My maternal grandfather, James Robson Featherstone (1915–1995), was born in Wallsend, England, and emigrated to America when he was thirteen years old. A talented singer, he rose to prominence during the big band era in Chicago in the early 1940s. He lived his life among the rich and famous, cut many records, played poker with the Three Stooges, and along the way, lost his professed faith, his family, his fame, and his money. Jimmy Featherstone’s wife, my grandmother, who was also involved in entertainment in the 1940s, brought my mother into modeling when she was young. Coming from such a background, it was natural for my mother to see how I might do in entertainment, culminating in my short time as one of the first Backstreet Boys and my declining Lou Pearlman’s offer to be one of the first members of what became NSYNC.
Although I only caught a glimpse of the entertainment industry, it was enough to help me appreciate all that people must do to be successful in that world and, what’s more, to give me a deep sorrow and distaste for much of it. Through my experience in entertainment, God has heightened my sensitivity as I have attempted to lead my family in how we view and enjoy all types of entertainment: from TV shows to movies, from operas to music, from books to Broadway musicals, from bedtime stories to board games.