Aaron Carter’s sudden death on Saturday, Nov. 5 was devastating for so many who loved the pop star, expecially his ex-girlfriend Hilary Duff. After news of Carter’s death broke on Saturday morning, Duff took to Instagram to share a moving tribute to her former flame, reminiscing on their early-aughts teenage love story. Hilary Duff’s post about Aaron Carter’s death honored their history together, including that iconic Lizzie McGuire episode, while also acknowledging how difficult it had been to watch him struggle in recent years.
Reports of Carter’s death first arose on the afternoon of Nov. 5, with TMZ reporting the singer-songwriter was found dead in his Lancaster, CA home at age 34. The reports were then confirmed by People, CNN, The New York Times, and various other outlets. Carter rose to fame in the late 1990s and early 2000s with inescapable pop hits like “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It)” and “I Want Candy.” For many who grew up in the time, Carter was definitive of the early 2000s, especially due to his relationship with Hilary Duff. He and Duff dated from 2000 to 2003, during which time Carter also had a memorable appearance as himself on Duff’s Disney Channel series Lizzie McGuire.
After the news of Carter’s death broke, Duff shared a tribute to her ex on Instagram. “For Aaron- I’m deeply sorry that life was so hard for you and that you had to struggle in front of the whole world,” Duff wrote. “You had a charm that was absolutely effervescent... boy did my teenage self love you deeply. Sending love to your family at this time. Rest easy.”
Carter and Duff’s relationship was a pop culture fascination in the early 2000s, especially when they split and Carter briefly dated Lindsay Lohan before getting back together with Duff. The dramatic love triangle was the stuff of teen-mag dreams, but Carter and Duff’s relationship is perhaps best encapsulated in the 2001 Lizzie McGuire episode “Aaron Carter's Coming to Town,” in which Carter guest starred as himself. The Christmas special ended in Carter giving his superfan Lizzie a kiss.
It may be two decades since Duff and Carter were together, but clearly Duff still holds a special place in her heart for her ex, and is mourning his passing just like the rest of us.