Music

AJ McLean Says Backstreet Boys Is Group's 'First Marriage': 'This Is 27 Years Almost'

Not all marriages come with a ring.

Opening up about the “undeniable” bond all five members of the Backstreet Boys have with one another, AJ McLean described the group to PEOPLE as their collective “first marriage.”

“We’ve had our fights, believe me but there’s a certain bond that’s just undeniable with us and literally, this is our first marriage. Before any of our real marriages” he said while attending The Call of the Wild premiere in Los Angeles on Thursday.

McLean, who’s been married to wife Rochelle since 2011, went on to share that while not every union is made to last, the pop group has been together for over two decades — and they’re still going strong.

“Most Hollywood marriages don’t even last a year. This is 27 years almost,” he added.

As for the key to the group’s longevity, just like in marriage, McLean, 42, said that it all comes down to communication.

“Communication is key,” he said, adding that “having fun” and “respect” for one another are also important factors.

“If somebody is just kind of burnt out and they just want a break, let’s give them a break. Now that we have more control over our schedule, it makes the job more fun,” he said. “We got great wives and kids that keep us grounded and we’re trying to set a good example for all of our kids.”

In addition to McLean, who is a father to daughters Ava Jaymes, 7, and Lyric Dean, 2, the Backstreet Boys have all added proud papa to their resumes.

Nick Carter and his wife Lauren share son Odin Reign, 3, and daughter Saoirse Reign, whom they welcomed in October. Kevin Richardson and Howie Dorough each have two sons and Howie Littrell, who was the first member of the group to become a dad, shares 17-year-old son Baylee with wife Leighanne.

The Backstreet Boys are currently traveling around the globe for their DNA World Tour, which will continue with a second leg that kicks off in June 2020.

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