There wasn’t a dry eye in sight as the Backstreet Boys paused their concert at London’s O2 Arena on Sunday to pay tribute to member Nick Carter‘s younger brother Aaron Carter, who died in his California home on Saturday.
A slideshow containing photos of the younger Carter brother was played on the arena’s video screens, set to the 2019 Backstreet Boys song, No Place. Aaron was 34 years old.
Nick wiped away tears as he was hugged by the other band members on stage.
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“That song is very special to us because that song is about family,” Kevin Richardson explained to the cheering crowd. “Tonight, we’ve got a little bit of heavy hearts because we lost one of our family members yesterday. We just wanted to find a moment in our show to recognize him.”
“Nick’s little brother, Aaron Carter, passed away yesterday,” Richardson continued. “He’s a part of our family and we thank you guys for all the love, all your well-wishes, and all your support.”
Nick, 42, did not speak about his late brother onstage.
He did, however, share a series of photos of him and Aaron on Instagram before Sunday’s concert.
“My heart is broken,” he wrote. “Even though my brother and I have had a complicated relationship, my love for him has never ever faded.”
The Backstreet Boys member wrote that he always “held on to the hope” that his brother — who had spoken publicly about his struggles with drug addiction and mental illness — would “find the help that he so desperately needed.”
“I will miss my brother more than anyone will ever know,” he concluded. “Now you can finally have the peace you could never find here on earth.”
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Aaron was found dead in a bathtub in his Southern California home. The official cause of death has yet to be released.
Over the weekend, his twin sister, Angel Conrad, also shared an Instagram tribute to her brother.
“I know you’re at peace now,” Conrad wrote. “I will carry you with me until the day I die and get to see you again.”
Aaron’s on-again-off-again fiancée, Melanie Martin, has also shared her grief publicly since his death. On TikTok, she posted a two-second clip of herself crying behind the wheel of her car, and an old recording of Aaron dancing during a livestream.
The couple share an 11-month-old son, Prince.
Carter’s 2000 album, Aaron’s Party (Come Get It), sold three million copies and produced hit singles including the title song and I Want Candy. His videos received regular airplay on Disney and Nickelodeon.
In 2009, Carter appeared on the ABC competition show Dancing with the Stars, finishing in fifth place with partner Karina Smirnoff.
Carter’s fifth and final studio album, LOVE, was released in 2018.
— With files from The Associated Press
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