Singer Aaron Carter, who started performing as a child and released albums from his teenage years, was found dead Saturday at his home in Southern California. He was 34 years old.
Carter family representatives confirmed the singer’s death to The Associated Press. They provided no immediate further comment.
Carter, the younger brother of Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter, has opened for Britney Spears and her brother’s boy band, and appeared on the family reality series “House of Carters” on E! Entertainment television. In 2009, he participated in season 9 of “Dancing With the Stars”, finishing fifth with his professional partner Karina Smirnoff.
Deputies responded around 11 a.m. following reports of a medical emergency at the Lancaster home, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Deputy Alejandra Parra said.
Parra said deputies found a deceased person at the residence, but she could not immediately confirm that it was Carter.
Carter’s fiancée, Melanie Martin, mother of his young son, asked for privacy as the family mourned.
“We are still coming to terms with this sad reality,” Martin said in a statement Saturday. “Your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated.”
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Celebrities shared their memories as news of Carter’s death spread.
“To Aaron, I am deeply sorry that life has been so difficult for you and that you had to struggle in front of the whole world,” Hilary Duff wrote on Instagram. The ‘Lizzie McGuire’ star dated Carter when they were both teenagers. “You had a charm that was absolutely effervescent… boy, did my teenager love you dearly.”
“We are shocked and saddened about the sudden passing of Aaron Carter,” New Kids on the Block tweeted from the band’s official account. “Sending prayers to the Carter family.”
“Fame at a young age is often more of a curse than a blessing and surviving it ain’t easy,” songwriter Diane Warren tweeted with a heartbroken emoji. “RIP Aaron Carter.”
Aaron Carter shared a bill with the Backstreet Boys tour in 1997 – the same year his self-titled debut album went gold. He achieved triple platinum status with his second album, “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It)” in 2000, which produced hit singles including the title track and “I Want Candy.” His videos have been shown regularly on Disney and Nickelodeon.
Carter earned acting credits in TV shows such as “Lizzie McGuire.” He starred alongside his brother, Nick, and their siblings BJ, Aaron, Leslie, and Angel Carter in “House of Carters” in 2006.
He made his Broadway debut in 2001 as JoJo in “Who in Seussical the Musical” and was featured on the Food Network cooking show “Rachel vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off” in 2012.
Carter’s fifth and final studio album, “LOVE”, was released in 2018.
Over the years, Carter has struggled with substance abuse issues, entering rehab in 2017 following a DUI and an arrest for drug possession.
“I’m going to disappear for a while to work on myself,” he wrote at the time. “I’m going to get strong. And work on my stress conditions and get better.”
In 2019, he apologetically canceled a series of tour dates, saying he was prioritizing his well-being.
“I have to put my health first and I hope you all understand how much I need this time to heal and recharge my batteries,” he wrote. “That’s what I have to do to have some peace.”
A day later in 2019, Nick filed a restraining order against his brother. “We had no choice but to take every measure possible to protect ourselves,” Nick tweeted. “We love our brother and sincerely hope he gets the proper treatment he needs before any harm happens to him or someone else.”
In September 2022, Aaron Carter revealed that he voluntarily entered rehab in hopes of regaining custody of his baby son, Prince.
Contributors: Andrea Mandell, Maeve McDermott and Kim Willis, USA TODAY and The Associated Press
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