The band was managed by Lou Pearlman and Lynn Harless (mother of Justin Timberlake). The original members were Danay Ferrer, Britney Spears, Mandy Ashford, Nikki DeLoach, and Amanda Latona. The group was formed in 1997. Their name was suggested by Pearlman and Harless. The band decided to misspell the name so they wouldn't sound like "innocent little four-year-olds. " Their inspirations were bands such as NSYNC and Backstreet Boys. Ashford was a member of the Attache show choir, along with high-school friend Lance Bass, with whom she also shared a vocal coach. Bass recommended Ashford to Pearlman, and she was selected to join the band. Later that same year, Spears decided to go solo and was later replaced by Veronica Finn.