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Nick Carter from the pop group the Backstreet Boys is also known for once dating Paris Hilton, starring in a reality TV show and overcoming drug and alcohol addiction.
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Born on January 28, 1980, in Jamestown, New York, Nick Carter is the youngest of the Backstreet Boys, one of the best-selling pop bands ever. Carter joined the group at 12; early fame came at a cost, including addiction struggles. Now sober, the singer, who once dated Paris Hilton, is happily engaged to Lauren Kitt. He's also enjoying making new music with the Backstreet Boys and as a solo artist.
"You can change your life around. You don't have to be a victim [of addiction]. But it's a work in progress every single day. It's not easy."
Nickolas Gene Carter was born in Jamestown, New York, on January 28, 1980, to Robert and Jane Carter, owners of the bar the Yankee Rebel. His childhood was booked with talent shows and work in commercials. In 1992, he auditioned for a new pop group, the Backstreet Boys. Carter made the cut as the youngest member, joining AJ McLean, Howie Dorough, Kevin Richardson and Brian Littrell. After touring Europe, Carter's band released their 1997 debut album, which sold 13 million copies with songs like "Quit Playin' Games (With My Heart)" and "As Long as You Love Me." Seven years of touring and hits followed before Carter took a break from the band.
In 2002, the singer recorded his first solo album, but it wasn't super successful. Carter then turned his efforts to acting and eventually to reality TV in 2006 with the series The Carters. It spotlighted the singer, as well as his younger brother Aaron and three sisters. (Sister Leslie Carter died of a drug overdose in 2012.) Around this time, Carter also reunited with the Backstreet Boys while continuing solo projects.
Carter has expanded his resume outside of singing and reality television to writing, producing and directing. He created the short film The Pendant in 2010 and has more screenplays coming. He also directed the music video Just One Kiss. A passion Carter has pursued outside of the arts is environmental advocacy; his primary cause is protecting the oceans. (Carter has been an avid surfer and powerboat racer, and he started his own racing team.) Active in the United Nations Environmental Program and the International Coral Reef Network, he even lobbied Capitol Hill regarding protecting the planet.
Like so many other young stars, Carter fell prey to substance abuse, including alcohol and cocaine, during his career. He attributes some of his 10-year battle to pressures of celebrity life and the breakup of his parents' tumultuous marriage. His addictions led to DUIs, an arrest over a bar brawl, weight issues and other problems. A diagnosis of cardiomyopathy, weakening of the heart muscle, in 2008 prompted him to get on the road to sobriety. (This condition killed actor Chris Penn.) Today, Carter's future seems bright, including his love life. This crooner who once dated Paris Hilton got engaged to 29-year-old fitness expert Lauren Kitt on February 22, 2013. He's now busy making wedding plans and new Backstreet Boys music.
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Get more on the members of the Backstreet Boys, one of the biggest pop groups ever to hit the charts. The famous boy band's 1997 debut album sold 13 million copies with songs like "Quit Playin' Games (With My Heart)" and "As Long as You Love Me." Decades of touring and hits followed. Explore full biographies, photos and more of the Backstreet Boys, including Nick Carter, Kevin Richardson, Howie Dorough, AJ McLean and Brian Littrell, only at Biography.com.
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