Teenage superstar Aaron Carter, younger brother of Backstreet Boy Nick Carter, made a name for himself with the success of his multiplatinum-selling album Aaron’s Party and two popular United States tours. Carter’s third album, Oh Aaron, released on Jive Records in 2001, features collaborations with his famous brother. Carter’s talents extended beyond recorded music to the Broadway stage in the spring of 2001 with a role in Seussical.
Born Aaron Charles Carter, he and fraternal twin sister Angel were born on December 7, 1987, at Tampa General Hospital in Florida. For the first ten years of his life, Carter and his siblings lived in the Tampa Bay area, residing in both Tampa and Ruskin. The Carter family had moved to Florida from Jamestown, New York, the birthplace of oldest sister Bobbie Jean and brother Nick. When parents Bob and Jane first moved to the Tampa area, they worked together at the Garden Villa Retirement Home, and it was there that Carter’s sister Leslie was born, two years before the arrival of the twins.
Carter’s love of singing and dancing surfaced early. By the age of two, he was already singing to his favorite songs from the radio and making up his own dance routines to go with the tunes. Older brother Nick, already bitten by the performing bug, was delighted to finally have a younger brother, and he soon was questioning Aaron about whether he was interested in singing too. Carter credits his older brother with getting him on the track to becoming an entertainer. “If Nick wasn’t a singer, then I wouldn’t be here,” Carter reported on the Aaron Carter website. “He supports me and is the one who asked me if I wanted to sing. I was interested in performing before, but I think it would have been a lot harder.”
Carter did not waste a lot of time getting his musical career launched. At the tender age of seven, he landed the position of lead singer with a local band called Dead End. This job started Aaron on the road to yet another record, one he would set some time later: establishing a new mark for the most hit records by a person his age in the history of music. Although Aaron enjoyed his time as lead vocalist for Dead End, he decided to leave the band after about two years, largely because, as he stated on his website, “… they wanted to do alternative music, and I wanted to do more pop.”
Still only nine years old, Carter decided that he wanted a solo career. To make sure his voice was equal to the task, he began intensive vocal training. Shortly after that, older brother Nick and the rest of the Backstreet Boys gave Aaron some much-needed exposure when they offered him the stage for a song during their March 1997 concert in Berlin, Germany. The payoff was instantaneous. Just off the stage, Aaron was signed to a recording contract by an Edel Record Company executive who had witnessed his performance. By the fall of
Born Aaron Charles Carter on December 7, 1987, in Tampa, FL; son of Robert (truck driver) and Jane Carter (homemaker).
Launched musical career as lead singer for the group Dead End, age seven; embarked on solo career, age nine; signed recording contract with Edel Record Company after performance with Backstreet Boys in Berlin, Germany, 1997; released first single, “Crush on You,” released first album, self-titled, 1998; released second album, Aaron’s Party, 2000; released third album, Oh Aaron, 2001.
Addresses: Record company —Jive Records, 137 West 25th Street, New York, NY 10001, phone: (212) 727-0016, website: http://www.jiverecords.com. Management —Spectra Music and Management, Marina del Rey, CA. Website— Aaron Carter Official Website: http://www.aaroncarter.com.
that year, Carter’s first single for Edel, “Crush on You,” hit record stores, followed in quick succession by “Crazy Little Party Girl,” “I’m Gonna Miss You Forever,” and “Shake It.” All the singles sold wildly abroad, and in mid-1998, young Carter’s first album, Aaron Carter, debuted in the United States after already having gone gold in Canada, Denmark, Germany, Norway, and Spain.
Jumping labels, Carter recorded his second album, Aaron’s Party (Come Get It), for Jive Records, the pop/rock music label that is also home to the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, R. Kelly, and ‘N Sync. Comparing his second album to his first effort, Carter told People, “The music I did before was really childish. Now it’s more fun party kind of stuff.” The title track from Carter’s sophomore outing, “Aaron’s Party,” was such a hit that he managed to land a few gigs opening for Britney Spears during her European tour. Aaron made it clear, however, that the relationship was strictly professional and hadn’t converted him into a raving Britney fan. “I’m not into Britney’s music,” Aaron told People, “but she’s a really nice person.” He told an interviewer for People that he prefers the work of Christina Aguilera, who he described as “amazing. She definitely makes herself look good onstage.”
Carter apparently looked good onstage to the thousands of teenagers who quickly bought tickets for his tour in support of his second album. That tour was sponsored in part by cable giant Nickelodeon, which had earlier given Aaron’s career a lift by airing a concert special. The Aaron’s Party tour boasted not one, but two Carters on the bill. Joining Aaron on the road was older sister Leslie, an up-and-coming singer herself.
Although Carter credits older brother Nick with helping him to get started, most music industry observers agree that he has gotten where he is today largely on his own talent and ability. Matt Miller, a popular deejay near Phoenix, told the Arizona Republic, “I think having Nick as a brother helped him a little bit, but if his product wasn’t there, I don’t think his audience would be.” Miller, who broadcasts as “Captain Matt,” said of Carter’s second album: “It’s a combination of speaking directly to the kids and having fun, upbeat, party-type music in a pop world of love-laden ballads and that type of thing.”
Hardly content to rest on his laurels, the young Carter released his third album in August of 2001, entitled simply Oh Aaron. The album features guest vocals by Nick Carter and female music group No Secrets and keeps to the pop formula of Carter’s previous releases, according to Stephen Thomas Erlewine of All Music Guide: “[H]e’s still singing songs that are clearly directed at kids but written with distinctly adolescent, even adult, overtones.”
When not in the recording studio or on tour, Carter calls a condo in Marina del Rey, California, home. He shares the condo with sister Leslie and his mom, who serves as manager for both Aaron and Leslie. As proud as he is of brother Nick, Carter makes it clear that he is determined to find his own way in show business. “I am Nick’s baby brother,” he told People, “but I want to be known as my own name.”
Aaron Carter (includes “Crush on You” and “Shake It”), Edel America, 1998.
Aaron’s Party (Come Get It) (includes “That’s How I Beat Shaq” and “Tell Me What You Want”), Jive, 2000.
Oh Aaron (includes “Stride [Jump on the Fizzy]” and “The Kid in You”), Jive, 2001.
Arizona Republic, June 14, 2001, p. 12.
People, November 6, 2000, p. 124.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 8, 2001, p. F6.
“Aaron Carter,” Jive Records, http://www.getmusic.com/artists/001/aaroncarter/bio.html (October 30, 2001).
“Biography,” Aaron Carter, http://www.aaroncarter.com/bio.htm (October 30, 2001).
“Facts,” Aaron Carter Crazy, http://www.angelfire.com/ar2/accrazy/frames.html (October 30, 2001).
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