By now you've probably heard many a story about a major recording artist or group being taken advantage of in the music industry. Following talents like Toni Braxton and TLC, Lance Bass says 'N Sync was in debt for many years despite having major success and hits like "It's Gonna Be Me," "This I Promise You" and "Girlfriend."
"I started when I was 16, so I didn't know much. We got taken advantage of every step of the way. You know, we always felt like we were the ones in charge, we were the bosses, but we definitely weren't. We were definitely, you know, being pulled in so many directions. We didn't know what was going on. They kept us so busy, we didn't really get to understand what was happening in our lives," Bass told "Piers Morgan Tonight" in a recent interview.
Discussing Justin Bieber and his now public struggles, Bass looked back and sort of warned Bieber about entitlement, taking control of the business side of music and watching out for people that don't have his best interests in mind.
"You know, you're not too young to understand everything and just learn, learn, learn as much as you can. The biggest word that I learned early on was the word recoupable. You know, we were in debt for many years before we learned the word recoupable. All those dinners that those labels are taking you to that you're thanking them for, you're paying for that," said Bass. "You know, I was with the group. So, I had, you know, four of my best friends with me to keep me down to earth but when you're a solo artist, no one's there telling you no. I think that's the big problem, especially with teen idols. You immediately go from, you know, learning about puberty to having, you know, hundreds of employees and not really knowing how to deal with that. And with fame comes entitlement. You have tons of people around you saying yes, sir, yes, sir, yes, sir. So it's hard to keep that ego in check."
Even with that said, Lance Bass doesn't blame Hollywood for Justin Bieber's struggles.
"Well, I mean, I don't blame Hollywood. I think every teenager goes through, you know, these times. Everyone's going to rebel with their families. It's just these teens happen to do it in the public eye and especially with social media being what it is today, you can't hide anything. Everyone knows every little thing about your life," said Bass. "So when everyone is just learning how to, you know, smoke that first cigarette, have that first drink, they're growing up. Every kid does it. It's just these kids have to do it, you know, with everyone staring at them."