A child pop star, father and a complicated legacy: The life of Aaron Carter.

This post deals with drug abuse, sexual assault, miscarriage and violence, and could be triggering for some readers.

Aaron Carter has died age 34. 

He first came to fame in the late 1990s and early 2000s when the singer established himself as a household name thanks to his heartthrob status.

He was the quintessential pin-up, with bubblegum songs like ‘I Want Candy’ flinging him into mainstream fame. His second album, Aaron’s Party (Come Get It), sold three million copies in the United States.

At not even 16 years old, Carter had released four albums.

The singer performed as the opening act for Britney Spears and the Backstreet Boys (of which his brother, Nick Carter, was one) and appeared in Disney show Lizzie McGuire. He also infamously dated Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan – at the same time.

In early 2000s, Aaron Carter was the quintessential pin-up heartthrob. Image: Getty. 


But, as is a well-known narrative for many teenage sensations, his stardom softened as his drug use hardened.

In an interview with American talk-show The Doctors, Carter shared the reality of his drug addiction at 33 years old.

"I started [huffing] when I was about 16. My sister Leslie, who passed away from an overdose, got me into it," Carter recalled. "I didn’t really touch it until I was about 23, right after I did Dancing with the Stars. And I started going to Staples and Office Depot, and different places, buying it with cash so it wouldn’t be reported on receipts or anything like that, so no one could trace me."

"I was huffing because I was really f**king stupid and sad but this is really no excuse," he continued.

"I was huffing because I’m a drug addict."

In 2017, Carter made headlines when he was arrested for driving under the influence and being in possession of drugs.


His brother, Backstreet Boy singer Nick Carter, posted to Twitter following the incident: "To my brother: I love u no matter what & if u feel the need to reach for help, I am here and willing to help you get better... Family isn’t always easy, [but] we’re all here for you."

However, in a public statement, Carter revealed there was family tension, criticising his older brother for his supposed support, saying, "If my own blood truly cared about my well-being, why wouldn’t he call me directly and have a conversation instead of making this about him through a very public forum?"

"That’s not cool at all to use me for his PR and kick me while I am down. I love my family despite it through thick and thin."

In 2017, Carter was arrested for driving under the influence. Image: Getty. 


In September 2017, the singer checked himself into rehab before relapsing and then admitting himself again in October of the same year.

In his recent talk-show appearance, the singer further shared his mental health struggle, listing his conditions.

"The official diagnosis is that I suffer from multiple personality disorder, schizophrenia, acute anxiety; I’m manic depressive," Carter announced. "I’m prescribed to Xanax, Seroquel, gabapentin, hydroxyzine, trazodone, omeprazole."

Carter then went on to hold up a plastic bag containing his plethora of prescription drugs, saying: "This is my reality. Hi. I have nothing to hide."

The singer, who released the song 'Hard To LøVë' in 2018, told the doctors that he was "doing amazing". He claimed he was sober, bar marijuana, and pledged to quit smoking.

"I can say I’ve been through hell and back. And I’m here to stay. I still struggle, but I wake up every morning, I'm creative and I'm starting to get acclimated to my medications. I gained 45 pounds. I manage my career, I negotiate my contracts. That's what it's like for me being sober," he said.



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During the interview, Carter also accused his mother of having issues with alcohol addiction.

"Her drinking [starts at] 5am in the morning [when] she wakes up, she drinks a whole bottle of vodka... I'm the only one that goes down there and visits my mum," he claimed.


Developments, however, had his family members and fans more concerned than ever for his own mental health.

In September 2019, brother Nick and sister Angel released a statement saying they'd taken out a restraining order against their younger brother.

Nick, 41, said the legal move came "in light of Aaron's increasingly alarming behaviour."

The statement read: "After careful consideration, my sister Angel and I regret that we were required to seek a restraining order against our brother Aaron.

"In light of Aaron's increasingly alarming behaviour and his recent confessions that he harbours thoughts and intentions of killing my pregnant wife and unborn child, we were left with no choice but to take every measure possible to protect ourselves and our family.

"We love our brother and truly hope he gets the proper treatment he needs before any harm comes to himself or anyone else."


They added they were particularly scared because Carter legally owned guns and was allowed to keep them. He had been photographed with a large rifle at his home.

Aaron said in one of his tweets that he had been allowed to keep his weapons and had been visited by the police.

Aaron responded to the claims by tweeting: "Take care Nick Carter. We're done for life."

He then went on to claim his sister Leslie, who died from a drug overdose in 2012, aged 25, raped him.

"My sister Leslie suffered from bipolar and took lithium to treat it," Aaron tweeted. "She never liked the way it made her feel and when she was off of it she did things that she never meant to do I truly believe that. I was 10 years old...."


"My sister raped me from the age of 10 to 13 years old when she wasn't on her medications," he continued.


In a final tweet, Aaron said it's his brother's turn "to tell the truth".

In 2020, Carter revealed he was in a new relationship with his girlfriend Melanie Martin. Within just three months, he announced their engagement.

Aaron Carter and Melanie Martin. Image: Instagram @missmelaniemartin. 


To show his commitment to Martin, the singer added a tattoo of her first name above his right eyebrow.

It was not his first face tattoo. Just two days after his siblings filed the restraining orders against him, Carter debuted a large facial tattoo, which is said to have been inspired by a photograph of singer Rihanna.

"I'M THE BIGGEST THING IN MUSIC RIGHT NOW. I CAN'T BE DENIED. FACT CHECK ME," Carter wrote, while sharing photos of the new tattoo.

The pair revealed in 2020 that Martin had suffered a miscarriage just a few months into their relationship. 

"She suffered a miscarriage due to stress conditions," Carter said in a clip shared to Instagram on June 8, 2020. "We’re gonna give it some time, let her heal and then we’re going to try again. We both want that. I gotta take care of her."


Over a year later, Carter would share some happy news - the news of a baby boy. 

"This is what we both want," the musician said after going public with Martin's pregnancy. "We both were trying for it. I’m just focused on the future and being a dad. I want to be a good dad. I’m focused, my music career has been doing really well, and touring, having my clothing line out, all that stuff I have going for me that isn’t necessarily just music. Family is most important to me."

In November 2021, Carter announced Martin had given birth to son Prince after an emergency c-section. "Prince is precious, I love you, son. Your mommy loves you as I drop tears on the phone. This is me cutting his umbilical cord. My precious family."


But in late November, there was a concerning development in Carter’s story. Carter announced via Twitter he and Martin split "due to personal reasons".

In the Twitter posts, Carter continuously alluded to a "very big lie" breaking the couple up, suggesting it had something to do with Martin and Carter’s estranged sister Angel. 

In a later post, he allegedly wrote: "My sister communicating w[ith] my ex-fiancée ruined everything. Thanks Angel you ruined my family. God bless.”


Carter went on to say that as a "single father", his heart was broken given Martin allegedly moved to Vegas with Prince and a friend. 

"I can't even shed a tear. I’m in utter shock. I don’t have a family now. I was deceived and lied too [sic]. I can’t believe she betrayed [me] this way. There's more to the story then [sic] meets the eye," he finished the post.


In December 2021, he took to social media to share an unsettling claim that he was "trapped" in his bedroom due to Martin. 

"I’m literally trapped inside my own bedroom because my ex will not leave my house,” he allegedly wrote via social media, as reported by The New York Post.

In September of this year, Carter announced he had checked himself into rehab in order to regain custody of his 10-month-old son and had been voluntarily attending an outpatient rehab program. 

"I want my son back. That's the headline right there, I want my son back. Being a dad is the most important thing to me. Just being domesticated and civilised and adulting and taking care of my responsibilities," the singer shared.

At the time, Carter stated that Melanie had custody of their son following a court order due to drug and domestic violence claims.

"The main reason why I enrolled into Lionrock Recovery outpatient is to help with the weed. I don't want to smoke weed anymore. I don't really need to," he told The Sun.


He later explained he had been involved in "group therapy, parenting classes, domestic violence classes, I got myself certified in CPR, just a lot of different things." 

But in November 2022, the singer and actor was found dead. 

"It is with great regret to confirm Aaron Carter was found unresponsive this a.m. in his home in Palmdale, CA," Page Six reported. "The family has been notified and will be flying out to Los Angeles. Aaron worked very hard towards the end of his life in recovery, to be a good father and to make amends with his family."

TMZ later reported Carter was found dead in his bath at his home and that Los Angeles County police arrived at his home after receiving a report of drowning.

While an official cause of death is not yet known, Carter leaves behind his son and a long line of grieving fans and loved ones.

Carter's representatives at Roger Paul Inc told Sky News: "We are extremely saddened and shocked to confirm the passing of Aaron Carter today.

"At the moment his cause of death is being investigated.

"We ask that you give the family time and they will have more information when available.

"We cannot express the outpouring of love coming in."

Following his death, Martin uploaded a two-second video of herself crying.


Martin earlier released a statement to TMZ: "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."

Carter's older brother, Backstreet Boy member Nick Carter, also shared a tribute to his sibling on social media.

"My heart is broken. Even though my brother and I have had a complicated relationship, my love for him has never ever faded," he said.


"Sometimes we want to blame someone or something for a loss, but the truth is that addiction and mental illness are the real villains here. I will miss my brother more than anyone will ever know. I love you baby brother."

If you think you may be experiencing depression or another mental health problem, please contact your general practitioner. If you're based in Australia, 24-hour support is available through Lifeline on 13 11 14 or beyondblue on 1300 22 4636.

If this post brought up any issues for you, you can contact Drug Aware, Australia's 24hr alcohol and drug support line. You can reach them on (08) 9442 5000 or 1800 198 024.

If this has raised any issues for you or if you would like to speak with someone, please contact the Sands Australia 24-hour support line on 1300 072 637.  

If this post brings up any issues for you, you can contact Bravehearts (an organisation providing support to victims of child abuse)    here. If you are concerned about the welfare of a child you can get advice from the Child Abuse Protection Hotline by calling 1800 688 009, or visiting this   website. You can also call the 24- hour Child Abuse Report Line (131 478).

This article was originally published on October 9, 2019 and has since been published with new information.

Feature Image: Instagram @aaroncarter / Getty.