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Carter to bring “Aaron’s Party” to Northampton March 5

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“Started from the bottom now we here,” Aaron Carter tweeted on Feb. 22, quoting Drake’s newest single. But Carter’s fall from stardom in the mid-2000s might suggest otherwise. On the other hand, maybe he is on to something. Carter’s “The After Party” tour is his first major tour since 2005, and he’s bringing it to the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton on Tuesday.

Carter is best known for his pop hits in the early 2000s and for being the younger brother of Backstreet Boy Nick Carter. It is hard to forget his string of hits such as “That’s How I Beat Shaq,” “Aaron’s Party (Come Get It),” and his cover of The Strangeloves’ “I Want Candy.” He even once found himself at the center of a feud between Lindsay Lohan and Hilary Duff, each a rising teen star in her own right at the time.

After releasing “Another Earthquake” in 2002, his first album to miss going platinum since his 1999 debut, Carter released several greatest hits collections but stopped recording new music. His career took further slumps when he showcased erratic behavior on his family’s reality show “The Carters” in 2006 and was arrested on charges of marijuana possession in 2008.

In 2009, Carter returned to prominence, lasting through eight weeks on the ninth season of “Dancing with the Stars” and finishing in fifth place with partner Karina Smirnoff. Since then he’s made less publicized appearances in the long-running musical “The Fantasticks” and on Food Network’s “Rachael vs. Guy: Celebrity Cook-Off.”

Carter hit tougher times in 2011 when he spent a month at the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, Calif. His manager told People Magazine that Carter entered the rehabilitation center for “emotional and spiritual issues.” The next year his older sister Leslie Carter died of unknown causes.

“The After Party” tour promises a return to prominence for Carter in that it will return to where he left off with “Aaron’s Party” 13 years ago. In addition to the hits he sang as a teen, he will get to show off the new songs he has written throughout a tumultuous several years.

“I’m so excited to get back out on the road again,” Carter told BroadwayWorld.com. “It’s truly the only place I can call home.”

Fans can look forward to hearing new songs like “Dance with Me,” featuring rap star Flo Rida, and last year’s “I Need a Girlfriend.” While Carter has performed the latter on television accompanied by just an acoustic guitar, you can expect to see full-on dance moves for the former. Carter has promised lots of choreography during this tour, even tweeting out rehearsal photos to his 300,000 followers.

So far, the tour has been a success. Carter has played in sold-out venues and been courted by fans with signs that say things like, “The real ‘after party’ is in my bedroom!” His Twitter feed has been a constant slideshow of fan photos, crowd shots and pre-show warm-up regimens.

Aaron Carter: Teen Pop Star may be gone, but he is not forgotten. While the “After Party” album is still floating around a vague 2013 release date, Carter’s new music and new tour could reinvigorate his popularity and return him to the ranks of America’s best pop stars.

Tickets for this event are available for $20 in advance or $25 at the door.

Jake Reed can be reached at jaker@student.umass.edu.

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