The Bilingual WebZine of ART and CULTURE – Il Webzine dell'ARTE e della CULTURA

Posted by angela On December - 3 - 2012 1 Comment

When Scooter Braun, the manager of Justin Bieber and a stable of other pop stars, was growing up, his favorite comic-book hero was Superman. “I liked everything he stood for,” Braun, who is thirty-one, told me recently. He liked that Superman had been created by two Jewish men, which made him “the Jewish superhero.” Braun played basketball, and he dreamed of one day joining the supermen of the N.B.A.—the Magic Johnsons and the Michael Jordans. When it became clear that he didn’t have the talent to play professionally, he began to think about the entertainment industry. But there, too, not all lanes were open to him…[…]

..“Justin Bieber was born with the Superman powers,” Braun said. “He could sing, he could dance, he could play instruments. I wasn’t born with those gifts, so I had to become a different kind of superhero.” ….

Bieber is the only superstar to have emerged from YouTube so far, and, as he pushes his new album, “Believe,” his online power and off-line marketability are seamlessly intertwined. His YouTube channel is approaching three billion views, and on Twitter, where he acquires a new follower every other second. [..]

Braun took on the management of a British boy band called the Wanted, and he signed Carly Rae Jepsen, a Canadian singer, to his label, Schoolboy Records. Bieber had brought Jepsen to Braun’s attention after he heard her song “Call Me Maybe” on Canadian radio. This summer, with Braun’s encouragement, Bieber made a video of himself and some teen celebrity pals prancing around to the song, which was leaked to YouTube; the song shot to No. 1 on the U.S. singles charts, and has spawned hundreds of other YouTube tributes. (There is a clip of Colin Powell singing it.) During the summer, three of Braun’s acts—Jepsen, Bieber, and the Wanted—reached the top three slots in the Billboard Hot 100. It has become impossible to walk into a drugstore, a dentist’s office, or a slumber party without hearing some emanation from the Bieber-Braun empire […]



a stable of other pop stars =  una scuderia di altre pop stars

he stood for = rappresentava

seamlessly interwined = abbinato perfettamente

every other = ogni altro

label = etichetta. marchio

encouragement = incoraggiamento

prancing around to the song = saltellavano o danzavano al ritmo

leaked = trapelato



 Who was Scooter Braun’s favorite hero and why?

How old is Scooter Braun now?

What did he want to become when he was younger?

Which players did he admire?


Why was Justin Bieber a perfect hero for Scooter Braun?

How did Justin Bieber emerge in the music field? How many people viewed his videos?

How many followers does Justin acquire every other second?

Who discovered Carly Rae Jepsen? and where?

How did they launch her music on the market?

Was the song a success?



 Part 2

“You know what it is?” Braun asked me one day this summer. “My friend put it best. I’m a camp counselor for pop stars.” Braun was in Los Angeles, where he lives, looking after his growing talent roster. His manner is amiable but volatile—half frat boy, half impresario—and he cuts the burly profile of an athlete during the off-season: he has large lips and a toothy mouth, and he has lately been wearing a close-trimmed beard. He had on his usual uniform, of a Yankees cap, jeans, and a Mickey Mouse T-shirt purchased at Disneyland, where he gets many of his T-shirts. “It’s a nonthreatening thing,” he said. “The whole world loves Mickey.”

At 10 A.M., he got into the passenger seat of a black BMW that belonged to his assistant, a twenty-four-year-old named Teddy Riley, and reviewed his schedule. […]

Staffing at record companies has decreased almost sixty per cent in the past decade.[…] Braun sees part of his job as developing revenue streams that labels wouldn’t think of. “This isn’t a dying business, this is a changing business,” he told me. “CD sales have declined drastically, but the over-all business has grown: licensing, merchandising, digital sales. Ten years ago, a pop star might not have a fragrance that does a hundred and twenty million dollars in business in a year.” He went on, “My job is to make sure a client doesn’t have any ‘what if’s—to make sure, when you look back, you don’t say, ‘What if I had done this? What if I had done that?’ ” Among Bieber’s other revenue streams: “Never Say Never,” a 2011 movie that Braun produced about Bieber’s life, which was the highest-grossing concert film in U.S. history; a line of watches, backpacks, and singing dolls; a “home” collection that includes comforter sets and shower curtains; and an endorsement deal with Proactiv, a purveyor of acne remedies. All this has made Bieber rich—his annual income is estimated to exceed fifty million dollars—and has given Braun a unique economic power. A big part of a manager’s job, one industry veteran told me, is “getting an artist to say yes to things.”



camp counselor = animatore di campi estivi

growing talent roster = un elenco crescente di talenti

manner = maniere, modi

frat boy = fraternity boy

he cuts the burly profile = fa la figura del macho

nonthreatening = senza minaccia

fragrance = profumo

highest-grossing concert = il concerto piu’ redditizio


Esercizio di comprensione

Rispondi alle seguenti domande sul brano e trovando la risposta giusta nel brano:

1) Come si definisce Scooter Braun?

2) Come lo definisce la giornalista?

3) Elenca 4 caratteristiche fisiche di Scooter Braun

4) Com’è vestito?

5) Com’e cambiato il business della musica?

6) Quale compito pensa di avere Scooter Braun verso i suoi cantanti?

7) Quali oggetti hanno aumentato gli incassi del film “Never Say Never

8) Qual è il vero compito di un manager musicale oggigiorno?


This text is from The NewYorker magazine and it is used her for didactic purposes only. All the rights belong to The New Yorker magazine. Read more:

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