If it weren't for Shaquille O'Neal, a certain American boy band may not have reached pop superstardom in the late 90s and early 2000s. Or at least that's what singer Lance Bass, one of the five guys behind former chart-topping teen pop group *NSYNC, told TMZ Sports this week.

"A lot of people don't know Shaquille had a big hand in starting our career," Bass said. "We lived in Orlando and our first place that we recorded was his house ... so all of our first demos, our first songs were all from Shaq's house!"

Considering the luxurious layout of O'Neal's Orlando mansion, which just recently hit the market with 31,000 square feet and a price tag of $28 million, it's not too surprising *NSYNC found a place to record on Shaq's premises. The two connected, TMZ reported, because O'Neal "knew someone at the label" and had already dabbled in music himself -- while playing for the Orlando Magic in the 1990s, the 15-time NBA All-Star released the first of four rap albums, the platinum-selling "Shaq Diesel."

Bass explained Shaq's involvement only after Google started listing O'Neal as an actual member of the *NSYNC crew, replacing baritone Joey Fatone with the basketball superstar.