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Lou Pearlman, mastermind of the boy band craze, dies at 62

Pearlman launched the careers of NSYNC, BSB, and more.

Lou Pearlman, a self-made Orlando businessman who introduced the world to the boy bands of the aughts, is reported to have died in a federal prison Friday (August 19.)

Pearlman was a manager and producer who created the Backstreet Boys — and their rivals, NSYNC. He and partner Johnny Wright saw the groups to incredible success, but things took a turn when both groups wound up splitting from Pearlman; BSB members actually sued him. He also managed boy bands O-Town and LFO, and his label, Trans Continental Records, hosted acts like Aaron Carter and Jordan Knight. Pearlman was in prison after being convicted of fraud in 2008 for his part in a Ponzi scheme.

Lance Bass of NSYNC acknowledged Pearlman's influence with this tweet: "Word is that #LouPearlman has passed away. He might not have been a stand up businessman , but I wouldn't be doing what I love today wout his influence. RIP Lou."

Pearlman's cause of death has not been confirmed.

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