You know…

It was just in last month’s issue, talking about Walker Campbell, saying…and I quote…

“If there is one thing that I have learned over the years of listening to all kinds of music from every corner of the globe, it’s this…teen pop will never ever leave us!”

Well…it’s only a couple of weeks later, and I can truly say that a true member of the teen pop legends…has left us.

At the young age of 34 years old, a tragic phone call went out to police from a housekeeper just a few weeks ago to inform them that her employer was unresponsive at his Lancaster, California home. And that man…who has been through sooooo very much and has been around for so very long…was rapper/pop star, Aaron Carter.

Now, it was obvious that Aaron has had some rather intense issues over the years, and despite his many sincere efforts to struggle his way through them all…overworking yourself to that degree while still trying to deal with the many pressures, peaks, and valleys, of life itself will eventually take its toll. And it kinda sucks to say that it eventually consumed him. Which is a loss for all of us. You have no idea how much of a debt teen pop in general owes to Aaron Carter. He was Justin Bieber way before Justin Bieber. And the whole genre and attitude of music wouldn’t be what it was then, or even now, if it weren’t for his influence. So we definitely have that to thank him for.

The younger brother of Nick Carter from the Backstreet Boys, who were already insanely popular overseas and were now bringing their music back home to the US…Aaron Carter started his career by simply appearing on stage with his famous sibling and his boyband mates, simply dancing around and hyping up the screaming fans when he was only seven years old. Hehehe, I still remember those videos of him doing backflips and cartwheels and having the girls go so WILD for him back then. He had so much charisma and onstage presence, in fact, that the studio decided to have him cover a couple of older songs himself as well as a few originals. And by the time he was nine…he was already releasing his first album and opening up for the Backstreet Boys in many venues around the world.

I believe the first song I ever heard from him was a cover of the Osmond’s, “One Bad Apple” (Or…maybe it was “Please Don’t Go Girl”), but I still have that CD on my shelf to this day! Hehehe! It was like, who is this blond floppy haired preteen dancing around like that? It was so adorable! Give me that over a teddy bear, any day! And then, of course…he began to grow up. And every month or so, you’d see a new picture of him and it was like, “Awwww!” And then, “Umm…whoah!” And then it was like, “WOW!” And by the time he got to his teenage years, other boys and girls alike were starting to feel a little hot and bothered when it came to Aaron Carter! Hehehe!

YES! I was one of those closeted teenagers who started to feel my heart race and began fidgeting whenever he entered my mind! I had a CRUSH, ok? A serious one! I was coming out of my Eddie Furlong, Brad Renfro, Taylor Hanson phase…and Aaron instantly slid right into my heart where he was needed most! So sue me!

Then…there was a day when I was working in downtown Chicago…and signs were up saying that Aaron Carter was signing autographs at a nearby department store on State Street. I was only on my lunch break, but I wanted to just go in and see if maybe I could catch a glimpse of him from a distance. Well…I did. And let me tell you something…no matter what pictures you’ve ever seen of Aaron Carter in the magazines or interviews on TV…not a single one of them could ever do him justice. Not one. That boy…was fucking GORGEOUS!!! Like…I was actually impressed and surprised by what I was looking at. And it’s not like I hadn’t seen him before. But…yeah, he was a literal angel here on Earth. Words can’t describe it. And I immediately felt like…

…Oh yeah…now I get it.

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Hehehe, a much younger ‘Comicality’ and Aaron Carter in the same room? Can you imagine! ::Giggles::

I kept watching him grow. Getting more and more famous along the way. It reached a point where he was even outselling his older brother, Nick, and had made quite the name for himself on his own. He also did some acting, both on the big screen and on TV. The Disney Channel and Nickelodeon knew star power when they saw it…and they were basically playing tug of war with him at that point. He even had a bit of love triangle with a few upcoming starlets at that time, Lindsey Lohan and Hillary Duff…which kind of turned nasty at one point as they fought over him. (Allegedly. With Hillary Duff’s song, “Stranger”, and Lohan’s “Rumors”, supposedly written about them both having secret affairs with him at the same time. Ahem…but, like I said…’allegedly’.)

Life was a constant thrill for Aaron Carter. World tours, acting gigs, pretty girls, screaming fans…he was even friends with Michael Jackson at some point, where there’s video of MJ smashing cake in his face and laughing on his birthday. Life was about as good as it could get.

But, unfortunately…what goes up, must come down.

As he grew older and the spotlight shifted towards other, younger, popstars who had basically built their careers (or had it built for them) based on his blueprint…Aaron began to fade into the background. Money issues were now being discussed. And those royalties and all were way overdue for a serious talk. He really did sacrifice a major part of his life for the industry, and they were about as thankless and disrespectful as you imagine they would be. Everybody is just another cog in the machine to them, and I think he deserved better, to be honest.

Even being at odds with his own parents and family at many points during the fallout from excessive fame at such a young age, Aaron kept his head up, and continued to battle his demons up until the very end. In an interview when he was barely eleven years old, Aaron said, “Having fans come up to me and ask me for autographs…it’s ok. But when they start jumping at you, grabbing your Tshirt, and…pulling your hair and taking bookbags, it gets a little out of hand.” And living that life for so long, I think, just became a heavy weight for him to carry. Even heavier when it felt like it was slipping away. All because he became insanely popular for following his passion for music and just doing what he wanted to do. It’s so sad.

Suffering with multiple personality disorders, schizophrenia, high anxiety, an unhealthy eating disorder and off and on drug addiction, Aaron had dropped his body weight down to only 115 pounds. Tattoos began to appear more and more frequently, even on his face. Fights with his family got even worse after the loss of his father and older sister, Leslie, to the point where even big brother Nick was encouraged to file a restraining order to keep himself and his family safe…he still had a strong foundation of love and support surrounding him at all times. They all just wanted to help him find his way out of a very dark place…and it seemed like it was working. Aaron got himself some much needed help, and even admitted to being bisexual at one point, claiming that his first sexual experience to a man on tour when he was only 15 or 16 years old.

Hold on…let me just…’think’ about that for a moment. Sighhhh…ok. Sorry. I’ve gotta focus! 😛

And now…here we are. Forced to say goodbye. The people closest to him have never had a bad word to say about him. They all agree that he was a tender and gentle soul, and they will miss him greatly. He was clean, working on new music, and he leaves behind his fiancee, Melanie Martin…as well as an eleven month old son. A son that he named ‘Prince’.

His housekeeper found him in the bathtub, but so far all forms of foul play have been ruled out. And they don’t think that it was a suicide. Merely a case of falling asleep in the tub while being medicated. And, unfortunately…that’s where the proclaimed prince of pop’s story ends. I wish I had more to say, but to be honest…Aaron Carter’s life said what it needed to while he was here. And I can respect that.

Aaron’s final album, “Blacklisted”, was still in the working stages, and was supposed to be released on his birthday next month, December 7th. But it has now been released early…just two days after his passing. If you can find it anywhere, pick it up. It’s only been a week…and I kinda miss him already.

I hope that you found peace at last, dude. Rest easy. And just know that your light and youthful exuberance will keep on shining for a long time to come. It’s the goal of every artist, me included, to be able to create something special that will ultimately outlive us. You achieved that. So kudos to a job well done. ::Salutes::

The saddest thing is…when asked what he was most afraid of during a television interview a couple of years back…he replied, “My greatest fear? I don’t even know how to answer that question.” He says, and then adds, “Not being able to live for as long as I can.” 🙁

There are people who have lived three times as long…but only half as great. So don’t you worry. You did it, kid. You really did.

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Thank you so much for years and years of sharing your talent with us, Aaron. I mean that. You gave us your all and you inspired more boys to go out there and give it a shot themselves. They’ll never know how much they owe to your rocketship to fame from the sacrifices you made. I only wish that things could have turned out better for you in the end my friend. My condolences to Aaron’s brother Nick, The Backstreet Boys, his friends, his family, and his many many fans, all around the world. It was great while it lasted…and thanks singing for us…one last time. We’ll miss you, cutie pie.

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