Aaron Carter's Life in Photos

Look back on the singer's musical highs and personal struggles

01 of 11

Aaron Carter's Early Years

American singer Aaron Carter, circa 1997.
Tim Roney/Getty Images

Aaron Carter was born on Dec. 7, 1987, along with twin sister Angel, in Tampa, Florida. At the age of 10, he released his self-titled debut album, launching him into fame along with his older brother Nick, a member of the Backstreet Boys.

02 of 11

Aaron Carter's Career Takes Off

Aaron Carter Life in Pictures
Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Carter released his second super-successful album, Aaron's Party, in 2000, following up with stints on Disney Channel and Nickelodeon.

03 of 11

Aaron Carter and the Backstreet Boys

Aaron Carter Life in Pictures - Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell, Nick Carter, Aaron Carter, Alexander James McLean, Howie Dorough on 01.05.1997 in Hawaii
Alamy Stock Photo

Before embarking on his first solo tour in 2000, he opened on tour for the Backstreet Boys (pictured) and even for Britney Spears.

"My mom and dad did a really good job," Carter told PEOPLE of his childhood stardom in 2018. "When I grew up, I had a bodyguard outside my door. I wasn't allowed to party. I wasn't allowed to do anything. As soon as I got, like, 17 years old, 16 years old, I started being very rebellious."

04 of 11

Aaron Carter on Broadway

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The teen's talents extended to the stage, too: he starred as JoJo in Broadway's Seussical The Musical in 2001 (pictured) and 10 years later, in the Off-Broadway production The Fantasticks.

05 of 11

Aaron Carter and Hilary Duff

Aaron Carter Life in Pictures - LIZZIE MCGUIRE, from left: Lalaine, Aaron Carter, Hilary Duff, 'Here Comes Aaron Carter', season 1, ep. 7
Walt Disney Enterprises / Courtesy Everett Collection

Carter's guest appearance on Lizzie McGuire led to a relationship with series star Hilary Duff (he dated starlet Lindsay Lohan at one point, too).

Upon the news of Carter's death on Nov. 5, 2022, Duff wrote on Instagram, "I am deeply sorry that life was so hard and that you had to struggle in front of the whole world. You had a charm that was absolutely effervescent. Boy, did my teenage self love you deeply. Sending love to your family at this time. Rest easy."

06 of 11

Aaron Carter and Nick Carter

Aaron Carter Life in Pictures - Aaron Carter, Nick Carter on 01.06.1997 in Los Angeles
Alamy Stock Photo

Carter and his big brother had their share of ups and downs as youths in the spotlight. In 2019, Nick announced that he and sister Angel had filed for a restraining order against Aaron, saying in a statement that Aaron allegedly harbored "intentions of killing my wife and unborn child."

On Twitter, the younger Carter shot back: "Take care. @NickCarter we're done for life. I haven't seen him in four years. And I don't intend to ... I am astounded at the accusations being made against me, and I do not wish harm to anyone, especially my family."

07 of 11

Aaron Carter's Continued Career — and Personal Struggles

Aaron Carter Life in Pictures - Aaron Carter of the Fantasticks Off-Broadway Show
John Angelillo/UPI/Shutterstock

As he continued releasing music, like 2001's Oh Aaron and 2002's Another Earthquake, Carter also gave a glimpse into his often hectic family life on the brief 2006 E! reality series House of Carters, which featured his parents and other four siblings, Nick, Bobbie Jean, Leslie (who died of an overdose at the age of 25 in 2012) and Angel.

From there, some of his more public troubles began: in 2008, police in Texas pulled Carter over for speeding and arrested him after finding more than two ounces of marijuana in his vehicle.

"Aaron has always thought he was invincible," his father Bob, who died in 2017, once told PEOPLE. "Sometimes it takes a knock in the head to get people back on track. I hope that's what happens here."

08 of 11

Aaron Carter on Dancing with the Stars and the Tough Years to Follow

Adam Larkey/Disney General Entertainment Content via Getty Images

In 2009, Carter showed off his skills, competing on Dancing with the Stars alongside pro Karina Smirnoff and placing fifth.

However by January 2011, Carter's manager, Johnny Wright, announced that the singer had checked into the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, California, "to heal some emotional and spiritual issues he was dealing with." He left one month later, but returned to rehab in 2017 after he "hit a rock bottom personally and emotionally," he told PEOPLE the next year. "I started getting really stressed out about things like my relationship or the expectations people had for me, and then I just stopped eating. That's when I thought 'This is a time for me to really go take some time and do some self-healing.'"

He got back into the studio and in 2018, released his fifth studio album LØVË, bedfore jumping into what would be his final album, 2022's Blacklisted.

On a 2019 episode of The Doctors, he shared more about his mental health: "The official diagnosis is that I suffer from multiple personality disorder, schizophrenia, acute anxiety; I'm manic depressive."

09 of 11

Aaron Carter and Melanie Martin

Aaron Carter Life in Pictures - Melanie Martin (L) and her fiance, singer and producer Aaron Carter, arrive at the "Kings of Hustler" male revue at Larry Flynt's Hustler Club
Gabe Ginsberg/Getty Images

In January 2020, Carter went Instagram official with Melanie Martin.

In June of that year, Carter announced that he and Martin were engaged, posting a photo of a sparkling ring on her left hand.

Though the couple split one week after the birth of their son Prince in November 2021, they reconciled by that December. Then, in February 2022, they called it quits once again.

10 of 11

Aaron Carter and Son Prince

Aaron Carter - Prince
Melanie Martin/Instagram

Carter and Martin welcomed son Prince on Nov. 22, 2021.

The singer opened up to PEOPLE about his excitement over the idea of starting a family back in 2018. "I'm going to be a good father. I know it," he said. "I want lots of kids, lots of stability, lots of happiness and laughter and learning and having fun. It's going to be good."

11 of 11

Aaron Carter Dies

Aaron Carter Life in Pictures - Aaron Carter and Melanie Martin visit 'The Kings Of Hustler Male Revue'
Arlene Richie/Shutterstock

On Saturday morning, Nov. 5, Carter was found dead in his Lancaster, California, home. He was 34.

Police sources told PEOPLE the star was found by a house sitter in his bathtub, and that there were prescription pills and drug paraphernalia in his bedroom.

His family members and other celebrities honored his legacy, with Martin saying she was "completely broken" over his death.

Days later, siblings Nick and Angel launched a donation fund for youth mental health in honor of Aaron, pointing fans to a donation page that will benefit On Our Sleeves, a children's mental health organization helping families across America.

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