Posts tagged with "Ariana Grande"

BTS’s K-Pop Agency buys Bieber manager’s firm for $1B

April 5, 2021

The Korean company that launched K-pop sensation BTS is paying $1.05 billion for a star-studded U.S. media group that has advanced the careers of global songsters Justin Bieber and Ariana Grande, reports Bloomberg.

Big Hit Entertainment, which is changing its name to HYBE, is investing ₩1.07 trillion (US$950 million) into its U.S. unit to acquire founder and producer Scooter Braun’s Ithaca Holdings . Big Hit will pay a total of $1.05 billion to shareholders and bondholders to purchase Ithaca, according to a regulatory filing in Seoul on April 2.

The acquisition of Ithaca would be the first major foray into the U.S. market for Big Hit Entertainment, Bloomberg notes. Braun, currently Ithaca’s CEO, will join the board of HYBE, the companies said in a statement. As part of the transaction, Carlyle Group will sell its significant minority stake in Ithaca, which it has held since 2017.

Braun hailed HYBE’s systems and said the tie-up would create “exponential” opportunities for new and existing Ithaca artists. HYBE Chairman and CEO Bang Si-Hyuk called the deal an “inevitable joining.”

According to Variety, in aligning the two entities, the newly combined HYBE is poised to be among the biggest entertainment companies with a music focus operating on a global scale. BTS and Bieber, alone, bring dedicated fanbases numbering in the hundreds of millions, while Ariana Grande recently surpassed 90 billion streams consumed worldwide, the most ever by a female.

Big Hit helped popularize K-pop, with BTS’s “Dynamite” topping the Billboard Hot 100 in 2020. BTS was the first Asian act to be No. 1 on the U.S. music chart since Kyu Sakamoto held the No. 1 spot for three weeks in 1963.

Research contact: @Bloomberg

Three more administration officials head toward Trump’s losers’ circle

November 15, 2018

Insiders at the White House might be humming Ariana Grande’s “thank u, next,” as—just a week after requesting the resignation of Attorney General Jeff Sessions—the president prepares once again to reconfigure his cabinet and West Wing staff.

First on the list of goners is almost certainly Kirstjen Nielsen, the secretary of Homeland Security. She has long been a target of Trump’s tirades, three people close to the president told The New York Times for a November 13 report. Indeed, the POTUS had floated the idea of dismissing Nielsen ahead of his trip to Paris for World War I commemoration ceremonies.

And if Nielsen goes, one of her strong supporters may be ousted, too. Internally at the White House, the Times said, removing Nielsen is perceived as a way for President Trump to push out White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, without directly firing him.

Although, the news outlet said, Trump and Kelly supposedly arrived at a plan earlier this year for the chief of staff to stay through the 2020 election, the POTUS privately has hinted that he would not bet on Kelly remaining in his job that long.

Kelly’s likely successor already is in the queue: Nick Ayers, the chief of staff to Vice President Mike Pence, long has been seen as a prospective replacement for Kelly, if and when he makes his exit—and is favored by the president’s family members, Ivanka Trump, Donald Trump Jr., and Jared Trump.

Finally, another administration official who is at or near the departures gate, following a run-in with First Lady Melania Trump, is Mira Ricardel, who serves as a deputy to National Security Adviser John Bolton.

Ricardel, who previously worked at the Pentagon and on Capitol Hill, had disparaged two members of the East Wing staff during the FLOTUS’s trip to Africa last month, a Times source said. She also is rumored to have tangled with Defense Secretary Jim Mattis on issues of policy and Pentagon personnel.

The rift with Melania Trump hit the headlines this week when—in a highly unusual statement about West Wing personnel matters—a spokesperson for the first lady, Stephanie Grisham, addressed Ricardel’s status. “It is the position of the Office of the First Lady that she no longer deserves the honor of serving in this White House,” Grisham said.

Since the president hates interpersonal confrontation, he often delays dismissals and then delegates them to Kelly. How these next staff changes will be handled is anybody’s guess.

Research contact: @maggieNYT

Editor’s update (11/15): Mira Ricardel now has been removed from her national security job in the White House and will continue to serve the administration in another role.