“When you’re a solo artist, no one’s telling you, ‘No,’ and I think that’s the biggest problem, especially with teen idols. You immediately go from learning about puberty, to having hundreds of employees, and not really knowing how to deal with that,” Bass said, adding, “With fame comes entitlement, and you have tons of people saying, ‘Yes sir, yes sir, yes sir.’ So it’s hard to keep that ego in check.”
Bass says that while in *NSYNC, he was fortunate to have four friends to keep him grounded. “I remember them being polite, a bit shy, upbeat and keen to do well,” said producer Kristian Lundin, when *NSYNC’s U.S. debut turned 15 last month, having sold more than 10 million copies to date.
Piers Morgan’s chat with Bass was mostly centered around how easily a pop star’s ego can inflate: “At that age, when you’re just given the world — like, what do you do with that?” At the same time, though, Bass’ comments make for a good reminder that the more attention a solo pop star receives, especially by paparazzi in particular, the more likely they are to feel alone, if not mistrustful. (Britney Spears‘ aggressive behavior comes to mind, as does Michael Jackson‘s “Leave Me Alone.”)
In fact, Bieber’s recent comments of having only four friends eerily recalls similar comments by Rihanna, from when she sat down for Oprah’s Next Chapter. When Oprah Winfrey asked her how many people can she trust to tell her the honest truth, Rihanna said, “Two.”