If you were ever a teenager, chances are you’ve had some experiences with boy band fandom. *NSYNC, The Backstreet Boys, and Take 5 were some of the biggest and most successful groups of the late ’90s and early 2000s. But many fans who were young then don’t know about the shady dealings, abuse, and Ponzi schemes that were going on behind the scenes within the management of those bands. It’s a tale as old as time — young, vulnerable artists are taken advantage of by corrupt media executives, their talent milked for money that doesn’t make its way back to them.
The YouTube original documentary Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story will explore one of the most notorious scams in music history. Entrepreneur Lou Pearlman made these bands a household name, but, in the words of one of the platinum-record-selling victims of the scam, “I could have made this much [money] working full-time at Starbucks.”
Featuring interviews with stars and first-hand witnesses including Lance Bass, JC Chasez, Aaron Carter, and more, Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story is an exposé of the criminal who launched their careers. The documentary, which premiered March 13 at SXSW, will premiere on YouTube April 3.
Watch the trailer for Boy Band Con: The Lou Pearlman Story above.