Aaron Charles Carter, the American singer-rapper who delivered hit albums in his teen years, was found dead on Saturday at his home in Lancaster, California. He was 34.
He rose to fame as a teen pop singer in the late 1990s, establishing himself as a star among preteen and teenage audiences during the initial years of the 21st century.
Several entertainment outlets and media houses reported that Aaron, the younger brother of Backstreet Boys band member Nick Carter, was found dead in his bathtub.
Taylor Helgeson, a representative for Big Umbrella, an entertainment management company, confirmed Carter’s death but declined to comment on the cause.
Aaron began performing at the age of seven, singing lead for the band Dead End for two years. At nine, the American star opened for the Backstreet Boys in Berlin, singing a cover of The Jets' 'Crush on You.'
By 13, he had three bestselling albums and a slot supporting Britney Spears on tour during the height of her fame.
In 2001, Carter transitioned into acting, making an appearance as himself on Lizzie McGuire.
The New York Times described him as a "tween heartthrob."
"I’m deeply sorry that life was so hard for you and that you had to struggle in front of the whole world," Hilary wrote on Instagram after the news of his death. "You had a charm that was absolutely effervescent. Boy did my teenage self love you deeply."
In a social media post, Nick said he had had a "complicated relationship" with Aaron but his love for him had "never ever faded". He wrote: "I will miss my brother more than anyone will ever know."
Nick's band also dedicated a song to the younger Carter during a concert in London on Sunday evening.
Aaron Carter's popular album 'Aaron’s Party (Come Get It)' peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 list, selling about 3 million copies. The album included the hit singles, 'I Want Candy', 'Aaron's Party (Come Get It)', 'That's How I Beat Shaq', and 'Bounce', all of which got broadcasted on Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.
Aaron’s two more albums - 'Oh Aaron' and 'Another Earthquake!' - hit the stores in 2001 and 2002 respectively.
He released his single 'Fool's Gold' in 2016 before releasing his 'Love' album in 2018.
Aaron was also a contestant on the show Dancing With the Stars in 2009 and finished in fifth place with his partner Karina Smirnoff. He even appeared on the Broadway musical Seussical, as well as the off-Broadway musical The Fantasticks, and made several one-off performances.
Like many poster kids of his generation, Aaron’s career came with a dark side: he struggled with substance abuse and mental health.
In 2012, his sister Leslie Carter died after falling in the shower at the age of 25. Authorities said she had suffered an overdose of prescription medication. Aaron once said he felt his family partly blamed him for her death.
In 2017, Aaron opened up about his substance abuse on an episode of The Doctors. He was in rehab that same year after he was arrested on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs.
He checked himself in for treatment on a few occasions in an effort to regain custody of his son Prince, who he had with his fiance Melanie Martin. At the time, Prince was under the court-ordered care of Martin's mother.
In 2019, Aaron said on another episode of The Doctors that he was taking medication for acute anxiety, manic depression and multiple personality disorder.
That same year, Nick and Angel, Aaron's twin sister, said they had filed 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."
Aaron Carter at the time denied the allegations. The news of the restraining order came one day after he cancelled his 2019 tour, according to E!, saying he needed to put his "health first."
"Fame at a young age is often more a curse than a blessing and surviving it is not easy," said hit songwriter Diane Warren.
Aaron is survived by his son Prince, and fiancé, Melanie Martin.
(If you are having suicidal thoughts, or are worried about a friend or need emotional support, someone is always there to listen. Call Sneha Foundation - 04424640050 (available 24x7) or iCall, the Tata Institute of Social Sciences' helpline - 02225521111, which is available Monday to Saturday from 8 am to 10 pm.)