Boy band mogul Lou Pearlman dies at 62 while serving time for fraud

Sun Aug 21, 2016 12:27am EDT
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By Alex Dobuzinskis

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Lou Pearlman, a former music mogul who launched the careers of boy bands the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC, died on Friday at age 62 while serving a 25-year prison sentence for swindling investors and banks out of more than $300 million, the Federal Bureau of Prisons said on its web site.

The cause of death was not immediately clear and a representative for the Bureau of Prisons could not be reached for comment late on Saturday.

In 2010, Pearlman suffered a stroke while behind bars, according to media reports.

After running a business operating blimps, Pearlman started a record label, guiding the 1990s-era Backstreet Boys, whose hits included "Quit Playing Games (With My Heart)", and NSYNC, known for such songs as "This I Promise You" and "I Want You Back".

The Backstreet Boys and NSYNC were two of the most successful male vocal groups of the 1990s, appealing to teen audiences with carefully constructed harmonies. NSYNC co-lead singer Justin Timberlake has gone on to a successful solo career.

Pearlman's relationships with the boy bands he helped launch eventually faltered, with most of them, including the Backstreet Boys and NSYNC, suing him for fraud, according to Billboard.

Former NSYNC member Lance Bass, who has appeared in television shows and films since NSYNC disbanded, said in a tribute on Twitter:

"He might not have been a stand up businessman, but I wouldn't be doing what I love today (without) his influence."   Continued...