Singer, reality star found dead at 34 in home

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Singer Aaron Carter, who began performing as a child and had hit albums starting in his teen years, was found dead Saturday at his home in Southern California. He was 34.

Representatives for Carter’s family confirmed the singer’s death to The Associated Press. They did not provide any immediate further comment.

Carter, the younger brother of Nick Carter of the Backstreet Boys, performed as an opening act for Britney Spears as well as his brother’s boy band, and appeared on the family’s reality series “House of Carters” that aired on E! Entertainment Television. In 2009, he competed on 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 home in Lancaster, said Deputy Alejandra Parra with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.

Parra said the deputies found a deceased person at the residence, but she could not immediately confirm it was Carter.

Carter’s fiancée, Melanie Martin, mother of his young son, asked for privacy as the family grieves.

“We are still in the process of accepting this unfortunate reality,” Martin said in a statement Saturday. “Your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated.”

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Just out of reach of his fans, 14-year-old pop star Aaron Carter sings to the crowd at the Gaylord Entertainment Center in Nashville on March 10, 2002.

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Celebrities shared their remembrances as word of Carter’s death spread.

“For Aaron – I’m deeply sorry that life was so hard 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 both were young teens. “You had a charm that was absolutely effervescent … boy did my teenage self love you deeply.”

“We are shocked and saddened about the sudden passing of Aaron Carter,” New Kids on the Block tweeted from the group’s official account. “Sending prayers to the Carter family.”

Fame at a young age is often more a curse than a blessing and Surviving it is not easy,” songwriter Diane Warren tweeted with a broken heart 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 reached triple-platinum status with his sophomore album, 2000’s “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It),” which produced hit singles including the title song and “I Want Candy.” His videos received regular airplay on Disney and Nickelodeon.

Carter earned acting credits on TV shows including “Lizzie McGuire.” He starred alongside his brother, Nick, and their siblings B.J., Aaron, Leslie and Angel Carter on “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.

Nick (left) and Aaron Carter at the 2006 MTV Movie Awards in Culver City, California.

Over the years, Carter struggled with substance abuse issues, entering rehab in 2017 following a DUI and an arrest for drug possession. 

“I will be disappearing for a while to work on myself,” he wrote at the time. “Going to get strong. And work on my stress conditions and get better.”

In 2019, he apologetically canceled a string of tour dates, saying he was prioritizing his well-being.

“I have to put my health first and I hope you can all understand how much I need this time to heal and recharge my batteries,” he wrote. “This is what I need to do to have some peace.”

A day later in 2019, Nick filed a restraining order against his brother. “We were left with no choice but to take every measure possible to protect ourselves,” Nick tweeted. “We love our brother and truly hope he gets the proper treatment he needs before any harm comes to himself or anyone else.”

In September 2022, Aaron Carter revealed he had voluntarily entered rehab in hope of regaining custody of his baby son, Prince

Contributing: Andrea Mandell, Maeve McDermott and Kim Willis, USA TODAY, and The Associated Press

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