Aaron Carter, singer and onetime teenage sensation, dies at 34
By Melina Delkic and Mckenna Oxenden
CALIFORNIA – Aaron Carter, a singer and actor who briefly became a teenage sensation in the early 2000s and who was known for the hit song ‘I Want Candy’, was found dead Saturday (5) at his home in Southern California. He was 34.
Taylor Helgeson, a representative for Big Umbrella, an entertainment management company, confirmed Carter’s death but declined to comment on the cause.
The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department responded to a call at Carter’s home, in Lancaster, California, on Saturday and found a person dead at the residence, according to Deputy Alejandra Parra, a spokesperson for the Sheriff’s Department. Officials said they could not yet confirm that it was Carter.
Carter, who released his first album at age 9 and the popular album ‘Aaron’s Party (Come Get It)’ at age 12, became a fixture of teenage programming and magazines and made appearances on shows such as ‘Lizzie McGuire’.
‘Aaron’s Party’ peaked at No. 4 on the Billboard 200 list, selling about 3 million copies. He released five studio albums and was a contestant on the show ‘Dancing With the Stars’.
His career later stalled, and in recent years, he had been embroiled in legal trouble and shared his struggles with addiction. In 2018, he released his first album in about 15 years, ‘Love’, to lukewarm reviews.
Carter, who was described in The New York Times as a tween heartthrob’, first began performing at age 7, singing lead for the band Dead End for two years, according to an online biography.
At 9, he was opening for the Backstreet Boys in Berlin for his first solo appearance. (His older brother, Nick, was a member of the band.)
The performance led to a record contract and then the release of his first single, ‘Crush on You’. He also opened for Britney Spears.
Carter was also an actor, guest-starring in shows such as ‘Sabrina the Teenage Witch’ and ‘7th Heaven’. He also performed on Broadway, appearing in ‘Seussical’, the Dr. Seuss-themed musical, and ‘The Fantasticks’, the world’s longest-running musical.
On his sophomore album, Carter also released the song ‘That’s How I Beat Shaq’, with a music video featuring former basketball star Shaquille O’Neal, who has said that Carter once beat him in a game of HORSE and later asked if he could make a song about it.
In 2019, Carter’s brother, Nick, and 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.”
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! News, saying he needed to put his “health first”.
Carter has been open over the years about his mental health struggles. He told People magazine in 2018 that he felt he had “hit a rock bottom personally and emotionally,” and that he had sought treatment at a wellness facility.
Carter, who appeared on the Nov. 2 episode of the ‘No Jumper’ podcast, said he was focusing on selling real estate and that he had been ‘Cali sober’ for five years, although he said that he occasionally smoked marijuana and had been prescribed anti-anxiety medication. (‘Cali sober’, short for ‘California sober’, is loosely taken to mean avoiding addictive substances with the exception of marijuana and alcohol.)
Adam Grandmaison, host of the podcast on YouTube, said a close friend of Carter’s told him about his death.
“I just interviewed him a couple weeks ago and it was pretty clear he wasn’t in a great place,” Gandmaison wrote on Twitter. “He was a good guy despite all the demons he was battling. I’m sad to see him go.”
Throughout the interview, Carter said he considered himself a rapper, a singer, a producer, an artiste and an actor, and that he was especially proud of his most recent album. He also said he hoped to make a new one soon.
“I cover all bases,” he said. “It means so much more to me than the stuff I did growing up because I wrote and produced it all.”
Carter said he was “never going to give up” on making music and that despite the turbulence, he had enjoyed his career. He also vowed to regain custody of his son, who Page Six reported was temporarily placed in the care of Carter’s fiancée’s mother amid domestic violence and drug use concerns.
“I’m about to be 35 years old,” Carter said. “I’m a grown man and it’s time to start behaving that way and doing the right thing and focusing on myself, my career, my kid and my family.”
-New York Times