It didn't matter if you were Team Backstreet Boys or Team NSYNC, if you were a young, boy-band-loving child of the mid-90s, you were being manipulated by svengali Lou Pearlman. The talent-assembler behind just about every pop act of that era — OTown and LFO are also up there — invented the genre after watching how young girls consume band merchandise, wanting to exploit their love of dreamy-eyed serenaders for profit. And yet that wasn't even the most chilling part of Lou's history, one that ended when he died behind bars in 2016 mid-sentence for running a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme.
No, Lou Pearlman didn't just create a turn-of-millennium soundtrack; he created a shameful legacy that involved the financial rape of teenagers, and according to some reports, sexual abuse. Below, some disturbing accounts of the man who created '90s bubblegum pop.