Friends Unite for Aaron Carter's Posthumous Single 'Grateful': A Tribute to Pride

Aaron Carter's Legacy Lives Through New Single Release.

by Nouman Rasool
Friends Unite for Aaron Carter's Posthumous Single 'Grateful': A Tribute to Pride
© Cindy Ord/Getty Images

In the months leading up to his untimely passing in 2022, Aaron Carter was immersed in his California home studio, crafting melodies that celebrated life's simple joys. His song "Grateful," a vibrant ode to finding light in everyday moments, encapsulates this sentiment with lyrics that resonate with a deep appreciation for life: “Sunshine through my window, but it’s been a minute since I felt like this/Been a long week but I’m good though, every single breath is feeling like a gift”.

This track, a collaborative effort with his dear friend Bryan Cassidy, now serves as a poignant reminder of Carter's talent and spirit. Tragically, at the age of 34, Carter's life was cut short when he drowned in his bathtub in November 2022, a consequence of a lethal mixture of substances.

Despite this heartbreaking end, his legacy endures through his music. Cassidy, alongside Carter’s former manager and producer, Morgan Matthews, have taken it upon themselves to share "Grateful" with the world, a gesture they believe would have filled Carter with immense pride.

Cassidy reflects on the song with a mix of sorrow and fondness, stating, "This [song] reminds me of the Aaron that I know. He just sounds so good on it. This is a positive way to remember Aaron." Matthews echoes this sentiment, affirming that Carter "would be so proud" of the song's release.

"Grateful": A Tribute

"Grateful" features posthumously added vocals by Cassidy and embodies a spirited tribute to Carter, whose later years were marred by struggles with substance abuse and mental health issues. Cassidy shares the emotional challenge of contributing to the song, highlighting the profound loss felt by those close to Carter, "It was hard for me to hear the song and record it...

I still kind of am recovering. Sometimes I’ll go in my messages and read what he sent me. And you realize a good one died young. It just sucks." The friendship between Cassidy and Carter, which blossomed around 2012, was marked by creativity, humor, and a shared passion for music.

Despite Carter's personal challenges, their bond remained strong, with Cassidy recalling moments of levity and mischief that captured Carter's youthful spirit. Yet, this same spirit often made it difficult for Carter to accept criticism, leading him to surround himself with enablers rather than those who could offer the tough love he needed.

As they release "Grateful," Cassidy and Matthews honor Carter's memory through his music, which they believe he would have wanted to be shared with the world. This song stands as a testament to Carter's talent and the indelible mark he left on those who knew him best.

It's a bittersweet moment, as Cassidy wishes Carter could witness the impact of his work, "He was special, that’s for sure."

Aaron Carter