braun, the music manager has been the talk of the internet as of late. While Bieber hasn't officially parted ways with the talent manager, People reported in August 2023 that the singer and the music exec have become estranged. A lot remains unclear, but Braun's professional break-ups might be due to a career shift. An insider told Variety, "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."

While Braun's current work situation is somewhat of an enigma, his path to success is much more straightforward. From organizing massive parties to networking with big celebs, the manager has been a hustler from the get-go.

Scooter Braun made his mark as a party planner

Surprisingly, longer before signing Justin Bieber, Scooter Braun was living an ordinary life as a college student. However, he quickly made his mark on campus. Braun attended Emory University, where he played basketball and sold fake IDs, according to The New Yorker. There, he began planning parties to make some extra dough. He told Creative Loafing, "I didn't have enough money to really party. And I walked by a nightclub. It was called Chaos in Buckhead. And I stopped and I said, you know, if I can get some people here next week, would you give me, you know, any money." When asked how many guests he could bring in, Braun threw out the number 800 — earning him a curious look. That said, the future talent manager posted flyers around campus, which helped him reach his astonishing goal and launched his stint as a party promoter.

As more and more people showed up to his events, Braun decided to capitalize on his business by linking the parties to his name. He did this by arranging the events at various clubs rather than sticking to one spot. Soon, Braun developed relationships with popular artists who attended his parties. Ciara called Braun her "big brother," while Lil Jon described him as "the white Puff Daddy." During this time, Braun planned parties for celebs such as Britney Spears, Ludacris, and Shaquille O'Neal. Eventually, Braun was rollin' in enough dough to snatch a Mercedes with purple rims off eBay.

Scooter Braun overcame career obstacles

Scooter Braun soon discovered the limits of party planning and stepped into the music world. After connecting with rapper-producer Jermaine Dupri, Braun became head of marketing at Dupri's record label So So Def and left college, per The New Yorker. However, within just a few years, Braun hit a plateau and was fired after a disagreement about the label's direction. As a result, he faced major uncertainty about his future.

Amid his career struggles, Braun took an out-of-the-box approach. Posing as a writer for a college newspaper, he connected with Pontiac and explained that he was working on a piece about the company's marketing strategy. A day later, he set up a multimillion-dollar deal between the company and Ludacris. He then established his own management company, bringing on rapper Asher Roth as a client. He took a big risk, as he didn't have any income at the time. Of course, Braun's life changed significantly when he discovered Justin Bieber.

Braun has attributed his success to his strong ambition. In a 2010 interview with The Hollywood Reporter, he explained why he's pushed himself, saying, "The thing that drives me is the expectation others put on me. If no one thought I was capable of doing things, I'd probably watch a lot of movies and eat a lot of ice cream." He added, "I still look at myself as the 19-year-old kid in Atlanta trying to prove to everybody what I'm capable of, like I know what I'm talking about."