Disgraced Boy Band Hit Maker Lou Pearlman Dies In Prison
Former boy band manager Lou Pearlman has died in price at the age of 62. The svengali behind *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys has been serving a 25 year federal prison sentence for swindling investors out of more than $300 million.
Lou Pearlman, the disgraced star-maker behind 1990s boy bands *NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys, has died in prison, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons. The 62-year-old producer died Friday, according to the bureau's inmate data base. An official cause of death was not announced.
Pearlman had been serving a 25-year sentence at the Federal Correctional Institution in Texarkana, Texas, for running Ponzi and bank schemes. He was convicted in 2008 of fraud and swindling investors out of more than $300 million.
Pearlman boosted the careers of entertainers who later achieved solo fame, like Backstreet Boy Nick Carter and former *NSYNC member Justin Timberlake. Timberlake tweeted Sunday he hoped Pearlman had "found some peace."
"His passing has touched a lot of people," said Mark NeJame, who represented Pearlman in civil lawsuits for many years."
"He literally revolutionized the world of pop music and was]a creative genius in that regard — but had a horrible dark side that eventually overshadowed his talents, he had a way of telling people what they wanted to hear," NeJame added. "He was very seductive."
Aaron Carter, brother of Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter, tweeted Sunday about Pearlman, "karma is real."
With Pearlman at the helm, the Backstreet Boys shot to stardom in 1996 and became one of the top-selling boy bands, selling more than 130 million records, according to the band's website.
Shortly after the launch of the Backstreet Boys, Pearlman followed up with a second boy band called *NSYNC – which sold more than 55 million records.
*NSYNC's website was down Sunday in the wake of the news of Pearlman's death.
Former *NSYNC band members Lance Bass and Chris Kirkpatrick also posted their reactions on Twitter. "He might not have been a stand up businessman," Bass tweeted, "but I wouldn't be doing what I love today without his influence. RIP Lou."
via Celebrity Access