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Ryan Gosling Was Almost in the Backstreet Boys?!

The band’s success wasn’t overnight—they first struck big in Europe before finally breaking out in the States in 1997 once the Spice Girls and Hanson made pop music en vogue following the twin grunge and gangsta rap crazes—but by 1998, they were on the brink of superstardom. And they’d also realized that Big Poppa was robbing them blind. Not only had Pearlman and former NKOTB manager Johnny Wright (who was now helping steer the BSB ship) launched their chief competitor NSYNC behind their backs, but they’d discovered that, from 1993 to 1997, Trans Continental had made about $10 million in revenue, while the band only received $300,000. Total.Littrell filed suit first, claiming Pearlamn hadn’t been truthful about their earnings. McLean, Richardson and Dorough soon joined the lawsuit, which resulted in a handful of settlements and severed the group’s relationship with the man who put them together for good. However, the terms left Pearlman getting one-sixth of everything they made. “It’s ridiculous,” Littrell told Rolling Stone in 2000. “He’s doing no work.”In 2014, six years after Pearlman was sentenced to 25 years in prison after being accused of running one of the largest and longest-running Ponzi schemes in history, bilking people out of over $300 million—as well as some darker, and unsubstantiated, claims that he was also a pedophile, preying on the boys he recruited for his many musical endeavors—they returned to court with a claim that he still owed them $3,451,456.04. They eventually received a settlement of $99,000 cash, 34 audio tape reels, 26 CDs, seven studio mastering audio tapes, six sealed posters, three audio cassettes, and one VHS tapes. The recordings included some unreleased mixes, demos and original materials.

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