Nick Carter Is Ready to Explore ‘Creative Personal Expression’ on Upcoming Solo Tour: Exclusive

Nick Carter feels most himself when he’s making music. After touring the world with the Backstreet Boys for the past four years, one might think he’d step back and take a much deserved break — but, in fact, he’s just getting started.



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“When I got back home and was finally able to be with the family, it was so amazing, but I’m a musician, I’m a performer. I love music, and so I decided that I wanted to get back on the road and do what I love,” the 43-year-old superstar tells Billboard.

That’s why he’s heading out on the road for his first solo tour in seven years. The Who I Am tour, announced exclusively via Billboard, aims to capture the music, the stories and the journey that, fittingly, made Carter who he is. “I was born in 1980 and there was a lot of music that influenced me throughout the years to be one of the members of the Backstreet Boys. So, I’m going to perform a lot of songs that I love,” he says of what fans can expect from the 14-show run. “80s songs, 90s songs — songs that that we all grew up with, and then also some solo songs and a lot of the Backstreet Boys songs. It’s just going to be a real fun show.”

The tour kicks off on October 4 in Lexington, Ky., before making its way through cities like Nashville, Tempe and Orlando before wrapping up on October 25 in Las Vegas. While Carter will be honoring his Backstreet Boys pop roots, fans can also expect to see a new side of the singer.

“I’m going to go out with a band, and I play guitar. I’m going to be playing drums throughout the show. So, it has a bit more creative personal expression and is a little bit more organic, I guess you could say,” he says of how his tour differs from a BSB run, before sharing the “surprising” songs he hopes to add into the setlist. “There’s no walls for me when it comes to music,” Carter says with a laugh. “One of the songs I really want to do is Simple Mind’s ‘Don’t You (Forget About Me)’ from The Breakfast Club and another one I want to do is Bon Jovi’s ‘Wanted Dead or Alive.’ I’m actually going to do some rap because I grew up listening to rap music. I’m gonna tear up some rap and do my own East Coast versus West Coast!”

Don’t worry, Backstreet Boys fans. Just because Carter is embarking on a solo tour, doesn’t mean he’s not still close with the rest of the guys. “I’m probably going to write a song with AJ [McLean], and I just hung out with Kevin [Richardson] recently. We went to a yoga retreat together,” he says.

Carter’s Who I Am tour comes at a particularly poignant time in the superstar’s life. In November, his younger brother and fellow pop star Aaron Carter died at age 34 after he drowned in the bathtub at his home in Lancaster, Calif., after inhaling difluoroethane and taking alprazolam. His cause of death was deemed accidental.

“It’s been a very rough year for me and my family and losing my brother is still something that I’m processing,” Nick shares. Following Aaron’s death, Nick and his sister Angel launched a donation fund in their late brother’s memory to benefit On Our Sleeves, which advocates to break the stigma surrounding mental health and provides children’s mental health resources to families and teachers nationwide.

“You try to find ways to cope with the things that are being thrown at you in life. Leaning into anything philanthropic or charitable, it makes it about something bigger than yourself,” Nick says of his past few months. “When my sister and I [launched the donation fund], I think that was the only way we were able to process what we’ve been going through. It’s become about how can we turn what we’ve been feeling into something that can hopefully help somebody else, and then we can learn from it and then somebody else can learn from it.”

“I love my brother. He’s my baby brother and I love him. Losing him, it’s been really hard,” he adds, before taking time to offer some advice for those also going through the loss of a loved one. “You just have to take life as it comes and learn from it and, most importantly, just know that you’re not alone.”

Amid the grieving process, Nick has also been facing a new sexual abuse lawsuit from Melissa Schuman – a former member of teen-pop group Dream who has long claimed that she was assaulted by the singer. “I’m a really strong believer in the legal system,” the Backstreet Boys member tells Billboard, noting that he can’t share too many details about the ongoing lawsuit at this time. “I’m confident that justice will be served in the end, and I actually look forward to speaking about it more when it’s all over.”

As for now, Nick says that the Who I Am tour has provided a much welcomed beam of light in a particularly tumultuous year. “I’m a musician. I’m an artist. I’m a performer, but I’m also a human first,” he explains. “Music is therapeutic to me and we all find ways to manage the things that we’re going through in life. Getting out there and performing for fans and just being who I am — it’ll help me during this this time.”

Tickets and exclusive VIP packages for the Who I Am tour go on sale starting July 21 here. See below for the full list of tour dates.

Oct. 4 – Singletary Center for the Arts – Lexington, KY
Oct. 5 – The Family Arena – St. Charles, MO
Oct. 7 – Schermerhorn Symphony Center – Nashville, TN
Oct. 8 – The Classic Center Theatre – Athens, GA
Oct. 9 – Harbison Theatre – Irmo, SC
Oct. 11 – Shaftman Performance Hall Jefferson Center – Roanoke, VA
Oct. 13 – Wilson Center – Wilmington, NC
Oct. 15 – Walt Disney Theater at Dr. Phillips Center – Orlando, FL
Oct. 17 – Pompano Beach Amphitheater – Pompano Beach, FL
Oct. 19 – Curtis M. Phillips Center for the Performing Arts – Gainesville, FL
Oct. 20 – Van Wezel Performing Arts Hall – Sarasota, FL
Oct. 22 – Morsani Hall Straz Center for the Performing Arts – Tampa, FL
Oct. 24 – Mullett Arena – Tempe, AZ
Oct. 25 – The Theater at Virgin Hotel Las Vegas – Las Vegas, NV