AJ McLean's Wife Explains Why Daughter, 9, Changed Her Name to Elliott: 'Not a Gender Thing'

Rochelle McLean shared a message about her daughter's name change, which first appeared in the family's back-to-school photos

AJ McLean's kids are ready to get back to the classroom.

The Backstreet Boys singer, 44, and wife Rochelle shared a sweet shot of their daughters on their first day of school in a joint Instagram post on Wednesday. Both girls smile as they hold big balloons that feature their names and the grade they're starting this year.

Daughter Lyric, 5, is celebrating her first day of kindergarten while their 9-year-old daughter, born Ava, is starting 4th grade. Instead of the balloon reading Ava, it reads Elliott, which prompted some questions from users about whether the couple's older daughter changed her name.

Rochelle, 40, later shared individual photos of the girls on her Instagram Story, along with a post addressing questions about her oldest's name.

"For those asking … not that it's anyone's business but Elliott's name change is not a gender thing," Rochelle wrote, going on to explain that her daughter has tried a few name changes and Elliott "stuck" after she asked her parents to start calling her by the name last year.

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"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."

AJ McLean's Wife Rochelle Addresses Daughter's Name Change: 'Be Kind, She's Just a Kid'
Rochelle DeAnna Mclean Instagram

Rochelle went on to note that it's a "little odd" that parents pick names for children at birth and "expect them to forever indentify[sic] as that person."

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

AJ McLean's Wife Rochelle Addresses Daughter's Name Change: 'Be Kind, She's Just a Kid'
Rochelle DeAnna Mclean Instagram

During his appearance at 90s Con in March, McLean talked about his dreams of performing on Broadway and what a move to New York City could mean for his family.

"That is like number one on my bucket list: to do Broadway," McLean said. "Within the next two years, my family and I — I'm not going to tell you where — we're going to move to New York for one year and hopefully [it will happen]."

He added that the potential move would allow his two daughters to attend some "really awesome dance schools in New York," adding: "They're both mini-mes. They love to perform."

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