Lance Bass is doing better now than ever before, financially. The former *NSYNC boy-bander recently reflected on the time when he was a member — and things weren’t as glamorous as they seemed.
In a recent interview, Bass, 43, was asked to recall the best part about “being rich and famous really young.” With a chuckle, he cleared that misconception. “Well, the worst thing is people thinking that we were rich because we were not,” Bass said. “We were famous, but we were not rich. I made way more money after *NSYNC than I did during *NSYNC.”
*NSYNC creator and manager Lou Pearlman famously mishandled the group’s finances and was sued by several members of different boy bands for cheating them out of their earnings. “He really took a majority of all of our stuff… [made] horrible, horrible deals,” Bass said of Pearlman.
Pearlman died in 2016 at the age of 62 while serving time in federal prison. He was convicted on numerous fraud charges. For example, in 2006, investigators discovered Pearlman had perpetrated the longest-running Ponzi scheme in American history and had defrauded investors out of more than $1 billion, out of which $300 million is still missing.
Bass remembers how fellow bandmates Justin Timberlake, Chris Kirkpatrick, JC Chasez and Joey Fatone were the family that kept things grounded and sane. “To do that, with those guys, it was incredible. And you had some of the best experiences ever,” Bass shared. “Obviously, it changed my life, led me to so many things I wanted to do in life… they’re incredible, incredible guys.”
They also formed a “great support system.” The singer said he was glad his brothers kept him “down to earth” and called him out “if you said anything off the wall.” Compared to being a solo artist, Bass said, “You kind of get this Michael Jackson syndrome of not knowing what reality is. But with a group, we had a great family unit around us, we were held down to earth.”