Why Backstreet Boys’ AJ McLean Separates His “Persona” From Real Self

Sometimes, AJ McLean and the Backstreet Boys are two worlds apart—and that’s OK.

As he continues on his wellness journey, the 45-year-old—born Alexander James McLean—has learned the importance of setting boundaries in life. In fact, he now practices what he calls “turning off AJ and letting him live in the world of Backstreet” once he’s off the stage. As AJ put it in an exclusive interview with E! News’ Francesca Amiker, “I have self-worth.”

“The biggest thing for me is knowing that AJ is a persona,” he explained. “AJ is my job, but Alex is who I am.”

The singer—who shares daughters Elliott, 10, and Lyric, 6, hairstylist Rochelle DeAnna McLean—continued, “When AJ’s done doing work, I’m Alex. I’m a husband, I’m a father, I’m a friend.”

And since learning to set healthy boundaries between work and his personal life, AJ is “much happier than I’d ever been.”

But that doesn’t mean AJ isn’t proud of all that his onstage persona has accomplished. After all, he thinks it’s “really cute” that there’s a new generation of Backstreet Boys fans in his kids and their friends.

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