“It’s taken me a little while to gather my thoughts as the news about @aaroncarter is incredibly devastating,” the 43-year-old singer wrote via Instagram on Monday, November 7, alongside a photo of himself and Carter with their arms around one another.
Bass went on to share “one of [his] first memories” with the “Aaron’s Party” artist, who rose to fame in the early 2000s as ‘NSync dominated the charts. “When I was around 17, the @nsync guys and I were staying at the same hotel as Aaron in Germany. He was around 9 years old at the time,” the Out of Sync author continued. “I was in my hotel and kept hearing a little kid run up and down the hallways. I opened the door and saw Aaron sprinting around, banging on the guys’ hotel doors and pretending to throw up on people. He ran into my room and instantly we were buds.”
The Mississippi native added: “He quickly became the little brother to all of us and was known for being quirky, funny and always trying to make people laugh.”
Us Weekly confirmed on Saturday, November 5, that Carter was found dead in his California home. A 911 call was made at 11 a.m. local time, according to reports from TMZ and The Hollywood Reporter. His cause of death has not yet been released, but the Dancing With the Stars alum had previously been candid about his mental health challenges after growing up in the spotlight.
“As the years went by, I’ve seen Aaron hit so many highs and lows. Through witnessing Aaron’s struggles and having countless conversations with him, I’ve learned so much about addiction and mental health,” Bass noted in his tribute on Monday. “It makes me so angry and sad to know that it got the best of him and unfortunately those who enabled him turned a blind eye. His good friends and his family did absolutely everything they could and this will forever be an incredible loss. I know Aaron is finally at peace and I’m sure he’s playing jokes on his loved ones that have passed.”
The Single Parents alum concluded: “My prayers go out to @nickcarter @angelcharissma and family as they grieve this incredible loss. Will miss you.”
Before his death, the “I Want Candy” artist was estranged from brother Nick Carter and twin sister Angel Carter. The Backstreet Boys artist, 42, issued a heartfelt statement on his family’s loss via social media.
“My heart has been broken today,” Nick wrote on Sunday, November 6. “Even though my brother and I have had a complicated relationship, my love for him has never ever faded. … 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. I will miss my brother more than anyone will ever know. I love you Chizz., now you get a chance to finally have some peace you could never find here on earth.”
Fellow ’00s icons have shared their own memories of Aaron, who welcomed son Prince with Melanie Martin in November 2021. “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,” Hilary Duff wrote of her on-off ex in a touching Instagram post on Saturday. “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 ♥️.”