From One Supermensch to Another: Shep Gordon on Music Mogul Scooter Braun

shep scooter

Veteran manager Shep Gordon, the subject of the Mike Myers-directed documentary “Supermensch,” writes about Scooter Braun for Variety‘s 2019 Music Moguls of the Year issue.

Growing up my heroes were from comic books — normal humans with super powers who used them for the good of all, not just self promotion. As I got older, I found heroes in politics, like John F.  Kennedy, in life I found heroes like Normal Lear, and in my chosen work, the personal management of artists, I found a lot of great people but until Scooter Braun hit my radar, I can’t say I found a hero in my profession. Now I have!

I first heard of Scooter Braun simply as Justin Bieber’s manager. Justin was an artist that was making a lot of noise and it was obvious to me someone on the team understood how to create stars and influence human taste. “That’s nice,” I thought. Then, a documentary come out about me and I received a call from Scooter to have lunch, a lunch I truly enjoyed. Scooter made me feel very special and invited me and my granddaughter to see Kanye West in concert that night. I’ve been a guest at many concerts, but the treatment my granddaughter and I received made me realize this was a special manager who covered 360 degrees of artist management. After the first song, there was a tap on my shoulder and someone handed me earplugs — it was Scooter and Usher. In the middle of a sold-out show, he had the compassion and time to see I was experiencing audio pain and solved the problem. After that, I started following him on Instagram, something I rarely do, but I wanted to find out, who is this Scooter Braun?

Then, tragedy struck at Ariana Grande’s Manchester concert and I watched probably the most compassionate, brilliant and professional turnaround of a horrible situation into a beautiful moment for the planet and his artist. I told everyone who would listen, that is what managers and humans should do. Use the celebrity to elevate the artist to a higher purpose.

On his Instagram, I was able to see what’s important to him, his family, his wife and his beautiful children. I started to become a fan. In the midst of all this Hollywood swirl, he takes the time to be with his family and let them know he loves them. Then the shooting at Parkland happened, and there we saw Scooter again, organizing the March for our Lives rally. Wow! At this point I went from groupie to disciple!!

In Maui, I told people what Scooter was doing and how we had to support the kids and their movement. So we held a mini event with Jack Johnson, Mick Fleetwood, Steven Tyler and many more artists in Maui, all inspired by what Scooter was doing to help the kids in the wake of tragedy.

In the middle of all this Scooter is signing acts like Zac Brown Band, Demi Lovato, J. Balvin, Tori Kelly, the biggest and the best in their field. He’s also investing in companies like Big Machine, Uber and Spotify that are amazingly successful. And like all heroes, he makes the right choices. In the artists he chooses to work with, in the companies he provides fuel to, in his love for his family, he makes the right choices that elevate the artist and the planet. Thank you, Scooter, for who you are and what you do. You’re truly a man with super powers who qualifies as a hero in my book!