Lance Bass knows the ins and outs of the music industry better than most. As one of five members of one of the biggest music acts of all time he saw a lot of both good and bad from 1995-2002. From selling over 50 million albums throughout their career to being named, due to their instant success, one of the Top 25 Teen Idol Breakout Moments of all time – Nsync seemingly had the world at their feet. However, they also had a very public battle with Lou Pearlman and the Bertelsmann Music Group who were their former manager and label. In 2002 the band announced a hiatus but by 2007 Lance himself announced that they’d definitely gone their seperate ways.
Lance has found success in the entertainment industry and is the new host of Finding Prince Charming, a dating show that is the first to host a gay bachelor. The show appears on Logo and VH1 and he recently gave an interview to Billboard about his hosting gig, the death of Lou Pearlman, and how the music industry is still ‘very homophobic’.
“When *NSYNC ended, it was a rocky time, because I came out of the closet. The music industry is still very homophobic. I 100 percent felt that — even to this day I feel that. When I found out there wouldn’t be another *NSYNC album, I wanted to try some solo stuff, but my record label never returned a call. My manager never called me. I lost everyone. Even Michael Jackson had to have the best people to succeed. Without that support, there’s no way you’re going to make it in the industry.”
Speaking openly about his lack of support after he came out of the closet was a tough, but necessary point of conversation because it’s not something that just happened years ago, it’s still an industry where people who identify as gay or bisexual have a hard time not only “coming out” but achieving success after they do. Lance isn’t the first to speak about this recently, both Colton Haynes and Jaymi Hensley have made very similar comments about what it’s like to be closeted and struggle with openly being yourself.
Lance also touched on the death of Lou, and his attitude is one we could all learn from: sometimes you just have to let it go.
“With Lou Pearlman passing, it brings up so many memories, good and bad. It was sad to see anyone pass away that had such influence in your life and introduced me to four of my best friends. But it also reminds me of how to really be in this industry. I always want help other artists, and make sure they enjoy what they’re doing, actually make money doing it. And I never want to take advantage of that.”
Lance took a situation that pained him, and his band, and used it to motivate himself to be and do better. He wants to help other people in situations like his, and Nsync’s own, to not only do well with their talent, but to make sure how they use it brings them happiness. He also mentioned that positivity is key for everything he does in his life and instead of being hushed by generalizations, he uses his platform to educate against them, and encourage others to do the same.
Now he’s happy with where he’s at, having tried his hand at many things, he feels comfortable as a television personality and host. The feeling of success he worked hard for has truly been earned by his hard work, refusal to give in, and strength to stand out; at the end of the day, that’s all anyone could ask for.
For more on Lance’s interview, pick up Billboard’s September 24th edition.