The Backstreet battle is over –sort of.
The Boys have finally settled their differences with their business manager Louis Pearlman.
After a series of complex legal wranglings that generated work for 20 lawyers and judges in three states, the Backstreet Boys have settled out of court with Pearlman, the man who helped bring together, train, tutor and finance the members. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed, but Pearlman, 44, is now a bonafide Backstreet Boy in partnership for one sixth of the action.
The team initially put in place by Pearlman to handle the band’s day-to-day management, however, is toast. The boys severed their relationship with Donna and Johnny Wright last month.
Four of the Boys had sued Pearlman, his companies and the managers for what amounts to more control and a better share of the pie. An example used, says the “Orlando Sentinel,” was the bandmembers’ contention they only received $300,000 from their $10 million summer European
tour. Pearlman allegedly argued that he invested $3 million in 1993 alone, and wanted a return on his rather risky investment. He contended his deal with the Boys was fair.
The settlement was reached last Wednesday as the band was being honored by their hometown of Orlando, Florida, for their recent hurricane relief efforts.
Still on the Backstreet burner — sort of — though, is a lawsuit with Zomba, the parent company to their label, Jive. But the Backstreet Boys themselves are not directly involved. A label spokesperson says the company is not in litigation with the Backstreet Boys but confirms they are involved in legal action with Lou Pearlman and his company Trans-Continental. The spokesperson declined to comment further on the suit saying that the company does not discuss pending litigation. The “Orlando Sentinel” reports that the suit involves trademark, royalties and control issues. The paper reports that the band’s merchandising company is also caught in the
Meanwhile, the label spokesperson confirms to MTV News that the band has been in the studio for the past two weeks working on their new album.
While she acknowledges earlier reports that the band had been entertaining involvement from the likes of the Bee Gees, Dianne Warren, Teddy Riley and Jermaine Dupri, she adds that it is far too soon to know what material will actually make it on to the album.
Sadly missing from the fold is producer/writer Denniz Pop, who died August 30 after a short bout with cancer, although the spokesperson confirms that the band had worked with Pop prior to his untimely demise, and some of that material may well be included.
Pop, along with Max Martin were previously responsible for hits including “As Long As You Love Me,” “Quit Playing Games” and “Backstreet’s Back.”
The new album is due out in the spring.
Meanwhile, fans can get a fix with the pending release of “A Night Out With The Backstreet Boys,” a live home video
and DVD recorded at an appearance on the show “Viva” in Europe last March. It’s scheduled for release November 10.