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AJ McLean’s 9-Year-Old Daughter Changes Her Name to Elliott: It’s ‘Not a Gender Thing’

AJ McLean's 9-Year-Old Daughter Changes Her Name to Elliott 2
A.J. McLean Rob Latour/Shutterstock

Shaking things up. After AJ McLean‘s daughter chose to change her name from Ava to Elliott, the Backstreet Boys member’s wife, Rochelle McLean, addressed the reason behind the decision.

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“For those asking… not that it’s anyone’s business but Elliot’s name change is not a gender thing,” Rochelle, 40, wrote via Instagram Story on Wednesday, August 24. “‘Ava’ has changed her name quite a few times since she was about five. Last year she asked us to start calling her Elliot and it stuck. She wanted something unique that no one else had. (There are so many Ava’s.)”

The makeup artist, who also shares 5-year-old daughter Lyric with AJ, 44, further opened up about the family’s response to their child’s request.

AJ McLean's 9-Year-Old Daughter Changes Her Name to Elliott 4
AJ McLean with Lyric Dean McLean and Ava Jaymes McLean. Rob Latour/Shutterstock

“I didn’t really see the harm in respecting her desire to be unique. Come to think of it, it’s a little odd that as parents we choose names for people we haven’t even met yet and expect them to forever [identify] as that person!” she continued. “Anyway… so that’s how Ava became Elliot.”

In the lengthy post, Rochelle requested that her followers react positively to the news, adding, “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.”

The singer, for his part,​​​ recently took to social media to commemorate his eldest kid’s new moniker.

Related: Celebrity Parents Who Changed Their Children's Names

“After two and half years of homeschool, these two beauties are back to school! Lyric is starting kindergarten and Elliott (Ava) is in fourth grade!” he wrote alongside an Instagram photo of his children on Wednesday. “I can’t believe it! I’m so proud of these girls. As much as I am going to miss them, I’m excited to watch them spread their wings and fly!”

AJ McLean's 9-Year-Old Daughter Changes Her Name to Elliott 3 Ava Jaymes McLean
Elliott McLean Courtesy of Rochelle DeAnna Mclean/Instagram

AJ, who exchanged vows with Rochelle in 2011, previously gushed about the perks of being a father to two girls.

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“Obviously daughters look up to their dad and it’s such a good feeling. Honestly to come home and to see them and to see their expressions on their face whenever I come back home,” he exclusively told Us Weekly in July about the highlights of parenthood. “To be able to go on daddy and daughter dates and get our nails done and do all that kind of stuff to me is just awesome and there’s nothing better for me than having girls. I don’t think I would know what to do if I had boys to be honest with you.”

At the time, the musician noted that he didn’t have any plans to expand his family. “Nope, I’m done. My wife’s done. Even numbers is good for me and her. Two is a good number, and there’s already a four-year gap between the two of them so I think we’re good,” he added.

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