Mr. Carter, who struggled with addiction, had said he was five years sober earlier this year. He was the brother of Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter. The singer-turned-actor-turned-rapper was known for his early 2000s hits “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It),” “I Want Candy” and “That’s How I Beat Shaq.”
Nick Carter said on Sunday that he would miss his brother “more than anyone will ever know,” sharing his statement on Instagram alongside photos of the pair throughout the years.
“My heart has been broken today,” his statement said. “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,” his brother’s Instagram post said. “Sometimes we want to blame someone or something for a loss, but the truth is that addiction and mental illness is the real villain here.”
Mr. Carter released his first solo album in Europe on Dec. 1, 1997, six days before he turned 10 years old. The album sold 1 million copies around the world, a signal of his early ascent to stardom.
Mr. Carter’s second album, released in 2000 and titled “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It),” was certified triple-platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America, and its title song reached 35 on the Billboard Hot 100 list. He was also known for “I Want Candy” from that album and “I’m All About You” from his 2001 album, “Oh Aaron.” His 2001 single “That’s How I Beat Shaq” included the titular NBA player in a video on a park’s blacktop court and featured preteens dancing along to the bubble gum pop hit.
He made several appearances on television, including in an episode on the first season of “Lizzie McGuire” in a Christmas-themed episode titled “Here Comes Aaron Carter.” In 2001, Carter debuted on Broadway in the cast of the musical “Seussical.”
One of five siblings, Mr. Carter co-starred in the family’s 2006 reality television show, “House of Carters.” The show followed the siblings as they moved in together and tried to work through their issues. It ended after one season of eight episodes.
In a statement Saturday, Paul said many people didn’t know how “tender-hearted” Mr. Carter was.
“He genuinely cared for others, and the love he felt for those around him was immeasurable; so much so, that we believe it’s safe to say its transcending timelines,” the statement said. “We can still feel his presence and warmth around us.”
Mr. Carter is survived by his brother, Nick, and sisters Angel Carter and Bobbie Jean Carter. He also has an infant son named Prince, the Los Angeles Times reported last month. His sister Leslie Carter died in 2012. His father, Robert Gene Carter, died in 2017.
“We are still in the process of accepting this unfortunate reality,” his fiance, Melanie Martin, said in the statement to the Associated Press. “Your thoughts and prayers are greatly appreciated.”
Adam Grandmaison, host of the podcast “No Jumper,” said in a tweet that he’d heard the news of the singer’s death from a close friend. Mr. Carter had appeared on the podcast at least three times, most recently in an episode published Wednesday.
“He was a good guy despite all the demons he was battling,” Grandmaison wrote in a tweet. “I’m sad to see him go.”
In 2013, Mr. Carter declared bankruptcy, the Tampa Bay Times reported, and a representative for the musician told the paper that a majority of his $2.2 million debt was from when he was a minor and not in control of his finances.
For years, Mr. Carter has been open about his struggles with mental health and drug addiction.
He gave interviews to the talk show “The Doctors” about his dependency on prescription drugs and addiction to huffing. In a 2019 interview on the show, Mr. Carter said he put himself on a “regimen” to manage his work, cook his meals and set up his home to have a family.
“So that I can be strong,” he said of his plans in the interview. “I can say I’ve been through hell and back, and I’m back.”
In 2013, Mr. Carter was on his “After Party” tour, which he embarked on after a years-long hiatus in music to rejuvenate his career and release new songs.
Asked what it was like to perform in 2014, while he was trying to reestablish himself on the pop scene, Mr. Carter told The Washington Post: “People lose their minds. It’s just cool to show them that I’m that guy still.”
Avi Selk contributed to this report.