Scheduled performer – 10th Annual LA Music Awards 2001
Leslie Barbara Carter (June 6, 1986 – January 31, 2012) was an American pop singer best known as the sister of Backstreet Boys member Nick Carter and Aaron Carter.
Leslie Carter was born in Tampa, Florida, the third of six children of Jane Elizabeth (née Spaulding) and Robert Gene Carter (born September 23, 1952). She was born at the Garden Villa Retirement Home, where the Carter family were living and working at the time. She was the older sister of Aaron Carter and his twin sister Angel and the younger sister of BJ Carter and Nick Carter. After Carter’s parents divorced in 2003, her father, who has a daughter from a previous marriage, married Ginger R. Elrod (born December 5, 1974) in 2004, and had a son, Kaden, in 2005. Her mother has also since remarried.
In 2008, Leslie Carter married Mike Ashton and moved to Toronto, Ontario, where she gave birth to a daughter Alyssa Jane Ashton in 2011.
Carter signed a record deal with Dreamworks Records in 1999 and began recording her debut album. This album was set for release in June 2000, but it was delayed because Dreamworks wanted to test Carter’s fan base before releasing the album in order to ensure its success. Her single, “Like Wow!” appeared on the Shrek soundtrack and received minor radio airplay, peaking at No. 99 on the Billboard Hot 100. Her debut album Like Wow! was set for release on April 10, 2001. However, Dreamworks later canceled the release. The cancellation followed a number of reported problems from the set of her debut music video. Promo copies later became available online and Metal Mike Saunders of The Village Voice described it as “the best bubblegum album of the entire ’97-Y2K era.”
The Other Half
Carter started a small club tour in Canada in December 2005, and had a showcase in New York City on January 19, 2006, with hopes it would lead to a new record deal. The songs performed on this tour had her abandoning her bubblegum pop roots for a more mature, pop rock-oriented sound. Carter co-wrote her material with High Holy Days guitarist Dave Thompson. In late 2006, Leslie Carter created the band The Other Half with her backup musicians Mike Ashton, DJ Porter, Casey Clowater, Paul Davidson, and Dave Thompson. The final line-up consisted of Carter (vocals), Ashton (drums), Jason Eldon (electric guitar), and Sean Smit (bass guitar, back-up vocals). In September 2009, the band mutually decided to split up. Carter was seen writing music and performing her own songs for her siblings on the family’s reality show House of Carters. Carter also had been spotted with Pop/R&B star Nivea in January 2012 at Capitol Records offices both looking for recording deals.
On January 31, 2012, aged 25, Carter, who had complained of feeling ill, was found unresponsive at the home of her father, Robert Carter, in Mayville, New York, and was pronounced dead on arrival at Westfield Memorial Hospital in Westfield, New York.
While not attributing a cause of death, a Chautauqua County police incident report and supplemental “Overdose Follow Up” report said Carter, identified by her married name of Leslie B. Ashton, had suffered an overdose and was taking the prescription medications Olanzapine, Cyclobenzaprine (muscle relaxer) and Alprazolam (Xanax). As of February 25, 2012, the cause of death is still under investigation by authorities.
Her life was celebrated at a ceremony in Mayville, New York. Many family members attended the funeral, including Aaron Carter, but Nick did not attend because of a family feud. In a September 2013 interview on Dr. Phil, Nick said Leslie’s death was the most horrific news he had ever heard. He also said that his family blamed him for her death and he did not attend Leslie’s funeral because of their accusations against him. Leslie Carter is buried in Chautauqua Cemetery in Chautauqua, New York.
“I Need To Hear It From You” — Promotional recording
“Like Wow!” — Billboard Hot 100 peak: 99
Like Wow! — Unreleased
House of Carters (2006) (TV)