Backstreet Boy AJ McLean Inspired to Fight Addiction After Mac Miller’s Passing

By Bryan Le 09/24/18
The boy band singer is driven to stay sober and fight addiction with a new line of recovery products.
AJ McLean

Singer AJ McLean is joining the fight against addiction following rapper Mac Miller’s death. Having battled his own addictions in the past, McLean knows Miller’s struggles all too well.

“I met him a couple of times at radio shows and he was a stand-up guy,” McLean told Entertainment Tonight. “You would never know that he had a problem—but a lot of people had no idea that I had a problem. Addicts can hide it pretty well, so all my condolences go to his family and friends. He’s another one gone too soon.”

McLean himself has two young daughters as his motivation to stay sober, but Miller’s passing has given McLean a renewed vigor in combating addiction. He’s throwing his weight behind a new line of home products made to help those struggling with substance abuse, with a special focus on opioids.

“With what recently happened with Mac Miller, people need to really understand how serious addiction is,” he remarked. “It’s a huge killer and you’ve just got to surround yourself with the right people, go to your meetings and get a sponsor. It’s a marathon, not a race. I’m getting involved with a pharmaceutical company that is going to be putting out some amazing products. One is an at-home opioid detox kit, non-narcotic because one of the biggest [causes of] deaths in the entire world right now is based on opioids.”

In 2001, the Backstreet Boys stopped their Black & Blue tour to allow McLean to go to rehab for alcohol abuse treatment. He’s been open about his recovery process, 'fessing up to having relapsed on booze in the past during his recovery. To this day, McLean still does his best to attend at least five Alcoholics Anonymous meetings per week.

These days McLean isn’t just staying sober for himself—he has his wife and two daughters, five-year-old Ava and one-year-old Lyric, to look after.

“Having a family and looking my two girls in the eye every single night and every single morning—they’re my lifeline,” he admitted. “They’re my everything. Them and my wife. So, I would never in a million years want to let them see me drunk or high or dead or in jail.”

McLean’s schedule is pretty busy these days. Besides raising two daughters and backing a range of recovery products, he’s also wrapping up work on a new Backstreet Boys album while also working on a solo country record.

“I have been super busy trying to finish off my solo record, and this past week—I think, hopefully—we finished the Backstreet Boys record!” he told ET. “So, we can have it come out in October as planned, then tour around the world next year.”

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Bryan Le grew up in the 90's, so the Internet is practically his third parent. This combined with a love for journalism led him to The Fix. When he isn't fulfilling his duties as Editorial Coordinator, he's obsessing over fancy keyboards he can't justify buying. Find Bryan on LinkedIn or Twitter