Members of the Backstreet Boys and *NSYNC are among those expressing mixed emotions following the death of their former disgraced manager Lou Pearlman, who died Aug. 19 while serving out a 25-year prison sentence in Miami.
On the back of his clients’ success, Pearlman turned his Trans Continental businesses into a sprawling empire in the 1990s. But it was all built on fraud, and he was ultimately sued by every act he represented except one.
On Saturday, *NSYNC’s Lance Bass tweeted about the news, writing, “He might not have been a stand up businessman, but I wouldn’t be doing what I love today without his influence.”
I hope he found some peace. God bless and RIP, Lou Pearlman.
— Justin Timberlake (@jtimberlake) August 21, 2016
Justin Timberlake also offered his condolences, tweeting, “I hope he found some peace. God bless and RIP, Lou Pearlman.” But fellow *NSYNC member Chris Kirkpatrick hadn’t quite processed his feelings on the matter. “Mixed emotions right now, but RIP Lou Pearlman,” he wrote on Twitter.
— Ashley Parker Angel (@ParkerAngel) August 21, 2016
Pearlman was convicted of running a half-billion-dollar Ponzi scheme in 2008. According to reports from those in communication with Pearlman as recently as June, he had been moved from a low-security prison in Texarkana, Texas, to the federal prison in Miami. The federal inmate database confirms his death but does not cite a cause.
Singer Aaron Carter, meanwhile, thanked Pearlman for discovering him. “#LouPearlman my old manager died in prison… Rip Lou not the best business guy really at all but he did discover me karma is real,” he tweeted.
Backstreet Boys’ AJ McLean was also thankful for Pearlman’s role in the boy band’s career. “Many emotions at the news of Lou’s passing. Without Lou I wouldn’t have met my four brothers or had the opportunity of a lifetime. RIP,” he tweeted.
#LouPearlman my old manager died in prison… Rip Lou not the best business guy really at all but he did discover me karma is real
— KiD CaRTer (@aaroncarter) August 21, 2016
And Ashley Parker Angel, a member of musical act O-Town, which was formed during the debut season of Pearlman’s reality TV show MTV show Making the Band in 1999, shared a photo of Pearlman with O-Town.
“Love him or hate him, Lou gave many of us our start,” he wrote in the tweet. “It’s a shame he let greed get in his way.”