On Saturday morning, Aaron Carter was found dead at his home in Lancaster, California. He was just 34 years old.
Reportedly, Cater’s house sitter discovered him. They called the authorities and reported what they believed to be an accidental drowning. However, the cause of death has not yet been released.
Our deepest sympathies go out to his friends, family, and fans.
Carter’s Legacy as a Tween Singing Sensation
For those unfamiliar with his career, Carter began performing at the age of 7. He released his first album by the age of 9.
With the support and star power of his older brother, Nick Carter of The Backstreet Boys, Aaron became an overnight tween sensation. Instantly adored for his all-American appeal and dance-friendly, fun-loving tracks, he famously opened for The Backstreet Boys before he turned 10. Carter also opened for Britney Spears.
By 12, Carter had made a real name for himself. Making early 2000’s pop history, he released “Aaron’s Party,” which rose to number 4 on the Billboard Hot 200 and sold three million copies. His one and only smash hit from the record was “I want candy,” but the tween pop moment is fondly remembered as an important piece of pop culture.
For a brightly burning moment, his future in music looked promising. With legions of young fans in his corner, Carter became one of the youngest singers ever to achieve mainstream success and global recognition. But growing up in the spotlight wasn’t easy. As many child stars discover, mega fame at such an early age can become a career-stalling burden with age.
The Price of Childhood Mega-Fame
While in his teens, his dating life also became more of a public spectacle than his music. Carter had highly publicized romances with other teen stars of the moment, namely Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan. In a heartfelt post following his sudden death, Duff described her former flame as “effervescent,” charismatic, and someone she “deeply loved” in her teenage years.
Fans, friends, and influencers have also taken to social media to share their sadness, sympathies, and thoughts on his life. Regarding the rise and fall of his career, many had pointed out that Carter was treated as a “meal ticket” by those closest to him, noting how his ability to make millions in the music industry was shamelessly prioritized over his well being, especially by those pulling the strings when he was still a child.
Carter tried various times to make a comeback, including a stint on Dancing With The Stars in 2009. But personal turmoil continued to get in his way. Obstacles aside, he never stopped making and releasing music.
Following his early success, Carter would go on to release five albums. However, he could not maintain the level of superstardom he achieved in the greenest years of his pop career. Sadly, the young star’s talent was overshadowed by his ongoing struggles with addiction, his troubled family life, and ongoing legal battles.
The Late Singer’s Struggles Took Center Stage
In a statement released over the weekend, Nick Carter said, “Even though my brother and I have had a complicated relationship, my love for him has never ever faded,” adding, “Addiction and mental illness is the real villain here. I will miss my brother more than anyone will ever know.”
As The New York Times noted, “Mr. Carter’s brother, Nick, and twin sister, Angel, said they had filed for a restraining order against him. In a statement at the time, Nick Carter said his brother had confessed to having violent thoughts about his wife, and that family members ‘were left with no choice but to take away every measure possible to protect ourselves and our family.'”
The alleged incident took place in 2019, but Carter publicly denied it. After a lengthy hiatus, Carter was gearing up for a comeback that same year. Following his brother’s allegations, he canceled his tour to focus on his health.
In an interview shortly before his death, Carter stated that he’d “never give up” on music, publicly vowing to “do the right thing” for the sake of his career, his son, his family, and his future wife.
Honoring Aaron Carter’s Memory
Over the weekend, The Backstreet Boys paid tribute to Aaron during a performance in London. Kevin Richardson told the audience they had “heavy hearts” after “losing a family member.” Those closest to him continue expressing their grief, shock, and unconditional love.
In a statement to TMZ, his fiance Melanie Martin said, “My fiancé Aaron Carter has passed away. I love Aaron with all my heart, and it’s going to be a journey to raise a son without a father. Please respect the privacy of my family as we come to terms with the loss of someone we love greatly. We are still in the process of accepting this unfortunate reality. Your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated.”