Last week I was perusing Give Me Something To Read and came across an article entitled “The Devil in Greg Dark.” I started reading it and was confused to see that it was from 2001–Give Me Something to Read usually posts recent articles. But I quickly realized that the article was really about Leslie Carter, who died a few weeks ago at the age of 25. I didn’t remember Carter’s music from my own tween years, and I learned that her full album was never released.
It’s a fascinating article, ostensibly about Gregory Dark, who produced Carter’s only music video, but also about why being a teen idol is not necessarily the best job going:
“Fourteen-year-olds are not stupid,” Craig Fanning answers calmly. “They can understand what you tell them to do. You tell Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera or Mandy Moore to do something, believe me, they do it, no questions asked, because they’re professionals. What Leslie has to learn is that this is not about her. It’s not about Leslie Carter. In fact, she has learn to void herself of Leslie Carter and become a professional.”
The whole thing is pretty awful and makes Leslie’s early retirement seem entirely reasonable.
Interestingly, the Village Voice called Leslie’s unreleased album the best bubblegum album of the entire ’97-Y2K era.
Here, for your musical enjoyment, is Leslie’s only single, “Like Wow!”
Rest in peace, Leslie 🙁