The pop star-turned-rapper and brother of Backstreet Boys’ Nick Carter was found unresponsive at his home in California on Saturday local time, his rep confirmed to E! News.
Following the news of his passing, a number of Aaron’s fans and fellow celebrities shared tributes to the I Want Candy hitmaker, including Hilary Duff.
“For Aaron - I’m deeply sorry that life was so hard for you and that you had to struggle in front of the whole world,” she wrote on Instagram.
“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.”
Aaron and Hilary began dating when they were both 13 years old after he appeared in an episode of her Disney Channel series Lizzie McGuire. The pair had an on-again-off-again relationship for two years, with Aaron dating fellow Disney starlet Lindsay Lohan during their breaks, and officially ended things in 2003.
Speaking to Fox News in 2012, Aaron opened up about his regret over losing Hilary after she married former NHL player Mike Comrie in 2010 and announced her pregnancy.
“I'm really happy for her that she's in a successful relationship and that she's going to have a baby,” he said. “Sometimes I think to myself, maybe that could have been me but it is what it is.”
In 2014 he referred to Hilary as “the love of my life” and tweeted: “I'll spend the rest of my life trying to better myself to get back to her.”
‘RIP Aaron Carter’
In addition to Hilary’s tribute, fellow Disney Channel star Christy Carlson Romano tweeted: “Incredibly sad about the passing of Aaron Carter. My thoughts and prayers go out to his friends and family.”
“Sending love to the family and friends and fans of #AaronCarter. Rest In Peace!” Melissa Joan Hart captioned a photo of herself and Aaron on Instagram.
“We are shocked and saddened about the sudden passing of Aaron Carter,” New Kids on the Block wrote on social media. “Sending prayers to the Carter family. Rest in peace, Aaron.”
“Fame at such a young age is often more a curse than a blessing and surviving it is not easy. RIP Aaron Carter,” Diane Warren shared on Twitter.
Singer and One Tree Hill actor Tyler Hilton, who began his career around the same time as Aaron, described the news as “heartbreaking”.
“This kid had such a spark,” he tweeted. “Known him for years and always really liked him, he was warm and really funny. Loved putting on a show and he was good at it.”
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