A.J. Mclean, the first member of the famous vocal harmony group, Backstreet Boys, is known for his amazing voice and outstanding performances. He began singing and acting at a very young age and had already performed in twenty seven plays by the age of twelve. He formed a band with a group of other young and brilliant artists. ‘Backstreet Boys’, as they named it, came up with some of the highly popular and unforgettable songs that brought them huge success. Mclean and his band mates became huge stars, especially among the young and began giving stage performances. However, Mclean began to overindulge in alcohol and drugs, which started to hamper his tours with the Backstreet Boys. He had to go to rehab, and after his personal efforts and the efforts of his wife, he successfully fought alcoholism and drug abuse. He tried his hands outside of the band as well, with certain solo endeavors, and experienced mediocre success. He also collaborated with other artists in an attempt to establish himself as a solo artist. Besides working with Backstreet Boys, he continues to strive to establish himself as a solo artist and recently announced his plans to work on his second album.
Childhood & Early Life
A.J. was born as Alexander James Mclean to Denise and Bob McLean – his parents got divorced when he was four.
At the age of eight, he debuted in films with the 1986 film ‘Truth or Dare’, playing the role of ‘Little Mike’.
In 1990, his mother and grandparents took him to Orlando, Florida so that he could focus better on his acting and singing. There, he be became a part of several Nickelodeon and Disney projects.
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Mclean and another singer, Howie Dorough were natives and they met Nick Carter and formed a trio. In 1990 Kevin Richardson, another talented young man, joined the group.
In 1992, on seeing showman Lou Pearlman’s ad about creating a vocal group, Mclean, went for the audition. Thus, he became the first member of the band and later the others were also auditioned and got selected.
Brian Littrell, Richardson’s cousin was also auditioned and became the part of the group formally on April 20, 1993.
After joining the band, he left high school in order to concentrate on his musical career.
The band released its first album in April 1996 which was an instant hit, selling 250,000 copies.
Their third album, ‘Millennium’ was released on May 18, 1999. It was a massive success and was also one of the biggest hits of that year. The Backstreet Boys (BSB) rose to popularity.
Following the success of BSB, he was invited to appear in the cartoon ‘Static Shock season 2' in April 2002.
He performed solo for the first time in March 2008 at Anaheim House of Blues and The Roxy in Los Angeles, where he sang his own version of ‘Incomplete’, a hit song by BSB.
After 5 years of preparation, he released his debut solo album on January 20, 2010.
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In 2012, he announced about his plan to release his second solo album. The following year, he released two of his new singles on ‘Socialcam’, a social video application for iPhone and Android mobiles.
He appeared in rapper Redrama’s single ‘Clouds’, which released on May 22, 2013. He also went on a BSB tour on the band’s 20th anniversary, opening performances in China.
Along with his band mates, he debuted in Hollywood with ‘This Is the End’, which released on June 12, 2013. The film was a commercial success and also received positive reviews.
After performing for several years as a part of the band Backstreet Boys, his solo venture started with the album ‘Have It All’. He also released the single ‘Teenage Wildlife’ from the album, separately.
Awards & Achievements
Although the musician has not received any awards individually, his band ‘the Backstreet Boys’ has received several awards including a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame on April 22, 2013.
Personal Life & Legacy
Due to his addiction to alcohol and drugs, he was sent to a rehab in 2001 for the first time.
He went to rehab a second time in 2002 and admitted in an interview that he is unable to cope with his cravings for drugs and alcohol.
On January 10, 2011, he entered rehab once again, citing ‘personal reasons’.
On December 17, 2011, he married Rochelle Deanna Karidis, in Beverly Hills, California. Their wedding was attended by his band mates, among others. The couple had their first child Ava Jaymes McLean, on November 27, 2012.
This famous American musician, who is one of the members of the well-known band Backstreet Boys, has more than 35 tattoos!
This famous BSB member sometimes performs outside his band as ‘Johnny NoName’, his alter ego.