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Those of you without daughters or sisters born after 1990 may be in the dark about Aaron Carter. So here are the key facts. He's the younger brother of Backstreet Boys hunkaroo Nick Carter. (Nick's the blond one who was arrested last month in a Tampa, Florida, nightclub, either because he refused to follow a policeman's order to leave or because he's a Backstreet Boy -- take your pick.) He has a twin sister named Angel. Although the birthday he celebrated on December 7 was just his fourteenth, he's already made numerous platinum albums, including his latest, the peppy, lighter-than-helium Oh Aaron, and he can currently be heard on the soundtrack of the movie Jimmy Neutron: Boy Genius, an unexpected hit. According to AllMusic.com, he's the youngest male solo performer to land four songs in the Billboard Top 40. And, most important of all, he's cute. No, super cute. Make that ultra-cute.
He's ultra-nice, too. Not only was he happy -- giddy, even -- to discuss everything from the person who inspired him to become a singer (his answer will leave you slack-jawed) to nasty skin blemishes, but he gladly said hello to my twins, Lora and Ellie, who listen to his 2000 landmark/work of genius Aaron's Party (Come Get It) each night before they go to sleep. Eons from now, aliens traversing a galaxy light years from our own will hear the shrieks they unleashed after listening to a recording of this most significant moment and wonder how many people died in the explosion.
Westword: My daughters inform me that one of the magazines they read called you "the hottest boy alive."
Aaron Carter: Whoa! I hadn't heard about that.
WW: How does something like that make you feel?
AC: I don't know. It's kinda weird, you know?
WW: My daughters are eight, and I know a lot of your biggest fans are around that age. But are some of them your age or older?
AC: Yeah, I've got a lot of older fans. Sixteen, seventeen. And some grownups, too.
WW: Is it strange to have so many little kids in love with you? Do you like it better when it's the sixteen-year-olds?
AC: No, it doesn't matter, because they're all the same, really. They all scream just as loud!
WW: When you're in concert and the fans are screaming, is it sometimes hard to concentrate on performing?
AC: Sometimes it is. Sometimes I'll drop a couple lines or something, and my dancers'll look at me like, "Sing the line!" And I'll be like, "Wait a minute!" Sometimes I'll go blank like that, and I'll be like, "What's wrong with me?"
WW: Do you understand why they scream that way?
AC: Sometimes I don't understand -- I don't know why. But I guess they just scream because they love me. Like for me, if I was to see Steve Perry, I'd scream my butt off.
WW: You're a Journey fan?
AC:Oh, yeah. I'm a big Journey fan.
WW: Have you ever met Steve Perry?
AC: No, but I talked to him once on the phone. He's a nice guy. He and David Foster -- they wrote "I Stand Alone" for Quest for Camelot -- are writing a song for me right now. Which is so cool, because he's the reason I wanted to become a singer.
WW: Was there one of his songs that really connected with you?
AC: Yeah, "Wheel in the Sky." That's my favorite one. My dad used to listen to it; he used to jam to that song in his Camaro.
WW: In the past, you've talked about wanting to be a marine biologist someday. Are you still interested in that?
AC:Definitely. When I get a little older, when I'm twenty or something, I'm gonna go to college for it.
WW: Does that mean you can imagine a time when you're not a performer?
AC:I'm not gonna do marine biology for a while -- and I'm just gonna do it for a while and see what it's like. But I'm never gonna stop singing.
WW: Still, if you were a marine biologist, you wouldn't be recognized everywhere you go. Or do you like it when kids recognize you?
AC: It's cool with me. It's never been a problem, and it's my life. I've got to get used to it.
WW: It's been pretty much your whole life, hasn't it? Can you remember a time when you weren't famous?
AC: Oh, yeah. I can remember back to when I was little and I wanted so bad to become a superstar and stuff. And before that, when I was, like, five, I wanted to be Peter Pan! [Laughs]
WW: I've read that your brother Nick thinks being famous is the reason he was arrested a few weeks ago. Did what happened seem unfair to you?
AC: Very unfair, very unfair. I talked to my brother, and they just did it because he's Nick Carter. But it's okay; everything's great now, and he's recording for his new album.
WW: There's always the chance that something like that could happen to you one day just because you're Aaron Carter. Does that worry you at all?