The late pop star did not appear among the many musicians who were celebrated during the Sunday, February 5, awards show broadcast. The emotional tribute included performances by Kacey Musgraves, who sang Loretta Lynn’s “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” and Quavo, who performed “Without You” in honor of his late Migos bandmate and nephew, Takeoff.
Sheryl Crow, Mick Fleetwood and Bonnie Raitt came together for a haunting rendition of “Songbird” for late Fleetwood Mac icon Christine McVie, who died in November 2022, as names and photos of other artists flashed on screen behind them.
While celebs including Lisa Marie Presley and Stephen “tWitch” Boss were given somber shout-outs, viewers at home were quick to notice that Carter wasn’t part of the tribute. (He was reportedly included in the physical copy of the Grammys program despite his absence from the televised segment.)
In November 2022, the “I Want Candy” artist was found dead in the bathtub of his California home at age 34. Results from a toxicology report have yet to be determined, but Carter’s loved ones believe it’s likely he died of a drug overdose.
Melanie Martin, the Florida native’s on-off fiancée, and his mother, Jane Carter, told TMZ in January that the L.A. County Coroner’s Office told them there was no water found in Aaron’s lungs, which rules out drowning as a cause of death.
The former child star and Martin, 30, welcomed a son in November 2021. As she continues to mourn, the Bulgaria native exclusively told Us Weekly that Aaron “was a good person and a good dad” to their little boy.
“He had a lot of sadness in his heart from his life,” Martin told Us last month. “He went from moments of being happy, but it was so hard to keep him happy all the time. I couldn’t do it alone. One person can’t make someone happy. He had things missing in his life that I could not fulfill.”
The “Aaron’s Party” performer struggled with his mental health and battle substance abuse ahead of his death. In an emotional tribute shared via Instagram, Nick Carter reflected on his brother’s ups and downs over the years.
“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,” the Backstreet Boys artist, 42, wrote in November 2022. “I love you Chizz. Now you get a chance to finally have some peace you could never find here on earth. … God, Please take care of my baby brother.”
If you or anyone you know is facing substance abuse issues, call the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration’s National Helpline at 1-800-662-4357 for free and confidential information 24/7. American Addiction Centers also offers help for those struggling with addiction. You can call their support line at 866-244-1070.