Pop singer Aaron Carter first arrived on the celebrity scene at the age of 7 when he opened for his brother's group, the Backstreet Boys. He went on to achieve some musical success, dated some of Hollywood's biggest Disney stars and toured worldwide before things came crashing down. Now, as he turns 30, Aaron is working to overcome his struggles with drugs and relaunch his career as an adult singer. In honor of Aaron's birthday on Dec. 7, 2017, Wonderwall.com is taking a look at the highlights and pitfalls of Aaron's life thus far, starting with the release of his first album. Aaron released his self-titled debut album at age 10. It went on to achieve gold status in Norway, Spain, Denmark, Canada and Germany in 1997.
Aaron Carter's biggest career success would come at the beginning of the new millennium. The "Bounce" singer released his second album, "Aaron's Party (Come Get It)," on Sept. 26, 2000. The CD, which included hits such as "How I Beat Shaq" and "I Want Candy," went on to sell 3 million copies in the United States.
Aaron Carter released his third album, "Oh Aaron," in 2001, just one year after the release of his second. This CD featured his first duet recording with his brother, Backstreet Boys singer Nick Carter, and went platinum that same year. The album's success was followed by a live concert in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, that was released on DVD, an Aaron Carter action figure and a Choice Male Artist Award at the Teen Choice Awards. "Oh Aaron" also led to appearances on Nickelodeon and the Disney Channel, where Aaron would meet his first celebrity girlfriend… Disney starlet Hilary Duff!
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The "I Want Candy" singer made his acting debut on "Lizzie McGuire" in 2001. Aaron Carter acted alongside his then-girlfriend, fellow teen idol Hilary Duff. The twosome were inseparable until Aaron cheated on Hilary with Lindsay Lohan, leading to one of the biggest teen celebrity feuds of the 2000s.
In 2003, Aaron Carter alleged that his momager, Jane Carter, took more than $100,000 from his bank account without his permission. He soon cut ties with her and sided with his father when his parents split in the early aughts. "I feel betrayed by own mother," Aaron said in a statement at the time, though years later, they reconciled.
Aaron Carter told CNBC in 2005 that he stepped out on Hilary Duff. "I was dating [Hilary] for like a year and a half and then I just got a little bored so I went and I started getting to know Lindsay [Lohan], dating Lindsay," Aaron said. His pairing with the "Freaky Friday" actress would not last very long — the two (both seen here in 2002) broke up in April 2003. Aaron would later call Hilary the "love of his life" in a 2014 Twitter post.
Aaron Carter went on to release two albums, "Another Earthquake!" and "Most Requested Hits," and star in two films, "Popstar" and "Supercross," in 2005. Aaron (seen here with his dad Robert and Lou Pearlman) would also see a few legal battles explode during this time. Onetime manager Lou Pearlman's label and production company, Trans Continental, filed a lawsuit against him, accusing the "Saturday Night" singer of reneging on a record deal. Aaron then sued Lou in 2007 asking to be let out of a contract he'd signed as a minor — and he won. But he never got the royalties accounting he'd asked for, as Lou headed to prison, where he died in 2016, after pleading guilty to conspiracy, money laundering and bank fraud.
At the age of 19, Aaron starred in his own E! reality show with brother Nick Carter and sisters Leslie Carter (who died of a drug overdose in 2012), Angel Carter and Bobbie Jean Carter. "House of Carters" debuted in October 2006. Only eight episodes were released before the series was cancelled. The show faced criticism for highlighting all the dysfunction in the Carter family.
In September 2006, Aaron Carter became engaged to former beauty queen and Playboy model Kari Ann Peniche after five days of dating. He was only 18 at the time and Kari had previously dated his brother, Nick. The couple broke off the engagement six days later. Talk about a whirlwind romance!
Aaron Carter took another stab at reality television in 2009 when he competed on "Dancing With the Stars" during Season 9. He and pro partner Karina Smirnoff made it to the eighth episode before being eliminated. Aaron also experienced his first arrest around this time after being pulled over for speeding. Police found less than two ounces of marijuana in his car and arrested him in 2008.
Aaron Carter's personal struggles started to intensify after his appearance on "Dancing With the Stars." Aaron entered rehab in 2011 "to heal some emotional and spiritual issues he was dealing with," according to a statement from his manager at the time. After entering a facility, he told his fans, "the main thing in life is not to be afraid of being human." Aaron completed a month of rehab at the Betty Ford Center in California before leaving and performing in the Off-Broadway musical "The Fantasticks." (He's seen here at a November 2011 rehearsal.)
Aaron Carter (pictured here with twin sister Angel Carter in 2014) faced a series of career setbacks in the coming years. He performed sporadically throughout 2011 and 2012 and was eliminated from the Food Network reality show "Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off" after one episode. Aaron eventually filed for bankruptcy in 2013 after accumulating $3.5 million in debt. He settled all his debt, mostly taxes owed from money made at the height of his career, in 2014.
Aaron Carter began performing music again in 2014 and went on an 11-city Canadian tour that saw him singing new songs from his upcoming album. He then went on a worldwide 50-date concert trek dubbed "The Wonderful World Tour." The tour ran from September 2014 until January 2015 and his album "LøVë" was released in February 2017 to positive reviews.
The good news didn't last long for Aaron Carter. The "Ooh Wee" singer was arrested in Georgia on suspicion of driving under the influence and marijuana charges in July 2017. He posted bail and after a few months of intense drama that included a breakup, a revelation about his sexuality, a car accident and an appearance on "The Doctors" in which he tested positive for prescription drugs, Aaron entered rehab in September 2017.
Pop singer Aaron Carter surprised fans in August 2017 when he came out as a bisexual man. "I started to find boys and girls attractive," Aaron shared on Twitter. "There were years that went by that I thought about it, but it wasn't until I was 17-years-old, after a few relationships with girls, I had an experience with a male that I had an attraction to who I also worked and grew up with." He continued, "This doesn't bring me shame, just a weight and burden I have held onto for a long time that I would like lifted off me." Aaron ended the note by quoting Boy George: "I've never felt as though I didn't belong. I just acted as though I did."
Aaron Carter completed rehab in November 2017 after two months of treatment. "I went from 115 to 160 pounds in two months I feel amazing. 2018 I'm ready for you!!" he wrote on Instagram alongside before-and-after body shots, proudly revealing some of the positive effects of his time in treatment. But then came another setback: Later in the month, he was charged with refusing a DUI test, possession of less than 1 ounce of marijuana and possession of drug-related objects in connection with his July arrest. The charges are all misdemeanors, according to reports. Since then, Aaron has been posting photos of himself back in the studio working on new music. Hopefully things are looking up for the pop singer!