Sunday, May 20, 2018
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Fifteen and almost famous

That unlikely scene will be played out Wednesday night when 15-year-old Aaron Carter brings his Jukebox Tour 2003 to Centennial Terrace.

“I am very excited about singing some of my favorite songs from artists who have inspired me,” Carter told The Blade.

That list includes Elvis Presley, the Beatles, KC & the Sunshine Band, Earth, Wind & Fire, Queen, Whitesnake, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, and Stevie Wonder.

In the forefront of his musical inspirations, he said, are power-ballad singers Steve Perry of Journey and Jimi Jamison of Survivor. He pays tribute to them during his '80s medley with covers of Journey's “When You Love a Woman” and Survivor's “Search Is Over.”

The Jukebox Tour gives the music a boost with some high-energy dancers and four or five costume changes, according to Carter.

The singer also shows his musical dexterity by playing the drums during the show. On his last tour, Carter played piano and guitar.

“I pretty much play every instrument,” he said. “I mean, that's what I do professionally. I'm a musician.”

Although Carter is still in high school, he's already a show-business veteran. The Florida-born singer made his debut at age 9, joining his brother, Nick Carter, onstage during a Backstreet Boys concert in Berlin, Germany.

That performance led to a record deal with Edel Record Co. and his first single, “Crush on You,” in the fall of 1997. He was 10 when he released his self-titled debut disc in June, 1998.

He opened for Britney Spears on her 2000 U.S. concert tour.

Carter also has become a familiar face on television, appearing frequently on the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, and a number of talk shows.

Nowadays, he sounds a bit weary of being billed as “Backstreet Boy Nick Carter's little brother.”

“He will always be a mentor and a very good person to come to for advice,” Aaron said. “But I've veered off onto my own path. I've worked very hard to be myself and to be my own individual. It's been tough getting away from that. Life isn't easy, and neither is trying to be a big celebrity. And that's my goal.”

Young Carter has been working on his songwriting skills.

“On my last album [“Another Earthquake”], I didn't do so much. But I'm going to be doing most of the writing on my next one. I'm definitely into songwriting and I have actually written a couple of songs. I think they're kind of cool. But I'm kind of holding back on them for now.”

Carter also will have an acting role in a Hollywood film called Future Force, which is scheduled to begin filming next year and to be released in 2005.

“It's got a huge budget and it's going to be a really big deal,” he said. “I'm going to be writing the whole soundtrack.”

Carter, who lives with his family on a 15-acre beachfront spread in the Florida Keys with about a dozen dogs and other pets, travels with a tutor on most of his tours and said his favorite subject is math.

In the recent interview, he lamented the fact that he was on his summer break.

“I wish I could do school in the summer, too,” he said. “That way I'd get done sooner.”

For fans who may be wondering about Carter's relationship with his high-profile girlfriend, actress Hillary Duff of Lizzie McGuire fame, he said they've split up, at least temporarily.

“We kind of broke up just for the tour,” he said. “I don't really want to be dating her while I'm on tour.”

Carter said his Jukebox Tour is good, clean fun for fans of all ages.

“There's no cussing, nothing like that,” he said. “It's definitely something that is very clean and positive and fun and party-like. Get high on life, not on drugs or alcohol.”

Aaron Carter will be in concert at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Centennial Terrace, 5773 Centennial Rd., Sylvania, with Jump5 opening. Tickets are $27.50 at all Ticketmaster outlets.

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