Backstreet Boys' AJ McLean Surprises Fans by Shaving His Signature Beard and Mustache

"If I [saw] you on the streets, I wouldn't recognize you," one fan wrote of AJ McLean's dramatic transformation

Backstreet's Back... with a brand new look!

On Wednesday, Backstreet Boys member AJ McLean surprised fans by shaving the dark beard and mustache he's been rocking since the '90s. The singer and dancer debuted his drastic transformation on Instagram, writing, "Had to be done! Don't worry, y'all. It will return in a month."

"TELL ME WHYY," one person commented, referencing lyrics from the boy band's hit song "I Want It That Way."

"If I [saw] you on the streets, I wouldn't recognize you," someone else wrote. "Have you lost a bet? 😜" a third fan joked.

McLean, 43, revealed his clean-shaven look just one month after he and his fellow Backstreet Boys (Nick Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell and Kevin Richardson) announced they were canceling their Christmas shows in Las Vegas due to COVID-19 and subsequently postponing their holiday album that was set to be released this year.

aj mclean
Kurt Krieger/Corbis via Getty Images; AJ McLean/Instagram

"We are so excited and proud of what we have and the way it's all coming together," the group said, referring to their upcoming album. "We feel that this is one of our best creations yet and that this creation deserves the best possible scenario and set up for success."

aj mclean
Jesse Grant/Getty Images

The band continued, "With the current state of the world still limiting our travel and causing small things in these processes to take much longer, we have decided to wait until 2022 to release our Christmas album and subsequently will be canceling our limited Las Vegas run of Christmas shows."

"While we are disappointed, we know this is for the best and we absolutely cannot wait to share the magic of this album with all of you when the time is right!" the statement concluded.

AJ McLean. Kelsey McNeal via Getty

The boy band members noted that refunds will be issued automatically.

Backstreet Boys announced in July that they would be performing for 12 nights at Planet Hollywood's Zappos Theater in Las Vegas with a holiday-themed "A Very Backstreet Christmas Party" residency.

Backstreet Boys. Jon Kopaloff/Getty

The show was set to feature "classic holiday favorites, new originals and their biggest hits."

At the time of the announcement, Dorough, 48, told USA Today, "If 10 years ago you had asked about playing Vegas, I would have been like, no, that's where people go to retire into the sunset and put an end to their careers. But Celine (Dion), Britney (Spears), JLo (Jennifer Lopez) – they all recreated the thought of what people perceive of Vegas."

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