Manager and label owner Scooter Braun was mystified Thursday morning why his tweet about the lack of a Grammy nomination for Justin Bieber had taken on a life of its own and become a news story.
"I wasn't mad, just voicing my opinion," Braun said, expressing pleasure for the two nominations his Schoolboy Records act Carly Rae Jepsen received. "I saw a lot of chatter online and made a comment. I don't think there was anything wrong with any other nomination. I just felt Justin deserved to be acknowledged."
As for Bieber himself, a representative for the teen singer said he resumed writing sessions in a studio after learning his "Believe," the fifth biggest-selling album of 2012, was passed over.
Braun first saw the Grammy nominations in the parking lot outside Korea Creative Content Agency on Wilshire Boulevard in Los Angeles where he was receiving a Dari Award for person of the year, owing to his work with Psy. Once the presentation of awards for American people and businesses who had worked to elevate Korean arts was concluded, Braun stepped outside and started scrolling through the list of nominees.
His assistant brought him a second phone. "I've got phone calls to make to some happy people and some calls to some people who aren't," Braun said. An hour later, he would tweet. "The kid deserved it. Grammy board u blew it on this one."
An executive at Bieber's label, who spoke on a condition of anonymity, said their hopes were high for a nomination after meeting with Recording Academy and Grammy Foundation representatives. Bieber visited schools on behalf of the Grammys, Grammy Camp and was involved in other Grammy-related charities.
Bieber was nominated for three Grammys in previous years.
In discussing Bieber with current and former label executives, there is a sense that his age, 18, is working against him. "If he was 35, he'd be nominated in numerous categories," was one pop music label executive's response. "When you are so much younger than your industry peers, you tend to be overlooked."
Grammy nominating committees are filled with industry veterans who are likely to not view "Believe" the way others who worked on the album do. "Believe" is seen as a transitional album for Bieber, coming out of his teen idol phase, and a success internationally and at radio among people who have worked on the album and its tracks. Those are factors that do not play into a selection, but when massive hits such as fun.'s "We Are Young" and Gotye's "Somebody That I Used to Know" secure nominations, it is clear that popularity does play some role in the selections.
At the end of today's interview, Braun continued to state that he is not angry with the Recording Academy. "If you want to see me mad, read my Jets tweets -- read what I have to say about my favorite football team."