Entertainment Music Backstreet Boys' AJ McLean and Wife Rochelle Separate 'Temporarily' to Build a 'Stronger Future' AJ McLean and wife Rochelle married in 2011, and share daughters Elliott, 10, and Lyric, 6 By Rachel DeSantis and Melody Chiu Melody Chiu Instagram Twitter Melody Chiu is a Senior Editor for PEOPLE. She has been with the brand since 2009, editing, writing and reporting across all entertainment verticals. She oversees PEOPLE's music and events coverage and has written cover stories on Taylor Swift, Selena Gomez, Melissa McCarthy, Blake Shelton and Sandra Oh. The Los Angeles native graduated from the University of Southern California and has appeared on Extra!, The Talk, Access Hollywood and Good Morning America. People Editorial Guidelines Published on March 27, 2023 01:25 PM Share Tweet Pin Email Rochelle and AJ McLean. Photo: David Livingston/Getty Images AJ McLean and wife Rochelle are taking some time apart. The Backstreet Boys singer, 45, and Rochelle, 41, are separating after 11 years of marriage, but plan to reunite in the future, they confirm. "Marriage is hard, but worth it. We have mutually decided to separate temporarily to work on ourselves, and on our marriage with the hope of building a stronger future," the couple said in a joint statement. "The plan is to come back together and continue to nurture our love for one another and our family. We ask for respect and privacy at this time." They continued: "Separation is hard enough without the commentary, please be kind and remember there are children involved." TMZ was first to report the news. The pair tied the knot in December 2011 at the Beverly Hills Hotel, and are parents to daughters Elliott, 10, and Lyric, 6. They met in 2008 when Rochelle, a makeup artist and hairstylist, was working as a waitress at a restaurant in Los Angeles. They went on their first date a year later. AJ McLean's Wife Explains Why Daughter, 9, Changed Her Name to Elliott: 'Not a Gender Thing' Rochelle and AJ McLean. Jason LaVeris/FilmMagic "She claims she didn't know who I was," McLean recalled to PEOPLE in 2020. "I'm like, 'Are you living under a rock?'" During the same interview, McLean revealed the ways in which his 20-year struggle with drugs and alcohol nearly derailed their family, but they ultimately gave him the strength and support to triumph over his demons. AJ McLean Shows Off His Fit Body amid Health and Sobriety Journey: 'No More Dad Bod' "[Rochelle] was at her wit's end with me. She had thrown out leaving and taking the girls, but my ego always told me, 'She's not going anywhere,'" he said. "If I were her, I would have left, but she's always been able to see through the BS to who I really am." McLean, who is now in recovery, said at the time that he was now living in bliss after years of difficulties. "This is the clearest I've ever been," he said. "I'm floating high — naturally. My family has saved my life, God has saved my life, and my recovery has saved my life. Without those three things, I wouldn't be here."