They’re all coming together. Several members of 90s boy bands appear in the new YouTube Original documentary, The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story. And they’re out to expose exactly who Lou Pearlman was before he died in 2016.
What Is The Boy Band Con?
The Boy Band Con was a hit at SXSW and is an original documentary. It apparently “explores the rise and fall of the infamous boy-band manager [Pearlman],” according to Cosmopolitan. It reportedly includes some “fun facts” about the bands he managed but mostly exposes what a nightmare the guy was. Here’s a fun fact: it was produced by Lance Bass, who would obviously be very familiar with the man and how he operated NSYNC.
Who Is Lou Pearlman?
Rather, who was Lou Pearlman, the subject of the film? Variety reported that he most famously launched groups like NSYNC and the Backstreet Boys. Cosmo reported that “countless” musicians were swindled by him, but only after he managed and made boy bands like O-Town into some of the biggest acts in the world.
What Did Lou Pearlman Do?
Pearlman was accused of running one of the largest and longest-running Ponzi schemes ever. Pearlman was sentenced to 25 years in prison in May 2008 for “swindling investors and major U.S. banks out of more than $300 million,” Reuters reported at the time. Pearlman pleaded guilty that March to four counts: two for conspiracy involving bank and investor fraud, one for money laundering and one of making false claims in a bankruptcy.
Who Speaks Out in Boy Band Con?
Boy Band Con features AJ McLean, Ashley Parker Angel, Aaron Carter, JC Chasez, Chris Kirkpatrick and Bass, among others. It sounds like many of the members of the boy bands Pearlman managed got screwed over by him in one way or another.
For instance, Cosmopolitan reported that NSYNC sold over 10 million records before they realized Pearlman was cheating them. After their album sales took off, the boys only made $10,000 each.
“The reaction was just astonishment,” Bass’ mom said. Offended, Bass actually ripped up his first NSYNC paycheck. “It was so insulting,” he said. “It was the first time I thought to myself, something’s wrong. He’s lying to us. I went back to the hotel, and I immediately ripped up the check. This is not right. We didn’t know where it was going. We were like, who is making this?” In 1998, the Backstreet Boys actually sued Pearlman when they learned they were worth 50 million dollars a piece — each member had made only $300,000 after four years of touring.
The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story is now available on YouTube.
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