AJ McLean’s daughter wants him to "stop being a Backstreet Boy and just be [her] dad."
The 41-year-old singer is headed on tour with the I Want It That Way hitmakers for their DNA World Tour this summer, but has admitted his daughter Ava, six, whom he was with his wife Rochelle, isn’t too happy about the upcoming venture.
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AJ said: "My oldest actually, about five days ago, had mommy send daddy a text saying, 'Can you stop being a Backstreet Boy and just be my dad?'"
Pointing to his chest, he then added: "Yeah, so, take this out, step on it, stab it, burn it and then do it again."
But at least AJ - who also has two-year-old Lyric with Rochelle - won’t be alone when it comes to leaving his kids behind when he goes on tour, as all four of his bandmates - Kevin Richardson, Brian Littrell, Howie Dorough and Nick Carter - have children and are able to offer each other advice and support.
The Everybody singer told Entertainment Tonight: "They’ve all been through it. Some of them haven’t gotten through it yet. They all have boys. Boys, I think, are maybe not as emotional.
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"Plus, Mommy gets to be home to try to explain to my girls, 'Be thankful Mommy and Daddy are both not working. Mommy gets to be there but Daddy always, always comes home.'"
Meanwhile, AJ recently said he was learning to put himself first following his battle with addictions which have seen him enter rehab several times, including a relapse as recently as 2018.
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He said: "[Addiction] has made me have to look inward, which I think is what a lot of people who haven't fully matured are lacking. That's something I've struggled with for years. I put my family first, then I put my job, then somewhere down the line is me.
"I'm slowing learning, at 41, that it's okay to put me before all of it because if I'm not happy and healthy, how could I be the father and husband that I truly know I am and want to become even better at? If I'm not happy or healthy, all the other stuff is eventually going to go bye-bye."
- Bang! Showbiz