PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – APRIL 10: Aaron Carter is seen arriving to the Celebrity Boxing Face Off between Lamar Odom & Aaron Carter on April 10, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Gilbert Carrasquillo/WireImage)

Aaron Carter, the younger brother of Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys, was found dead in his home in Southern California over the weekend. Carter’s family confirmed the reports in an official statement but further details – such as cause – have yet to be made public. According to TMZ, Carter’s body was found in the bathtub of his Palmdale residence.

Aaron and Nick Carter at The Teen Choice Awards 2001. (Photo by Frank Trapper/Corbis via Getty Images)

Carter is survived by his partner, Melanie Martin and their 11 month old son Prince. After news of his death broke, Carter’s older older brother Nick took to Instagram to express the grief the family felt. In his post, he states “My heart is broken. Even though my brother and I have had a complicated relationship, my love for him has never ever faded. I have always held on to the hope that he would somehow, someday want to walk a healthy path and eventually find the help that he so desperately needed.”


Despite the fame of his older brother, Carter a huge star in his own right as one of – if not biggest – child stars of the early ’00s. Making appearances in the shows that would become the most memorable entertainment of the Millennial generation – Lizzie McGuire alongside Hilary Duff; appearing on Nickelodeon comedy show All That and also creating much of the soundtrack for the iconic Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius. He was also infamous for being involved in what was, for many of us who grew up in this era, our first scandal: a love triangle with Hilary Duff and Lindsay Lohan.

But, as with many of the his peers who came of age during a time where teen stars were being churned out and through at an alarming rate, Carter’s success became overshadowed by drama and controversy behind the scenes. From an exploitative manager (the late Lou Pearlman, who was also responsible for his brother’s group Backstreet Boys who was prisoned for conspiracy and money laundering and stole hundreds of thousands from his clients) to later accusations of sexual molestation made against his sister, Carter became emblematic of the darkness that seemed to exist within the Hollywood machine particularly the way it dealt with teenagers – children, really.

A representative stated that “Aaron worked very hard towards the end of his life in recovery, to be a good father and to make amends with his family.”

Fellow child stars have also spoken of their sadness at Carter’s passing. Former partner and Lizzie McGuire co-star Hilary Duff wrote “I’m deeply sorry that life was so hard for you and that you had to struggle in-front of the whole world.”