By Mike Bedigan, PA Los Angeles Correspondent
The Backstreet Boys dedicated part of their Sunday night show to their “little brother” Aaron Carter, who died on Saturday aged 34.
The group said they had “heavy hearts” during the performance in London and had wanted to find a moment in the show to recognise the rapper and singer.
Carter is the brother of Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter and had opened for the US boy band on a number of tours and concerts.
A representative of Carter’s team confirmed his death to the PA news agency but said the cause is still to be determined.
Speaking on stage during the show at the O2 Arena, singer Kevin Richardson said: “Everybody in here, we all grew up together, we’ve been through highs and lows, ups and downs.
“You guys have been through it with us and we’ve been through it with you and so thank you for taking us on that journey with you.
“We thank you for being part of the Backstreet family for 29 years.”
Richardson added: “Tonight we have heavy hearts because we lost one of our family members yesterday and we just wanted to find a moment in our show to recognise him.
“Nick’s little brother passed away yesterday… He’s a part of our family and we want to thank you guys for all the love, all your well wishes and support.”
Carter was visibly emotional and was embraced by his bandmates before they dedicated their next song, Breathe, to his brother.
After news of the death broke, Nick Carter wrote a lengthy tribute to his “baby brother” on Instagram, acknowledging the “complicated relationship” the pair had.
“I have always held on to the hope that he would somehow, someday want to walk a healthy path and eventually find the help that he so desperately needed,” he said.
“Sometimes we want to blame someone or something for a loss, but the truth is that addiction and mental illness is the real villain here.
“I will miss my brother more than anyone will ever know.”
Aaron Carter’s second studio album, Aaron’s Party (Come And Get It), was released in 2000 and went triple platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America.
It featured the singles I Want Candy, Aaron’s Party (Come Get It) and That’s How I Beat Shaq, and Carter supported the album for several concerts by the Backstreet Boys and for Britney Spears on the Oops!… I Did It Again tour.
He went on to release three more studio albums, 2001’s Oh Aaron, 2002’s Another Earthquake! and 2018’s Love.
Carter also tried his hand at acting, guest starring on shows including Lizzie McGuire and making his Broadway debut in 2001 as JoJo the Who in Seussical The Musical.
He made the move to rap music in recent years, throwing off his child star image with a number of face tattoos.
Carter also had his share of controversy as well as several run-ins with the law.
His relationship with his siblings was strained over the years and in 2019 his brother Nick filed a restraining order against him, alleging he threatened to kill his pregnant wife and unborn child.
Carter acknowledged the restraining order on Twitter at the time but denied the allegations of threatening behaviour.
He also had a history of drug convictions and reportedly went to rehab on a number of occasions.
The singer welcomed his first child Prince with Melanie Martin in 2021.