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Lance Bass

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Lance Bass (born James Lance Bass on May 4, 1979, in Clinton, Mississippi)[1] is an American singer, actor, producer and author who is best known as the bass singer for the American pop group 'N Sync. He is also known for his 2002 attempt at space travel, which received a large amount of media attention. Bass was scheduled to be a part of the Russian Soyuz TMA-1 mission, but failed to come up with the funds necessary to board.

BiographyEdit

Early lifeEdit

Bass was born to Jim Bass, a lab technician, and Diane Bass, an elementary school teacher, in Laurel, Mississippi. He was brought up as a Southern Baptist. Bass moved to the larger town of Clinton at age ten and soon after began his musical career, singing as a chorus member for both his church and his school. While a student at Clinton High School, Bass joined Mississippi Show Stoppers, a state-wide group sponsored by the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum, and was a member of Attache, a competitive show-choir group that traveled across the country.

During his time as a student, Bass excelled at math and science. He developed a fascination with space in his early childhood, and, after attending space camp at age 12 in Titusville, Florida, his heart was set on becoming an astronaut.[2] He aspired to study astrophysics in college, with the hope that he would one day work for NASA.

'N SyncEdit

In 1995, Bass joined Mickey Mouse Club alumni JC Chasez and Justin Timberlake, along with Joey Fatone and Chris Kirkpatrick, in 'N Sync, a boy band turned overnight sensation. After former member Jason Watkins decided to leave the group, the band went searching for a bass singer. Justin Timberlake recruited Bass into the group, following the recommendation of a vocal coach the two shared. The group toured Germany throughout 1996, before hitting it big in the States two years later. In 2000, the group released the fastest-selling record of all time, No Strings Attached,[3] and in 2001 followed it up with their Celebrity album, which scored the second highest first-week album sales ever.[3] Bass was known as the "Shy One".

The group went on hiatus in 2002.

Career As A ProducerEdit

Bass starred in the 2001 motion picture On the Line, which grossed only $4.3 million at the US domestic box office, but had a production budget of $16 million. The film was produced by Bacon & Eggs LLC (formerly A Happy Place), a company owned by Bass, which also produced the Amanda Bynes film Lovewrecked. In addition, Bass formed a music management company called Free Lance Entertainment, which is now defunct. The only album released through Free Lance was Reach by country music singer Meredith Edwards.

Other WorkEdit

Bass has a habit of working with best friend and former bandmate Joey Fatone. Along with doing On the Line together, the two have also lent their voices to the same episodes of Kim Possible, and Robot Chicken, and are developing a sitcom pilot based on the The Odd Couple, in which Bass's character will be gay.[4] Fatone was the first 'N Sync member to whom Bass revealed his sexuality.

Bass has appeared on VH1's I Love the '80s several times as a celebrity commentator.

He starred as himself in cameo appearances in Wes Craven's Cursed and Zoolander.

Bass voiced the Final Fantasy character Sephiroth in the popular action role-playing game, Kingdom Hearts. However, fans of the game were so outraged by the use of pop stars doing voice-overs for the more popular characters that Bass was not asked to return for the game's sequel.

In March 2007, Bass announced he is releasing an autobiography entitled "Out Of Sync", which is expected to deliver "a behind-the-scenes look at the music industry, the struggle with his sexual identity as a celebrity and his decision to publicly come out".[5] The book will be released in October 2007.

Bass is to play the wedding singer in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry, starring Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Dan Aykroyd, and Steve Buscemi. The film is scheduled to be released in July 2007.

Space Flight PlansEdit

In August 2002, Bass entered cosmonaut training at Star City, Russia. Of the opportunity to go to space, he said,

I am completely overwhelmed at the invitation. I'm looking forward to completing this lifelong dream. I am honored and privileged to represent my country in this history-making mission.[2]
In order to participate in the training, Bass had to undergo surgery for a case of cardiac arrythmia, which was discovered in 1999 when he collapsed after a concert. After several months of living and training in Russia, Bass was scheduled to fly into space on the Soyuz spacecraft in October 2002 with the mission Soyuz TMA-1. However, his sponsorship funds failed to materialize, and Russian cosmonaut Yuri Lonchakov ended up taking his place.[6]

On September 26, 2002, rumors surfaced that Bass was "depressed and suicidal" after his attempts at space travel had failed. Bass's camp denied reports, with one Jive Records executive saying, "Lance is a very happy person and I'm sure he's got more in his life than this trip, so I'd be very surprised if he got that upset about it all."[7]

Despite not going into space, Bass is a certified cosmonaut. It is also rumored that he received a passing grade on the NASA entrance exam.

In October 2004 during World Space Week, Bass was formally inducted as a member of the National Space Society's Board of Governors. Serving in an advisory and public outreach capacity, Bass has joined astronauts and prominent individuals who have made a lasting, positive impact on human space exploration, including actor Tom Hanks, journalist Hugh Downs and author and futurist Sir Arthur C. Clarke, among many others.[8]

Personal lifeEdit

SexualityEdit

Bass announced that he is gay[9] and was in a "very stable relationship" with Reichen Lehmkuhl in a front page cover story for People magazine[9] on July 26, 2006. There had been considerable speculation about his sexuality due to numerous paparazzi snapshots of him with the openly gay Lehmkuhl. The two had been spotted together in many different locations.[10]

Celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton had outed Bass, beginning in September 2005, with postings on Hilton's website.[11] However, Bass and his friends have claimed that it was not Hilton who outed him, but instead a blurb that ran in the Page Six gossip column on July 12, 2006.[10] Bass's mother read the blurb, and immediately went on the internet to discover various gossip sites reporting on her son's sexuality.

Of his decision to come out, Bass said,

"The thing is, I’m not ashamed – that’s the one thing I want to say. I don't think it's wrong, I'm not devastated going through this. I'm more liberated and happy than I’ve been my whole life. I'm just happy." [9]

The announcement received a large amount of media attention, and the American public's reaction was generally positive. One gossip blog even went on to say it was "a sign of the times, that someone so apple-pie American can come out on the cover of People."[12]

During his time in 'N Sync, Bass had a high-profile relationship with actress Danielle Fishel of TV's Boy Meets World, whose high school (Calabasas High School) prom he attended.[13]

Reichen LehmkuhlEdit

Bass and his boyfriend Lehmkuhl received much media attention after Bass's coming out. They attended many events together and were seen by many as a "gay power couple". However, the media didn't take too kindly to Lehmkuhl. Page Six reported that Lehmkuhl was "cash-strapped", and using Bass for his money.[14] Gossip columns reported that Lehmkuhl had forced Bass out of the closet, so as to gain publicity for Lehmkuhl's new book, which came out several months later. Page Six also stated that Bass's friends didn't approve of his relationship with Lehmkuhl, and that Lehmkuhl was "a big gay activist and very controlling. He wants Lance to give up his straight friends and do whatever he tells him to.”[15]

Lehmkuhl later responded to these accusations by saying, "If I were actually that type of person, I wouldn't even want to be alive... it would have to be a miserable existence." About the short amount of time between Bass's decision to come out and Lehmkuhl's book release, Lehmkuhl also said, "The book was done and set for publishing and distribution before I ever met Lance."[16]

LGBT equal rights organization Human Rights Campaign presented its Visibility Awards to Bass and Lehmkuhl at its National Dinner on October 7, 2006.[17] However, some individuals in the LGBT community had complained that Bass and Lehmkuhl did not do anything to merit such awards.[18][19]

In January 2007, amidst rumors of infidelity on Lehmkuhl's part, Bass confirmed to People Magazine that the couple had split for good, following months of speculation about their on-again-off-again relationship.[20] In March 2007, Davis Mallory, a reality castmate on The Real World: Denver, went public with accusations that he and Lehmkuhl had had an affair while Lehmkuhl was still with Bass. The media immediately latched on, calling Mallory a homewrecker who came between Bass and Lehmkuhl. However, Mallory insisted that Lehmkuhl told him he and Bass had already broken up. Lehmkuhl later responded to Mallory's accusations in an open letter to his fans. He admitted to infidelity, stating, "The 'interaction' I had with this particular person was brief and of bad judgment." Of Mallory, he stated, "This person brought this kind of judgment onto himself in his need to go public (and private) with his scandalous story. I have no sympathy for this person's being referred to as a 'homewrecker'. He is a 'homewrecker', in my opinion." [21]

Other RelationshipsEdit

Even after his split from Lehmkuhl, Bass's relationships continue to be reported by the tabloids. In past months, he has been romantically linked to soap opera actor Brandon Beemer, who later was confirmed to be heterosexual, and billionaire Hollywood mogul David Geffen.[22]

In Pop CultureEdit

  • The term "lanced", which means "to be outed by someone in the public media", began to be used after Bass's 2006 decision to come out of the closet. In recent months, this term was applied to actors T.R. Knight and Neil Patrick Harris, both of whom were "lanced" after facing similar media scrutiny regarding their sexualities. The catchphrase was coined by Bass's ex-boyfriend, Reichen Lehmkuhl.[23]
  • Professional skateboarder Bam Margera owns a painted mural of Bass that he hangs in his Pennsylvania home. The portrait features Bass in an astronaut uniform, with a NASA shuttle in the background, ascending to space on a giant rainbow.[24]
  • Canadian comedian Will Sasso's impersonation of Bass is considered by fans to be one of his best characters. Sasso's impersonation, which he regularly performed on the American sketch-comedy show "Mad TV", depicts Bass as a "perma-grinned and doe eyed" singer who seems too dumb to comprehend the situations going on around him.[25] Sasso's character always wears a large cross around his neck, possibly as a reference to Bass's wholesome image.

ReferencesEdit

  1. 'N Sync Discusses Their Rise to Stardom. Larry King Live. CNN.com (January 9, 2001). Retrieved on 2006-10-11.
  2. 2.0 2.1 NSYNC.com. Lance Bass Youngest Possible Space Traveler. Retrieved on February 2, 2001.
  3. 3.0 3.1 Billboard.com. 'N Sync Artist Biography. Archived from the original on 2013-01-02. Retrieved on August 20, 2006.
  4. Lance Bass: I'm Gay. CNN (July 27, 2006). Retrieved on 2006-08-08.
  5. [/http://www.etonline.com/celebrities/news/47305/index.html Lance Bass Out of Sync]. ET Online (Mar 5, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-04-10.
  6. Pop star finishes his space training. MSNBC (December 23, 2002). Retrieved on 2006-09-16.
  7. 'N Sync Chronology. WENN (September 27, 2002). Retrieved on 2006-10-16.
  8. Lance Bass Brings Excitement of Spaceflight During World Space Week 2004. National Space Society (September 29, 2004). Retrieved on 2006-07-28.
  9. 9.0 9.1 9.2 Lance Bass: I'm Gay. People magazine (July 26, 2006). Retrieved on 2006-07-26.
  10. 10.0 10.1 No Privacy for Lance Bass at Gay Bar. ABC News (July 14, 2006). Retrieved on 2006-07-28.
  11. Did gossip blogger out Lance Bass?. MSNBC (July 27, 2006). Retrieved on 2006-08-08.
  12. Lance Bass, Welcome To Reality. You Were The Last To Know.. rachel.vox.com (July 27, 2006). Retrieved on 2006-27-07.
  13. Danielle Fishel. AskMen.com. Retrieved on 2006-10-23.
  14. Johnson, Richard (August 16, 2006)Movin' on in.
  15. It Doesn't Look Good For Lance and Reichen. NY Post (July 27, 2006). Retrieved on 2006-28-07.
  16. Reichen Lehmkuhl: Exclusive Interview. Contact Hollywood (January, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-01-01.
  17. Tenth Annual Human Rights Campaign National Dinner. Human Rights Campaign (2006). Retrieved on 2006-09-16.
  18. Award to Lance is for visibility, not activism. WashingtonBlade.com (September 15, 2006). Retrieved on 2006-10-16.
  19. Don't Ask, (I'm Telling): Lance Bass a hero? Hardly. The Carolinian Online (October 3, 2006). Retrieved on 2006-10-16.
  20. Lance Bass & Reichen Lehmkuhl Split for Good. People (January 29, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-04-07.
  21. Justin Boltz (March 9, 2007). Reichen Lehmkuhl Speaks About His Seperation from Lance Bass. Retrieved on April 10, 2007.
  22. Lance Bass: Who's That Guy?. Janet Charlton's Hollywood (March 30, 2007). Retrieved on 2007-30-03.
  23. Lehmkuhl Says Harris Was 'lanced'. ABC News (Nov 7 2006). Retrieved on 2006-11-07.
  24. Bam Makes Room for Bass. NY Daily News (Mar 29 2007). Retrieved on 2007-03-29.
  25. WorldOfJustin.com October Archives. WorldOfJustin.com (October, 2001). Retrieved on 2007-04-10.

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