Backstreet Boys and NSYNC founder Lou Pearlman Dead at 62
Lou Pearlman, the record producer who founded such popular 90s and 2000s boy bands as the Backstreet Boys, NSYNC and O-Town, has died in prison at the age of 62.
The news was released by the Federal Bureau of Prisons, although a cause of death was not disclosed. All we know is that he passed away on Friday, August 19. Pearlman was serving a 25-year prison sentence for his participation in one of the largest and longest-running Ponzi schemes in US history, costing over 1,700 investors nearly half a billion dollars. The sentence was passed in May 2008, and sources within the Federal Bureau of Prisons states that Pearlman’s health deteriorated over the years. In 2010, he suffered a stroke that inspired him to take better care of himself. He began walking around the prison track, and eventually dropped 75 pounds.
In addition to founding such acts as NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys, Pearlman was also their manager, which led to some controversy when ALL of his clients, with the exception of US5, sued him in Federal Court for misrepresentation and fraud. Pearlman lost every claim against him, including one brought against him by the members of the Backstreet Boys, who claimed that Pearlman held them to an unfair contract that saw him earn one-sixth of their income, as though he had been the sixth member of the band. NSYNC followed up with a lawsuit of their own, upon discovering how much Pearlman and his company were pocketing, against what the actual members of the band were making.
Yet, despite the controversy surrounding their interactions, not everyone in the entertainment industry is above showing condolences. Former NSYNC member Lance Bass tweeted via TwitLonger:
Word is that #LouPearlman has passed away. He might not have been a stand up businessman , but I wouldn’t be doing what I love today wout his influence. RIP Lou
While Pearlman may not have been the most upstanding citizen, his instincts for talent brought us some of the most popular, joyful music of the 90s and 2000s. Our condolences go out to Mr. Pearlman’s family and friends at this time.