Passings: Backstreet Boys, NSYNC Creator Lou Pearlman (1954 - 2016)

by Paul Cashmere, Noise11

Disgraced ex-Backstreet Boys and NSYNC manager Lou Pearlman is dead at age 62.

Pearlman had incredible success in artist management but he was also a crook running Ponzi schemes and served his last years in jail.

Lou Pearlman started his first label Trans Continental Records to replicate the business model that squeezed millions of dollars out of kids pockets following the success of New Kids On The Block. Pearlman’s first act was Backstreet Boys. He held a talent quest to find the members and constructed the band himself. They became the biggest boy band of all-time, selling over 130 million albums.

Pearlman then repeated the formula and created NSYNC. NSYNC clocked up a further 55 million sales and generated a superstar in Justin Timberlake.

Lou Pearlman knew a good thing and stuck to the script creating boyband after boyband including O-Town, LFO, Take 5 and US5. He then tried a female version creating Innosense, featuring a young Britney Spears.

Something about Pearlman was crooked and every act he had (except for US5) sued him for fraud. Every case was settled out of court.

In 2006 it was discovered that Lou Pearlman was behind an elaborate Ponzi scheme that ripped off over $300 million from investors. He was arrested in 2007. On May 28, 2008 Lou Pearlman was sentenced to 25 years in prison. He was due for release in 2029. He died on August 19, 2016.

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