The Untold Truth Of LFO

"New Kids On The Block had a bunch of hits," and boy band LFO (short for Lyte Funky Ones) had two off its debut album. The biggest, 1999's "Summer Girls," was a certified platinum smash and is forever ranked as one of the all-time great summer jams thanks to the infectious cheese of its reference-packed lyrics. "And I think it's fly when girls stop by for the summer, for the summer..." Is it stuck in your head yet? This song is genius. Next came the hit "Girl on TV." Remember that one? Jennifer Love Hewitt does (we'll get into that).

Consisting of singer-songwriter Rich Cronin, Devin Lima, and Brad Fischetti, LFO disbanded in 2002 without reaching the same level of boy band success as their contemporaries The Backstreet Boys or 'NSYNC. Maybe it's because they only like girls who wear Abercrombie and Fitch and that alienated potential fan girls who like to wear other things, or maybe it was their disdain for Chinese food. We'll never know. Here's what we do know: Billy Shakespeare wrote a whole bunch of sonnets, and we're going to give you the untold truth of LFO.

The summer of LFO. Thanks, Britney

2000 was the year of LFO. Coming off the massive success of "Summer Girls," the pop trio joined an 18-year old Britney Spears and traversed arenas all over the United States on her Oops!... I Did It Again tour. The tour was an overwhelming success, pulling in more than $40 million and setting LFO up to headline the Nickelodeon All That Music & More Festival.

Hitting 40 cities in three months, LFO, Hoku, B*Witched, and Blaque performed for teen girls everywhere on the Nickelodean tour, but that wasn't exactly Rich Cronin's original vision for the band and its music. "At first, I was like, these kids are going to be too young. I never wanted to be the guy who only had girls come to our shows," he told SFGate. "I want to be like the Beastie Boys. I don't think we fit the stereotype of the boy group." He added, "But whatever it is, we're in it. But I was like, let's do it because it's just going to spread our name out there even more. I don't regret it at all. They were really huge shows."

Jennifer Love Hewitt wasn't a wonderland

Rich Cronin met Jennifer Love Hewitt backstage at the 1999 Blockbuster Entertainment Awards, and the pair started dating soon after. With the I Know What You Did Last Summer star making a came in the band's video for "Girl on TV" (Cronin's ode to Hewitt), the relationship appeared to be going strong, but this love affair ended two years later.

In a 2009 interview with Howard Stern, Cronin accused Hewitt of cheating on him with actor Patrick Wilson. "Things got a little rough at the end. It went from 'I love you' every day to, literally, within a week, 'I hate you, don't ever call me again,'" Cronin told SFGate in 2001. "The last time I talked to her, she said, 'I've got to go. You've hurt me too much. I don't want you to make me upset again. Click.' That was it. I left her a bunch of messages and never heard from her again."

Their manager was a 'really a creepy guy'

Known as "the boy band mogul," Lou Pearlman was a record producer who discovered such legendary boy bands as The Backstreet Boys and 'NSYNC. He then created LFO in an attempt to replicate that success, but according to Rich Cronin's interview with Howard Stern, chart success and helping young men achieve their dreams wasn't Pearlman's motivation. "He wanted to bang everyone. He wanted to bang everyone there ... he's disgusting," Cronin alleged. "He needed you to sing a little bit, but really he just wanted you to be good-looking."

Cronin recalled his audition process with Pearlman: "He goes, 'You could be a star ... take off your shirt' ... then he's like, 'Turn around.'"  Stern asked Cronin if Pearlman attempted to molest him. "Eventually he did ... some other dudes went for it. And if you did, he took care of you. He'd buy 'em cars," Cronin claimed. "I've had to go to therapy ... he's really a creepy guy."

Cronin also said Pearlman sold the publishing rights to the band's songs and despite moving "4 or 5 million records," the members of LFO never became rich. "I should've made, like, at least 2 or 3 million dollars," Cronin said.

Brad Fischetti pickets abortion clinics

Brad Fischetti made headlines in 2012 when Buzzfeed discovered the former boy bander is a staunch pro-life activist who pickets abortion clinics. In a series of now-deleted tweets posted outside an Orlando clinic, Fischetti reportedly identified doctors by name and posted pictures of patients entering and exiting the building. "The abortionist just arrived. Look him up on your phone," one tweet read. Another said, "Bad news. Clinic open & slammed. Nurse told [fellow protester] John Barros 'We can't let them '2nds' (trimester) get away. 2 much $ n them. Please pray."

When reached for comment by E! News, Fischetti called abortion "disgusting" and said he regretted not being more vocal during the height of his fame. "Most times I just pray," he said. "And when I do speak, it's only God's Word and/or letting the girls and guys know that there are other options. That we are here if they need help or to talk or to pray. That we have people ready and waiting and willing to help." He added, "I don't yell. I don't judge. I just offer help if they want it and pray. Pray constantly."

Cancer has taken the lives of two members

Out of the three members of LFO, cancer has claimed the lives of two. On Sept. 8, 2010, singer and songwriter Rich Cronin passed away after suffering a stroke due to complications from acute myelogenous leukemia. He was 35. "Sad sad day that Rich Cronin died – was a [sic] amazing guy," 'NSYNC's Lance Bass tweeted at the time.

Less than a decade later, Devin Lima was diagnosed with stage IV adrenal cancer and underwent surgery to remove a "massive adrenal tumor" in October 2017. He succumbed to the disease and died Nov. 21, 2018. He was 41. "My son has passed away," his mother, Filomena Lima, told Us Weekly. "His fiancée was living with him and let us know that he passed at 2:45 in the morning. He was struggling for 13 months since his cancer diagnosis. The family is not good."

Rich Cronin created a foundation to help others

After his acute myelogenous leukemia (AML) diagnosis in 2005, Rich Cronin created The Rich Cronin Hope for Leukemia Foundation "to help promote awareness about the importance of volunteer bone marrow registry." According to the website, the foundation has "facilitated over 2500 registrations to the Be the Match registry and continues to be a major presence in the cancer care community through its Marrow for Life, Hope Strides, and Hope Sings initiatives."

Under the "Get Involved" section on the site, visitors are urged to get swabbed and join the registry as well as learn how to host a bone marrow drive. "The Foundation is dedicated to the care, compassion and life enrichment of individuals and families impacted by leukemia," the site says. "The crux of its mission is to promote awareness about the disease and the simple ways healthy individuals can potentially save a life." The parting message reads, "May Rich's life be an inspiration to others in their personal battle with AML."