“I started working with Aaron [Carter] when he was eight years old,” Phil Lobelfounder of Lobeline Communicationstells HollywoodLife. Following Aaron’s untimely death on Nov. 5 at age 34, Phil shared with HollywoodLife some EXCLUSIVE, never-before-seen photos from Aaron’s life. Phil – who partnered with Aaron from ages 8 to 16 before reconnecting with the “Saturday Night” singer when he was 29 – recalled their first meeting. “Nickelodeon had hired me, and I arrived at the venue at the outdoor amphitheater,” Lobel told HL. “[Aaron] was going in circles in the parking lot on his new razor. He was just a little kid having fun.”
Aaron “had just finished touring with his brother in Europe and Germany. He already had stage smarts, but he was just a little kid,” said Lobel. “I was his only rep until he was 16. When Aaron was 29, he was appearing at Weho’s Gay Pride Festival. He was appearing, and I was working backstage. I saw him backstage, and he ran up and gave me a big hug. After running into him there, he told me that he was working on a new album. He came by and visited me shortly thereafter. I worked with him again until the release of the album. He was sober and so proud of it. He was such a talented man and just the sweetest guy ever. I will miss him terribly.”
The photos that Lobel provided HollywoodLife show a side of the singer’s life that not many knew. In one picture, Aaron volunteered with Project Angel Foodan organization that “prepares and delivers healthy meals to feed people impacted by serious illness, bringing comfort and hope every day.”
Another photo, taken at the aforementioned West Hollywood’s Gay Pride Parade, showed how “Aaron never cared how anyone lived their life,” according to Lobel. “He didn’t judge, and he just loved everyone.”
Phil also shared a photo of Aaron posing next to a poster from his teen sensation. “He came into my office after running into him at Pride, and I told him that I still have the poster,” Lobel tells. HollywoodLife. “He was a teen heartthrob through all those years. He loved being a heartthrob! The fans would be waiting for him outside the gates.”
Another photo showed Aaron relating to another child popstar: Michael Jackson. “No one has ever seen this photo,” Lobel tells HollywoodLife. “Aaron showed me a gift he got from Michael Jackson, and he read the caption to me. It read, ‘Before you judge me, try hard to love me. Look inside your heart. Then ask yourself, have you seen my childhood?’ When Aaron showed this to me, he said, ‘Someday, I want to make this into a big news story.’ Michael Jackson’s gift was such a treasure to him.”
As someone who experienced a wave of success and fame at an early age – due to being a charting singer and being the younger brother of Backstreet Boy singer Nick Carter – Aaron’s childhood was a complicated one. However, he still had a chance to enjoy moments of innocence and joy.
“He was around 12 years old,” Lobel tells HL about one photo. “We did a live Today Show. I got a call from Colonel Douglas with the US military. I got a call from this Colonel, and he wanted to bring more visibility to the NORAD tracks Santa program. This was created by the military because it would track Santa’s sleigh. Colonel Douglas said that his daughter was a big fan [of Aaron] and has posters all over her room. He asked if Aaron could come to meet with Santa.”
“They overnighted us on the military base in Colorado Springs. So it was time for the tour,” continues Lobel. “Mind you, it was summertime, and we were meeting with Santa. During the tour, went through several chambers with all these vault doors. We get into the last chamber and there he was – Santa! We took that photo, and it was mind-blowing for both of us. Other than going to the Oval Office, it was one of the top three highlights of my life.”
An official cause of death has “not been determined and the medical examiner is requesting more investigation into the death,” according to a statement issued by the LA County Dept. of Medical Examiner-Coroner. Although Aaron had his struggles with substance abuse in the past, he said he “went to rehab four times until I finally got it right” in a preview of an interview he taped right before his death. In one photo from Lobel, Aaron smiles with aquamarine hair.
“That was a photo that we did on a photoshoot,” Lobel tells HollywoodLife. “He loved it because he looked so healthy. It was in advance of the new album. He was sober at the time. He was happy and committed to his recovery. He was sober and aware of everything that was going on around him. He was proud of the music.
Following his death, Aaron’s rep told HollywoodLife that he “made amends” with his brother, Nick, after years of feuding. “I will miss my brother more than anyone will ever know,” wrote Nick when mourning Aaron.
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