Top 5 music managers of all time

Music is a closed and guarded professional field. You can’t just audition and start making music from the word go. There are several complex matters to attend to before the creative process can start.

It can be puzzling to find your way around, with all the formalities of the music industry. There are deals to be made, contracts to put in place, royalties, live shows, recordings to handle, and so much more to do.

By the time you get to do some actual music work, you’ll be exhausted and out of spark. And that is if you succeed to make it to the music industry because reportedly, you only have a 0.000002% chance of making it in the music industry in the first place.

So, what do you do to stand out from the crowd? You take cover under the wing of a guardian angel – the music manager.

A music manager will handle everything – from budgets for tours, royalties for streaming music, to cutting deals. Hiring a great music manager is the first thing you should settle on if you have your eyes set on the music world.

For a head start, we have brought you some of the top names in the field. Here are the top 5 in the list of music managers of all time. 

  • Troy Carter

Troy Carter is one of the top names in the music management category with the likes of Lady Gaga and John Legend in his client list.

He belongs to West Philadelphia and wanted to become a musician himself. With time, he realized that he was better suited for management and behind-the-scenes work like booking tours for artists. So he took to networking with some of the biggest record companies where he promoted his artists, like The Notorious B.I.G., ruthlessly.

He scored a hit with Eve – one of the biggest names in rap music – in 1999. From there, he soared as Eve became a blockbuster. He even landed the rap artist a TV show deal.

Carter met Lady Gaga in 2007. Her determination made him take her on as a client. Then, with some strategic music videos, gigs, and consistent hard work, Gaga became a global star. They went separate ways in 2013. 

In 2017, Troy Carter was designated as the Prince estate’s entertainment advisor.

Troy Carter still has big clients from the industry including John Legend, John Mayer, Miguel, and more. 

  • Brian Epstein

Brian Epstein was the music manager of The Beatles from 1962 until he died in 1967. 

He belonged to Liverpool and came from a wealthy family of retailers. When he was given a chance at the music shop of the family, he showed a penchant for spotting top talent. Epstein met the Beatles at the Cavern Club in Liverpool during a concert. He took them on, revamped their outlook, image, and marketing tactics. The music band became a sensation within months. 

Some of his other prominent discoveries of top music talent include Tommy Quickly, Cilla Black, Gerry and the Pacemakers, and Billy J. Kramer and the Dakotas.

The music entrepreneur died at the young age of 32 due to an accidental overdose of drugs. 

  • Rene Angelil

Rene Angelil was not only Celine Dion’s music manager, but later also became her husband. He was the driving force behind Celine Dion’s rise to the top music throne.

In the initial days, the ace manager mortgaged his own house to provide funding for Dion’s first album. She went on to become one of the greatest artists of all time. Her albums have sold more than 220 million copies worldwide, and she is a winner of 5 Grammy awards.

One of her most blockbuster songs is “My Heart Will Go On” which she sang for the chartbuster movie “Titanic.” A lucrative deal with Caesar’s Palace is under her wing where she is paid $100 million for performing at 70 concerts in a year. Dion’s manager and husband, Angelil, was certainly behind scoring her this wonderful deal.

Rene died in January 2016 owing to his long fight with cancer.

  • Scooter Braun

Scooter Braun is the man behind the management of some of the top sensational stars of today. These include Justin Bieber, Demi Lovato, Ariana Grande, J Balvin, and more. He is the founder and owner of Schoolboy Records and Ithaca Ventures. He has also co-founded TQ Ventures, Mythos Studios, and RBMG Records.

Some of his clients, like Bieber, may not have always had a great reputation, but Braun was his aid in helping Justin rise to the top in his teens.

He has been making headlines recently due to his feud with Taylor Swift and some other bad-rep controversies, but Braun is holding strong as one of the top players in the music industry.

Scooter belongs to Atlanta and is a college dropout. After garnering amazing success with Bieber’s career, he went to manage other hit stars like Carly Rae Japsen and The Wanted.

  • Kevin Liles

Kevin Liles makes for a great success story as a music manager and entrepreneur. He began as an unpaid intern at the Def Jam record label and climbed the ranks to become the President of Def Jam in 1998.

During his 7-year tenure, he served great artists like Jay-Z, Kanye West, and Ludacris and led them to heights of fame. He founded KWL management, which has best-selling artists like Big Sean, Mike Posner, and Nelly D’Angelo under its wing.

Liles has a strong suit in building a brand around artists and treating them as a complete entity rather than just as individual musicians.


Take notes on how a great manager can not only help handle routine music tasks but also lead you to glory in one of the toughest industries.

Other than being a manager, they know just the right kind of marketing to build a persona around the musician. Whether you are looking to hire a manager or to become one yourself, take cues from one of the best music managers of all time.