Backstreet Boy AJ McLean Says He Finally Feels ‘Freedom’ to Talk About Lou Pearlman’s Boy Band Con
AJ McLean caught up with WGNA morning show hosts Brian and Chrissy at the Academy of Country Music Awards this past weekend (Sunday, April 7), where he opened up about working with disgraced late music producer and manager Lou Pearlman, the subject of fellow boy bander Lance Bass's eye-opening documentary, The Boy Band Con.
"It's interesting. Since he's passed away, [there's] been a little more freedom to really say what most of us didn't want to say or couldn't say legally or whatever while he was in prison," the Backstreet Boys performer shared. "[I hope] this film helps educate any up-and-coming boy band guys or artists to keep an eye peeled for someone who may seem genuine but is actually greedy and is robbing you blind."
McLean added that the music industry is "a really tricky business. One of the most important things that we were taught was, 'Don't forget this is show business. While you're onstage doing your show, your business could be walking out the back door.' And it's true."
McLean, who calls himself the "OG of the Backstreet Boys," said he first met Pearlman back in 1992. Unfortunately, he could not have predicted the producer would scam him and his bandmates of the bulk of their earnings at the height of their fame.
"My first pay check actually was $75 and I framed it," the singer added. "My mom has it in her house, which looking back is actually very, very humbling. We didn't know this was actually going to work ... I saved that check to always remind myself where I came from and where I aspired to go."