After completion of 'N Sync's Pop Odyssey Tour, Bass moved to Star City, Russia in much publicized pursuit of a seat on a Soyuz space capsule. Bass was certified by both NASA and the Russian Space Program after several months of cosmonaut training, and planned to join the TMA-1 mission to the International Space Station in October of that year. However, after his financial sponsors backed out, Bass was denied a seat on the mission.
In July 2006, Bass revealed that he is gay in a cover story for People magazine. He was awarded the Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award in October 2006, and released an autobiography, Out of Sync, in October 2007, which debuted on The New York Times Best Seller list.
When Bass was 10 years old, his father was transferred to a different hospital, and the family moved to Clinton, Mississippi. Bass began singing in his Baptist church choir, and was encouraged to audition for local performance groups by his childhood best friend, Darren Dale, the youngest child of former longtime Mississippi Insurance Commissioner George Dale. Bass joined the Mississippi Show Stoppers, a state-wide music group sponsored by the Mississippi Agriculture and Forestry Museum, and the Attaché Show Choir, a national-award-winning competitive show choir group at Clinton High School. He was also a member of a seven-man vocal group named Seven Card Stud, which competed at state fairs and performed at several social and political events for Senator Trent Lott.
At Clinton High School, Bass was elected vice president of his junior class, and has said that he performed well in math and science. However, Bass later stated that his primary focus during high school was singing, and when looking back, he remembers "hardly anything" about academia.
After gaining significant notability in Europe, 'N Sync was signed to American record label RCA in 1997. The group's first single, "I Want You Back" began receiving major radio play in the United States, and 'N Sync soon found themselves becoming an "overnight sensation", a period which Bass describes in his autobiography as "the death of my own innocence". Along with increasing fame and recognition in the United States the band also experienced a highly publicized legal battle with Pearlman, due to what the group believed were illicit business practices on his part. 'N Sync sued Pearlman and his record company, Trans Continental, for defrauding the group of more than 50% of their earnings, rather than his original promise of only receiving one-sixth of the profits. The group threatened to leave and sign with Jive Records, which prompted Pearlman and RCA to countersue 'N Sync for $150 million US, citing breach of contract. The injunction was thrown out of court and, after winning back their earnings, 'N Sync signed with Jive. Bass has been estranged from Pearlman ever since.
In March 2000, 'N Sync released No Strings Attached, which became the fastest-selling record of all time, selling 1.1 million copies in its first day of release. In 2001, the group followed up with their Celebrity album, which scored the second highest first-week album sales ever, trumped only by the group's previous album. 'N Sync went on to sell over 56 million records worldwide. In 2002, the group announced that they would be taking a "hiatus", during which Timberlake began to record solo material. 'N Sync has not recorded new material since, and Bass has stated that he feels the group has officially disbanded.
In 2007, Bass stated that he had faith Timberlake would return after six months off to record another album with 'N Sync, and that he felt betrayed by Timberlake's 2004 decision to pursue his solo career instead. Bass has also said that he has little hope for a reunion, since Timberlake has "made it clear that he wouldn't be interested in discussing another album any time soon." Despite these statements, Bass has denied that he harbors any ill feelings towards Timberlake, saying,
At that time... it did feel like betrayal. I felt heartbroken. All these emotions went through me. Today, I’m really happy, and Justin and I are really great friends. I don’t hate him at all. And I understand what he was going through, and it was as hard for him as it was for any of us.
Despite heavy marketing towards 'N Sync's teen fans, the film was a commercial failure, grossing only $4.2 million US domestically despite its $10 million US budget. The film, along with Bass's acting, was also poorly received by critics. Bass later said that he felt the film's success was greatly hindered by its release date, which came one week after the World Trade Center attacks of September 11, 2001. In his 2007 autobiography, Bass wrote, "That was it - our film was finished... once the country went to war, there was no way our film was going to be on anyone's top-priority list."
After On The Line, Bass appeared in Zoolander and Wes Craven's Cursed as himself, and played a wedding singer in I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry. Bass has also lent his voice to several animated television programs, such as Robot Chicken and Disney's Kim Possible and Higglytown Heroes. In the video game realm, Bass voiced the Final Fantasy VII character Sephiroth in Kingdom Hearts. On August 14, 2007, Bass began a six-month stint playing Corny Collins in the Broadway musical Hairspray, coinciding with the play's five year stage anniversary. Bass ended his run in Hairspray on January 6, 2008. Lance has also made an appearance in the movie Tropic Thunder
Bass later formed a separate production company named Lance Bass Productions. On May 14, 2007, Brian Graden announced that Lance Bass Productions will be working with the LOGO network in executive producing a reality television show about the music business. It has been reported that the show will focus on the creation and development of an all-gay boy band. In 2008, Bass co-produced The Grand, and Bass's company is reported to be developing a music docudrama about the life of rock bands on tour.
In order to be admitted into training, Bass agreed to undergo heart surgery to correct cardiac arrhythmia, which was discovered in 1999 when he collapsed after a concert. After several months of training, Bass received cosmonaut certification and was scheduled to fly into space on the Soyuz TMA-1 mission that was to be launched on October 30, 2002. The capsule was scheduled to fly to the International Space Station and land in a desert in Kazakhstan.
Several months before Bass was scheduled to fly, the original deal to air the documentary about Bass fell through. Bass's camp turned to MTV, who initially agreed to sponsor the trip but then backed out over "payment, insurance, and indemnification issues". Shortly after, all of Bass's other sponsorships fell through, including one sponsor that pulled out because they worried about the image of their brand possibly being tarnished if Bass were to die on the mission. Bass was eventually rejected from the program, and was replaced on the flight by Russian cosmonauts Yuri Lonchakov, Sergei Zalyotin and Belgium’s Frank De Winne.
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.
Bass' announcement received a large amount of media attention. The American public's reaction was generally positive, with Bass receiving "overwhelming support" from many teenagers and young adults who grew up listening to 'N Sync. However, Bass received criticism from the LGBT community when he referred to himself and his friends as "straight acting" in his People interview, stating, "I call them the SAGs — the straight-acting gays. We're just normal, typical guys. I love to watch football and drink beer." This comment angered some members of the LGBT community, who believed that Bass not only implied that effeminate gay men were not 'normal', but further enforced unneeded stereotypes. In a 2007 interview with The Advocate, Bass called his comment a "mistake" and noted that he was unaware of the negative implications surrounding the term. Bass stated, "Every community is hard to please. Our community is very fickle. It’s a touchy community because it’s the last civil rights movement we have left here in America. So when someone new like myself comes along and says off-the-mark things, yeah, I can see how people would get pissed.”
Bass found himself in the midst of further controversy later that year when he, along with then-boyfriend Lehmkuhl, was awarded the 2006 Human Rights Campaign Visibility Award on October 7, 2006. The Washington Blade printed a guest editorial from a long-time HRC supporter who claimed that neither recipient had done enough to deserve the award and that The Human Rights Campaign was simply capitalizing on Bass' fame to sell tickets. The Human Rights Campaign stood by Bass and defended his award, responding to critics by saying, "Bass is the biggest music star since Melissa Etheridge to come out, and maybe some people think HRC should just ignore these moments of cultural significance, but his declaration did initiate a positive, national conversation that continues today."
After 2005's Hurricane Katrina, Bass launched "uBid For Hurricane Relief", a celebrity auction to benefit victims of the hurricane, with uBid.com. Proceeds from the auction were split between the Child Welfare League of America, The Brett Favre Fourward Mississippi Foundation, and Ashton Kutcher's RockWorks Foundation. Many of Bass's family members in Mississippi were directly affected by the hurricane. That same year, Bass appeared on an episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition, where he wrote a check for $50,000 US and presented it to a Russian woman with Cerebral Palsy who started a camp for disabled Russian children.
Bass is a member of the Environmental Media Association's Board of Directors. He has also been involved with Animal Avengers, Shannon Elizabeth's animal rescue organization, and has two dogs which he adopted from a rescue shelter. In August 2007, Bass wrote a guest commentary for LOGO's "Visible Vote '08" blog, in which he expressed support for gay marriage. In September 2007, Bass participated in a series of GLAAD television advertisements promoting tolerance for the LGBT community. Bass has also been involved in fundraising for the Gay, Lesbian and Straight Education Network.
In his autobiography, Bass documents two gay relationships that predated media speculation; one with a Miami, Florida native named Jesse, with whom Bass lived for two years, and another with an Idaho native named Joe. Bass began dating Amazing Race winner Reichen Lehmkuhl in early 2006, a courtship that garnered tabloid coverage and led to Bass's decision to come out. Bass described his relationship with Lehmkuhl as "very stable", however, the couple split several months later. Shortly after his split with Lehmkuhl, Bass briefly dated Brazilian model and LXTV host Pedro Andrade. From August 2007 to March 2008, Bass dated New York-based hairdresser Ben Thigpen.
In a 2006 interview, Bass stated that he has Attention-Deficit Disorder. Bass's favorite music bands are Aerosmith, The Goo Goo Dolls, and Journey, and his favorite actress is Lucille Ball, whom he grew up watching on I Love Lucy re-runs. He is a self-described "huge Dr. Seuss fan", devoting an entire room in his Jackson, Mississippi estate to Seuss memorabilia. Bass has said that he is a Christian and that he regularly attends church, though he considers himself to be non-denominational. He is the godfather of former bandmate Joey Fatone's daughter, Briahna. Bass and Fatone are best friends.
|2000||7th Heaven||Rick Palmer||Television guest role|
|2001||On The Line||Kevin||Grossed: $4,201,288|
|2002||Kingdom Hearts||Sephiroth||Voice only, video game|
|2004||Kim Possible||Robbie||Voice only, television appearance|
|2004||Higglytown Heroes||Electrician Hero|| Voice only, television appearance |
Credited as James Lance Bass
|2005||Robot Chicken||Himself||Voice only, television appearance|
|2007||I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry||Himself (Band Leader)|
|2008||Tropic Thunder||Himself||Cameo appearance|
Biographical or discographical