The former pop music mogul was found dead on Friday while serving a 25-year sentence for money laundering and fraud. The cause of death was not announced on the Federal Bureau of Prisons website. He was 62.
Pearlman was best known for launching the careers of the Backstreet Boys and 'N Sync in the mid-'90s. His Transcontinental Entertainment management company built a roster that also included LFO, Aaron Carter, Jordan Knight, Take 5, and the girl group Innosense (which once included Britney Spears). In the late '90s every group Pearlman signed except one — the unheard of US5 — sued him for fraud and left the label.
In 2000, Pearlman produced Making the Band, the reality show that lead to the birth of O-Town. It was the first non-sitcom to air in ABC's TGIF lineup and lasted three seasons. (A repackaged version of the format produced by Diddy aired on MTV from 2002 to 2004.)
In 2008, Pearlman was found guilty of concocting a Ponzi scheme that lasted more than two decades and swindled his investors out of a reported $300 million.
Despite their turbulent relationship, two 'N Sync members expressed their condolences for Pearlman's passing.
Chris Kirkpatrick echoed the same bittersweet sentiment.
Mixed emotions right now, but RIP Lou Pearlman.— Chris Kirkpatrick (@IamCKirkpatrick) August 21, 2016