Opinion: Aaron Carter’s Death Hits Different With Millennials
With the tragic news of the death of Aaron Carter, a shock wave was felt among millennials. It's... weird, I guess. And hard to explain. But if you're interested, here we go.
The year was 2001, Aaron's Party had already started, and the Disney Channel was debuting the Lizzie McGuire episode where Carter has a guest starring role. Long story short - it was a rare kiss-on-the-lips moment for the young, eager audience of the Disney Channel. Go ahead and take a look:
Aside from leaving a mark on tween hearts everywhere, what followed was equally juicy. A real life TWEEN soap opera that was the first of its kind.
Call it a coincidence but before hearing the shocking news of Aaron Carter's passing I kept seeing promos for Lindsay Lohan's new Netflix Romantic Comedy coming out this holiday season. I definitely didn't think too much about it, but my geriatric millennial soul certainly felt a nerve being hit somewhere. But... lightly enough to barely be noticeable.
The Aaron Carter/Hillary Duff soap opera included Lindsay Lohan, too. They both dated him and kissed him around the same time. Or, er, at the same time. It was all a juicy mess that played out in public, probably in a way that was extremely inappropriate. But that's not really the reason this death hit so hard. Aaron was also the little brother we never had. My childhood best friend literally requested her little brother be named "Carter," and he was born in 2001.
Nick Carter was a member of the Backstreet Boys and one of the most famous boy band heartthrobs in the world. At the rise of Aaron's success, Nick was still very famous, and there were images of the two goofing off constantly at award shows and such. A pop culture moment that many remember.
The two certainly had a rocky relationship. In November 2019, Nick was granted a one-year restraining order against Aaron. Aaron's alleged drug use and mental health issues plagued many members of his family. In 2012 his sister Leslie died of a drug overdose. There was a dark side behind the curtain of fun and fame for that family that was hard to avoid.
Today was a reminder that Aaron Carter really did grab a slice of the soul of millennials when they were starting out in this world. Some of them, at least. He was one of the first to put you on the list.
RIP Aaron. Thank you for the party.