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Dua Lipa, Olivia Rodrigo Among Big-Time Artists Making Big Management Changes

Dua Lipa Miley Cyrus Kid LAROI
Dua Lipa: Hugo Comte; Cyrus: AP; Kid LAROI: Brandon Bowen; Rodrigo: Heather Hazzan

Recent months have seen several top pop artists make big management changes. While not uncommon in the music industry, it’s rarer to see such shifts align with the acts reaching career highs. What gives? “Artists have a short memory,” says one music biz insider. “They convince themselves that the grass is greener.”

Artist: Miley Cyrus

Accolades: A feature on 2021’s “Without You,” a duet with the Kid Laroi, was Cyrus’ first No. 1 song since 2013

Out: Adam Leber, who represented the artist for a decade, during which she had a No. 1 album, “Bangerz,” which yielded two massive singles (“We Can’t Stop” and “Wrecking Ball”); major hosting gigs (VMAs, “SNL”) followed. Leber also connected her dad Billy Ray Cyrus with Lil Nas X for 2019’s chart-topping “Old Town Road.”

In: Jonathan Daniel and Bob McLynn at Crush Management, home to Fall Out Boy, Lorde, Green Day, Weezer and Sia, among others.

Artist: Dua Lipa

Accolades: Three Grammy wins, including best new artist in 2019; two platinum albums in U.S. and U.K.; three U.K. No. 1 singles and a No. 1 album

Out: Ben Mawson and Ed Millett of TaP Management, which also handles the careers of Lana Del Rey, Ellie Goulding and Caroline Polachek (the latter of whom, rather awkwardly, is the opening act on Dua Lipa’s just-launched U.S. tour).

In: Unclear; the singer is said to be biding her time, although her father, a former concert promoter, is believed to be very much in the mix.

Artist: Olivia Rodrigo

Accolades: Seven Grammy noms, including in all four marquee categories; multiple No. 1 hits in 2021; “SNL” sketch about her song “Drivers License”

Out: Kristen Smith of Camp Far West, a former assistant to Universal Music Group chairman Lucian Grainge, who identified the teen’s musical talent early on.

In: Lighthouse Management + Media’s Aleen Keshishian and Zack Morgenroth had the winning bid in what was said to be a highly competitive charm offensive by multiple companies. The firm is home to Jennifer Aniston, Selena Gomez and Paul Rudd. suggesting that Rodrigo was looking for representation that straddles music and film/TV.

Artist: The Kid LAROI

Accolades: Grammy nomination for best new artist; seven weeks at No. 1 with “Stay”

Out: Scooter Braun and Allison Kaye at SB Projects, which signed the Australian newcomer in June 2021(taking over from Lil Bibby and Grade A Prods). Laroi’s “Stay” arrived soon after.

In: Adam Leber, whose Rebel Management also represents Lil Nas X and Labrinth. “When I came on, ‘Stay’ was already a rocket,” he told Variety in December. “I just tried to elevate it as much as I could.”