Backstreet Boys’ AJ says Aaron Carter’s death was “tragic,” but not “shocking”

Last week, a benefit concert held in memory of the late Aaron Carter raised more than $150,000. Among the performers were *NSYNC‘s Lance Bass and Backstreet Boys AJ McLean. In a new episode of Lance’s podcast, Frosted Tips, AJ tells Lance that Aaron’s death didn’t come as a surprise to him.

Aaron, Nick Carter‘s little brother, was found dead on November 5 at the age of 34. “Can I say that I’m shocked? No, sadly,” AJ tells Lance. “Did any of us want this? Hell, no. It’s just tragic.”

AJ, a recovering addict who’s been in rehab several times, also tells Lance that he tried to help Aaron a long time ago.

“He reached out to me years back and asked for help. And I willingly was like, ‘OK, this is what I suggest you do: You need to fly out here. You need to go to this treatment center that I called. I’ve got it all set up for you.'”

At first, AJ says, Aaron resisted, but he finally went, even telling the center he didn’t want anyone but AJ to be able to contact him. But, AJ says, “Two days later, he checked himself out. And four days after that, [he] put me on blast all over Twitter saying that I was doing it to glorify myself.”

As AJ explains to Lance, “That’s what addicts do. If we’re not ready to get sober, it’s you. You’re at fault. It’s not me. You’re the problem.”

However, AJ’s advice to anyone with a loved one who’s struggling is still this: “Say something now. Don’t stay mute about it, even if they fight you on it. At least it gives them an opportunity to see that there’s someone there that actually … cares about them.”

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