Lance Bass is clearing up some misconceptions surrounding his time in NSYNC.
During an appearance on The Jess Cagle Show, Lance revealed the discrepancy between the boy band’s level of fame and their wealth.
"Well, the worst thing is people thinking that we were rich, because we were not," he said on the show. "We were famous, but we were not rich.”
He went on to say that he made “way more” money after the band’s late 90s takeover than he did during it.
Lance pointed to the obvious role disgraced boy band manager Lou Pearlman played in all of this, which Joanna wrote about here back in 2019.
"He really took a majority of all of our stuff — and the record label, too," he said.
In addition to being one of the many victims of Lou Pearlman’s $300 million Ponzi scheme, though, Lance has previously suggested that knowing about the business side of things can help prevent aspiring musicians from ending up in the situation he found himself in all those years ago.
"I think the most important thing for new artists today is to take a business class," he said in 2021. "The biggest mistake artists can make is being like, 'Well, I'm just a true artist.'”
Lance’s advice is pretty sound, considering the amount of artists we’ve seen have major fallouts with their record labels over predatory, unfair deals.
Most notably was Taylor Swift’s battle with Scooter Braun, who acquired Scott Borchetta’s Big Machine Label Group, and in doing so acquired the rights to her first six albums. We’ve also seen stars like Meg Thee Stallion in a bitter dispute with 1501 Certified Entertainment over her record deal and the company trying to block her attempts to collaborate with musical heavy hitters like BTS, release songs and collect the coins she’s worked her ass off for. Other stars like Jojo and Ke$ha have also been public about the issues they’ve had with record label companies.
But messed up deals with record labels is not just some issue that’s only started plaguing today’s artists in the last few years. I wrote about the struggles that stars – mostly women – were having back in the early 2000s when Ashanti was cranking out hits and even further back in the days of TLC, who were forced to file a Chapter 11 bankruptcy despite a recent performance at the Grammys.
Lance is also a pretty good person to be the one giving this advice, considering the success he’s amassed since the band’s last studio album was released more than twenty years ago. Since 2001, he came out as gay, released an autobiography, had a role in a few movies and became a startup investor to companies like Therabody and buying Rocco’s, a West Hollywood bar (which is on the same block as other bars owned by his close friend and Real Housewives legend Lisa Vanderpump). He’s also served as a judge on reality TV.
Currently, his net worth sits at an impressive $22 million – not a bad comeback for someone who was ripped off by one of the biggest conmen of the century. All of this pads the case for the need for young artists to take heed of his advice and to listen carefully to the cautionary tales of the women and groups I listed above. Learning about the business of music is the best way to ensure you’re not taken advantage of. And in the unfortunate case you are, it helps to know how to get that money back by any means necessary.
Attached: Lance with husband Michael Turchin at the screening of "Summoning Sylvia" on April 13, 2023 in Los Angeles, California.