Alexander James “AJ” McLean (born January 9, 1978) is an American singer, songwriter, actor, dancer, and model. He is a member of the vocal group the Backstreet Boys.
Alexander James McLean was born on January 9, 1978, in West Palm Beach, Florida, to Denise (née Fernandez, now Solis) and Bob McLean. He is of Puerto Rican and German ancestry on his mother’s side and Scots-Irish and English on his father’s side. He is an only child because his twin sisters died during childbirth. He was raised by his mother and grandparents (Ursula and Adolph) as his parents divorced when he was four years old.
McLean suffered from drug and alcohol addiction. He went to rehab in 2001 (and again in 2002) following an intervention by bandmate Kevin Richardson. During an interview with New Zealand radio station ZM, McLean described addiction as the hardest thing he has ever had to go through, stating it is something he battles with every day. He checked into rehab for the third time on January 10, 2011, citing “personal reasons”. In preparation for the NKOTB and Backstreet Boys tour, McLean said, “I want to be healthy and perform and sing for people at my very best and happiest.” His time in rehab did not affect the tour.
McLean married Rochelle Deanna Karidis, a makeup/hair stylist, whom he credits for helping him overcome his addiction, on December 17, 2011, in Beverly Hills, California. The rest of the Backstreet Boys, Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell, and Kevin Richardson were in attendance. On November 27, 2012, the couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Ava Jaymes. On September 5, 2016, McLean announced on Instagram that his wife was pregnant with their second child, another girl. On March 19, 2017, the couple’s second child, whom they named Lyric Dean, was born in Los Angeles.