Backstreet Boys star discusses daughter, 9, changing name to Elliott: ‘It’s her body’

Backstreet Boys star AJ McLean has discussed his daughter changing her name from Ava to Elliott.

Earlier this year, AJ, 44, and his wife Rochelle DeAnna McLean, 41, shared a back to school post where their daughter, nine, held a balloon reading: "Elliott's First Day of 4th Grade!"

AJ has since sweetly revealed that he will always support his daughter, saying of Elliott and her sister Lyric, five: "Whatever journey both my girls have, I will be in their corner a million percent."

Speaking to PEOPLE back in September, the singer, 44, said: "When my daughter asked to change her name to Elliott, initially, I didn't know if it was a transgender thing, which it is not, but it is a personal choice. And it is her body, it's her name, it's her everything. And she's still Ava. She'll always be Ava to me."

He added: "But at the same time, whatever reasoning it is, that's hers, and I'm going to support it a million percent, my wife will [too]."

AJ went on to say that Elliott came to him over a year ago, saying that she felt like her name is "not that unique or original" as there's a lot of Avas at dance and school.

He added: "She just finished watching Pete's Dragon, and she loved the name Elliot, but with two Ts. Now it just rolls off the tongue. Now she's Elliott."

It comes as AJ's wife Rochelle also addressed their daughter's name on social media after posting the back to school picture in August.

Taking to Instagram Story at the time, she wrote: "For those asking … not that it's anyone's business but Elliott's name change is not a gender thing."

She added: "She wanted something unique that no one else had (There are so many Ava's). I didn't really see the harm in respecting her desire to be unique."

Rochelle went on to say that it is a "little odd" that parents pick names for children at birth and "expect them to forever identify as that person".

Concluding her post, she added: "Anyway … so that's how Ava became Elliott. I knew once I put it out there people would have opinions, but be kind.

"She's just a kid trying to make her way in this crazy world! I just want her to know she can always be whoever she wants to be" with a heart emoji.


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