Stars Scooter Braun Ruined

Scooter Braun made a name for himself with the unlikely success story of his pride and joy, Justin Bieber, but is he actually a good manager, or did he just get lucky with an adorable mop-topped Canadian kid? Braun's other acts haven't fared quite as well, and even Bieber has had a lot of issues.

Justin Bieber

Scooter Braun revealed to The New York Times that his most successful protégé, Justin Bieber, was in such bad shape in 2013 that he refused to let the singer go on tour for fear of his life. "I was not going to let him work. He wanted to tour, and I honestly at that time felt, if he toured, he could die," Braun said. "The outsiders don't really know what was happening. It was far worse than people realize. And when he is ready, he will tell what he was going through. But it's a hard thing to watch someone you care and genuinely love go through that. I'm really, really happy that's over."

But is it actually over? Bieber seems to be going through a particularly tough time yet again in 2016. He quit Instagram in August after a fight with ex-girlfriend Selena Gomez, lashed out at his fans in July, got into a physical altercation in June, and compared himself to a "zoo animal" in May. Maybe Braun's "Purpose" should be to just let the guy live a normal life for once.

Tori Kelly

Tori Kelly is an immensely talented singer, but Braun just can't seem to make her breakout moment happen. She explained that her relationship with her manager inspired "Unbreakable Smile" when he told her she was perceived as "too vanilla." Kelly has performed at numerous awards shows, including the MTV Video Music Awards, the Billboard Music Awards, the BET Awards, and the MTV Europe Music Awards, and every single time, she nailed it with critics and audiences alike.

Unfortunately, that hasn't translated to sales. Unbreakable Smile debuted at No. 2 on the Billboard charts. While that's nothing to sneeze at, but her other singles have fizzled. On the Billboard Hot 100, "Nobody Love" peaked at No. 60, "Should've Been Us" reached No. 51, and "Hollow" stalled at No. 68.

Despite nearly a decade in the business, Kelly told Billboard, "I'm definitely looked at as a new artist. But ­everything has just been a gradual growth throughout the last 10 years."


Psy brought "Gangnam Style" to the world in 2012, and Braun capitalized on the viral success of the K-Pop star. Unfortunately, aside from a pistachio commercial and a South Korean tourism deal, he wasn't able to translate that success into bigger things. Psy released more music, but nothing remotely close to the success of his first hit, and he has admitted he battled alcoholism.

The Wanted

The Wanted was a British boy band with a ton of potential. Its members were cute and super talented, launching two platinum albums in the UK and a No. 1 single with "Glad You Came." Unfortunately, mismanagement squandered all of that, leading to their break up in 2014. The group revealed to the Mirror that "they were encouraged to throw wild parties and behave as raucously as they desired," which attracted some bad press, including a relationship between Max George and Lindsay Lohan, a potentially staged romance between Nathan Sykes and Ariana Grande, and feuds with everyone from One Direction to Christina Aguilera.

The band agrees that one thing, in particular, really drove them to split: their reality show. Siva Kaneswaran told the Mirror, "Do I regret doing it? Oh my God, yes! Everyone showed their true colors in that show...That's where the team element was shaken. It wasn't the Wanted team anymore. Everyone was thinking of themselves. It doesn't matter how close you are to someone, it's amazing what people can do to get you agitated."

Ariana Grande

Remember how The Wanted said they were encouraged to behave badly? Rumor has it that's a Braun pattern, and when The New York Times called him out on it after Grande's doughnut-licking scandal, he deflected the question. "I tell her, 'You have to address the mistakes that you made and own them,'" Braun said. "Some of the words she used in that shop were things she needed to address, and she did. But I also think—not about her, but just in general—we're getting a little ridiculous when it comes to doughnuts and eggs...Let's talk about some real stuff," he demurred. "Why are we discussing that when we have real significant issues in the world? Like, gun control. And the fact that a presidential candidate is saying things that I find to be anti-American. These are the things we should be angry and frustrated about."

Nice try, but Page Six reports that the doughnut scandal cost Grande a gig at the White House, and her reputation as a demanding diva who hates her fans has hurt her.

Grande dropped Braun from her team in early 2016, and reports suggest it probably wasn't pretty. "I can confirm she's no longer working with Scooter Braun. She terminated the agreement," a source told Radar Online. When asked whether it was "an amicable parting," the source said, "I don't want to get into the details, but she terminated the agreement."

Who Is Fancy

Who Is Fancy was an enigma for a long time, starting in January 2015. In an effort to drum up hype for the mysterious music man's big reveal, the video for "Goodbye" launched with several different versions, one of which starred the actual singer. "Goodbye" peaked at No. 29 on the Billboard pop chart and was an undeniably catchy tune, but Fancy's reveal in April of that year on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon received very little actual fanfare, despite Braun best attempts.

"It got to a point where, the landscape's too crowded—there are too many great new artists with great new songs now, and they're all out there on the promo circuit working their a— off, shaking hands," Braun told Billboard. "Although we feel we have a long way to go with the public and continuing to build his awareness, I had Elvis calling me getting p—ed. So I said to Fancy and my team, 'What do you guys think?' I went over and I saw him perform and said, 'You know, he's come so far in rehearsals that now's the time to have the Today show and Jimmy Fallon step up and say, 'We want to reveal this. Let's go national.'"

Unfortunately, not many people cared that the incredibly talented Fancy was Jake Hagood, and even fewer people cared for his music. "Goodbye" peaked at No. 98 on the Billboard Hot 100, and his super-catchy followup, "Boys Like You"—which featured established artists Ariana Grande and Meghan Trainor—didn't chart at all, despite a stellar live performance featuring all three on Dancing with the Stars.

Carly Rae Jepsen

Carly Rae Jepsen is insanely talented and had one of the biggest singles ever with "Call Me Maybe," which peaked at No. 1 and stayed on the Billboard charts for 25 weeks. Critics love her, so why hasn't she generated any commercial success beyond her breakout hit? The New York Times asked Braun that very question.

"We had the biggest single in the entire world last time ['Call Me Maybe'], and we sold 30,000 copies in the U.S. This is the music business—it's a worldwide business," Braun said. "Carly's album is gigantic in Japan, which is the second-biggest music market in the world. In other markets, this album is a humongous success. I think that I tried everything, and it falls on me. I didn't get it done for her."

Though Braun accepts responsibility, he doesn't seem to understand where he screwed up. "I didn't get the success I wanted. Maybe I didn't push hard enough when I thought I was. Maybe I didn't get her the right TV look at the right time. Maybe I picked the wrong single," he said. "The bottom line is, I don't think [her sophomore album, E•MO•TION] is done, by any means. There are a lot of great albums that take a year to connect. And I am going to continue being incredibly proud of this album and pushing it every which way I can. Trust me, it's been a huge fight. If it didn't do what it was supposed to do, it's on me."

To date, E•MO•TION has peaked at No. 14 on the Billboard 200 (Kiss, her debut track, peaked at No. 6). The album debuted in 2015 at No. 16, selling only about 16,000 copies—30,000 less than her 2012 album This Kiss. Singles, "This Kiss," "Beautiful" (which featured Bieber), and "Tonight I'm Getting Over You" charted at, respectively, No. 86, 97, and 90. "I Really Like You," which had a video starring Tom Hanks—Tom Hanks!—peaked at No. 39, meaning Jepson is still waiting by the phone for her next big move.

Cody Simpson

Cody Simpson is most famous for being model Gigi Hadid's ex-boyfriend, but there's more to the Aussie heartthrob than his former flame. He's also a tremendously talented singer with a strong fan base Down Under. Braun began managing Simpson in 2011, but not much success came with the partnership. In 2015, Simpson and his longtime label parted ways, and the label took all of his previous music with it, even wiping his YouTube page clean—something a better manager and legal team likely could have avoided or negotiated for him.

Simpson told the Daily Mail, "This year I said peace out to my record label who I've been with for five years. I got signed in New York City on the day of my 13th birthday, so I spent the last five years as a teenager growing up and not really knowing what was going on...just kind of being young and impressionable and too nice to say no to anything." He added. "When I turned 18 I kind of built courage up and became self aware and had a realization that I strayed super far from my roots and how I grew up and everything. I had to kind of just pull the plug and go and do my own thing so that's what I'm doing now."