Lou Pearlman, the boy-band mogul known for launching the Backstreet Boys and ‘NSync, has died in jail

A man with a mixed legacy.
A man with a mixed legacy.
Image: AP Photo/John Raoux
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Lou Pearlman, the music promoter credited with launching ‘NSync and the Backstreet Boys, has died in jail, media outlets are reporting.

The Orlando-based music industry impresario was serving a 25-year sentence for running a $300 million Ponzi Scheme.The cause of death is not yet clear. He was 62.

As the founder of Transcontinental Records in the 1990s, Pearlman was credited with starting the boy-band craze of that era. In addition to BSB and ‘NSync, he signed the big name 1990s acts O-Town and Take 5, among others.

But Pearlman’s success was fleeting. He was convicted of fraud in 2008 when regulators discovered he was regularly falsifying documents to gain investments for two companies that did not exist, Trans Continental Airlines Services Inc. and Trans Continental Airlines Inc.

Much like his legacy, the reactions to his death have been a mixed, and some of his former protégés have weighed in with their thoughts on the man who started their careers: