Movies | April 9, 2019 10:22 am

New Documentary Exposes the Downfall of ‘NSYNC Founder Lou Pearlman

Behind the boy band mogul that created and conned The Backstreet Boys and 'NSYNC

N’SYNC
Lou Pearlman with 'NSYNC circa 1996. (Photo by Mark Weiss/WireImage)
WireImage

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A new documentary is exposing the sordid history of the man behind two of the most famous pop acts of the late ’90s boy band boom.

YouTube’s new documentary, The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story, reveals the untold story of Lou Pearlman, the man who created the world famous ’90s pop fixture The Backstreet Boys, as well as their rival band ‘NSYNC.

Created by former ‘NSYNC member Lance Bass, the film traces the exploitation the band faced at Pearlman’s hands, reported The Guardian. In the doc, Bass and director Aaron Kunkel reveal Pearlman’s attempt to con the young pop stars out of millions in what YouTube’s Luke Hyams called “one of the greatest untold scandals of the music industry.”

According to the new documentary, the five members of ‘NSYNC were poised to become super wealthy in 1998 when, instead of the millions they expected to receive after three years of record-breaking sales, Pearlman awarded each member just $10,000.

“That is when I knew we were being taken advantage of,” said Bass, now 39. “There was something wrong. We immediately started calling lawyers.”

When the band took the case to court, Pearlman defended the extreme shortchanging, claiming he was ‘NSYNC due to his ownership of the band, and was therefore entitled to 90 percent of the group’s profits. A judge, however, ruled in the band’s favor, triggering the unraveling of Pearlman’s pop music empire.

Coming on the heels of the successful Michael Jackson doc Leaving Neverland, The Guardian figured the film was warning about the dangers of an industry ripe for exploitation.

“What we wanted to show is that the adults in the room were also duped,” Bass explained. “It is a cautionary tale that we have to keep reminding ourselves of…There will always be people out there trying to take advantage of young entertainers.”

The Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story is available on YouTube Premium.