Welcome Back, Carter: Why It's Not Wrong To Like Aaron Carter

On Feb. 1, I turned to social media to ask a question that had been bottled up inside me.

“Is it wrong that I like @aaroncarter ?”

Within minutes, Carter replied. “That’s up for you to decide."

Well, I’ve made my decision. There's nothing wrong with liking Aaron Carter.

More than like, I respect Carter — his work ethic, his relationship with his fans, and his honesty on social media and in interviews. 

I like the music he is making these days. The first two tracks off his forthcoming LØVË EP (out Feb. 10) are as good as anything out there right now. I can’t help but think that if “Fool’s Gold” or “Sooner or Later” were released under another name they would be bigger hits.

Carter is 29 now and a long way from the precocious twink whose posters adorned the inside of pubescent girls’ (and a few boys’) lockers thanks to hits like “Aaron’s Party” and “I Want Candy.” 

He can write infectious, unabashed pop songs inspired by real-life experiences. And he can sing.

If you’re a fan of either Justin — Bieber or Timberlake — there’s no reason why you shouldn’t be a fan of the new Aaron Carter.

So yes, I’m saying it loud and proud and I don’t care who knows it: I like Aaron Carter.

Here are a few more reasons why I do:

Aaron Carter is a survivor

In an industry that eats young singers and spits them out, Carter has persevered. And while he’s been open about the ups and downs of his personal and professional lives, he’s hasn’t made a career out of whining and complaining. Carter has talked candidly about his bankruptcy, his addictions, and his struggles to be taken seriously in the music industry — all without a lot of palpable bitterness.

The video for his 2000 hit “I Want Candy” was made in Toronto

Carter shot the video for his catchy cover of the 1965 song by The Strangeloves in Toronto with director Andrew MacNaughtan (who died in 2012). Try not to hum the chorus as you walk by the Kingsway Theatre on Bloor Street West.

Aaron Carter works hard

There’s no doubt Carter has been humiliated and humbled by some of what he’s gone through. It can’t be easy to read headlines about being broke. It can’t be easy to go from being the youngest male singer to have four consecutive Top 10 hits in the UK to performing in clubs in front of a few hundred people. But, Carter has kept going by working hard and never taking his career for granted. When others turned their backs on him, he simply did it himself.

Aaron Carter doesn’t care what you think

Maybe he does — he is human, after all. For all I know, he cries himself to sleep at night. But on social media Carter comes across as unafraid to speak his mind and to call out trolls and haters. He seems to understand that no one kicks a dead dog and all that hate is really nothing more than jealousy.

Aaron Carter’s got a neck tattoo

Carter has a lot of tattoos but the most striking is the word “love” dramatically inked on his neck. A bad life choice IMO but hey, it’s his body, and it’s not like he’s ever going to be applying for an office job. Besides, is "love" such a bad word to carry around for the rest of your life?

Aaron Carter wasn’t embarrassed about voting for Donald Trump

He should have been, of course, but Carter took a lot of heat for tweeting about his intention to cast a ballot for Trump and then stood his ground. That’s democracy, folks.

Aaron Carter (sort of) acknowledged that voting for Trump might not have been such a good idea after all

In an interview with Newsweek, Carter said of Trump’s calls for a Muslim ban: “I don’t know why anyone in their right mind would stand by that.” He also tweeted that he wouldn’t vote for Trump if the candidate didn’t support LGBT rights.

Aaron Carter hung out with Canada’s deadmau5

After posting a remix of deadmau5’s “The Veldt” without credit, Carter received an invitation to visit the Ontario-based producer. "He was, like, my mentor, in a real short period of time,” Carter told Complex. Kudos to him for making it into a learning experience, especially after nearly two decades in the music industry.

So there you have it, I like Aaron Carter. It's a feeling I've struggled with since I met him in Toronto back in 2013 after a live TV interview in which he came across as gracious and grateful. 

At the time, I thought about how I wanted him to be the pop star he deserves to be again. LØVË will go a long way towards making this happen. 

Pre-order LØVË now or get it on Feb. 10. For the latest on where Carter’s performing, go to his website. And check out his new songs: