Lou Pearlman, the record producer behind boy bands such as the Backstreet Boys and ‘NSync, has died in prison, according to a Federal Bureau of Prisons record. He was 62.
A search for Pearlman’s name in the inmate database shows he died on Friday, August 19. No further information was available on the website. Sources also confirmed the death to Billboard.
‘NSync’s Lance Bass tweeted about the news on Saturday, August 20. “Word is that #LouPearlman has passed away,” the 37-year-old singer wrote. “He might not have been a stand-up businessman, but I wouldn’t be doing what I love today w/out his influence. RIP Lou.”
At the time of his death, Pearlman was serving a 25-year prison sentence for his involvement in a massive Ponzi scheme that swindled 1,700 investors out of half a billion dollars. He was sentenced in May 2008.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, which published an interview with the music manager from prison in 2014, he previously suffered a stroke behind bars in 2010. “It was definitely a wake-up call,” he told THR at the time, adding that he had since lost 75 pounds by walking around the prison track.
Around the time news of the Ponzi scheme broke in 2007, Pearlman was the subject of a Vanity Fair exposé that contained molestation and sexual harassment allegations from several former or aspiring singers. He denied the claims from jail, and later told THR his fellow inmates knew “none of that can be true.”
In addition to BSB and ‘NSync, Perlman managed O-Town and LFO and created the MTV show Making the Band.
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