Aaron Carter: Life of a 13-Year-Old Pop Star

Yes, his brother is the Backstreet Boys' Nick Carter. But that doesn't mean 13-year-old Aaron Carter shows him a great deal of respect. "When they're asleep, my brother and my manager, I put shaving cream in their hands and tickle their nose and they smash it into their faces," says the younger Carter. "I know how to get away … fast."

Like his elder sibling, however, Carter is becoming well acquainted with the pop charts and radio playlists. After first finding international success in 1999, his first U.S. release — last fall's relentlessly cheerful Aaron's Party (Come Get It) — has been certified platinum on the strength of the title track single. He's toured with Britney Spears and the Nickelodeon All That! Music and More Festival, and he will headline his own outing this summer. His mother and co-manager, Jane Carter, has hawked a few copies of the paperback bio The Little Prince of Pop. He's just begun a run in the Broadway hit Seussical. And Carter's latest single, "That's How I Beat Shaq" — whose video features a cameo by NBA star Shaquille O' Neal — is continuing the momentum, driving his record higher on the charts, and bringing Carter closer to his goal "to be really successful in the future." That also includes an as-yet-untitled Disney film in which Carter stars as a rich boy trying to help a cancer victim.

He is not, however, a guy with a great deal to say — at least not when adults are in the room. But as he hangs out in the New York offices of Jive Records, with Craig, a pal from home who accompanies Carter on the road sometimes, we glean a few items from this new pop aspirant:

He's into baseball cards and Beanie Babies. He also loves his Sony PlayStation 2, which he received for his birthday on December 7. "Tekken Tag, I love that game," he says. Yes, he does get teased about being born — along with twin sister Angel — on Pearl Harbor Day. "Every time I'm bad my mom calls me her 'little bomb.'" The twin thing hasn't been bad at all. "I have a really good relationship with her. She's just always caring, and that was cool." Angel, he says, may one day join the family entertainment franchise, which not only includes BSB man Nick — who joined BSB mate Brian Littrell in co-writing a song, "Ain't That Cute," for his little bro's album — but sister Leslie, who's just made her recording debut, and another older sister who's a model. "We all just do our own thing, which is great." Of course, all that activity means the Carter family's ranch in California is usually pretty empty. "We have house people who watch everything while we're gone." A tutor accompanies Carter on the road, and if the singing thing doesn't work out he thinks his future will be in marine biology. "I just love it a lot, and it's really cool. I have a very big fascination with the ocean. Sometimes I'll catch some fish and take them and cut 'em open, look inside 'em. I have a big aquarium, too." His focus, however, is on his music and touring. But rest assured that he plans to keep putting shaving cream in sleeping people's hands for the foreseeable future. "There's a lot of hard work, definitely. I just want to stay towards the ground, not look up to the sky, not get too big-headed — you know what I mean?"

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