Alexander James McLean
January 9, 1978
West Palm Beach, Florida
McLean was born on January 9, 1978, in West Palm Beach, Florida, to Bob and Denise McLean. He was named for his father's grandfather, Alexander. When he was around two years old, his mother gave birth to stillborn twin girls. His parents divorced a few months later, leaving him to be raised by his mother and maternal grandparents, Adolph and Ursula.
From a young age, McLean showed an interest in acting, dancing, and singing. At age six, he auditioned for a part in A Christmas Carol at a local children's theater and made such an impression on the director that a new part was written into the play specifically for him. McLean's theater performances caught the attention of talent agent Richard Lustig, who allowed McLean to perform in shows at local bars and nightclubs.
McLean landed his first on-screen role as young Mike Strauber in the 1986 film Truth or Dare? In 1991, he played Sidney "Skunk" Duff in the Nickelodeon comedy series Hi Honey, I'm Home! However, he was cut from the series due to being too tall and only appeared in the pilot episode, which aired in 1999 as part of Nickelodeon's "Nick Knew Them When" anniversary marathon.
McLean met future bandmates, Nick Carter and Howie Dorough, through auditions for local commercials, television, and theater. At one such audition, the three realized they could harmonize well together and decided to form a vocal trio. Shortly thereafter, Kevin Richardson met the three through a co-worker, and the four formed a group. Brian Littrell was the last member to join, thereby turning the group into a quintet.
In 1992, Lou Pearlman placed an advertisement in the Orlando Sentinel for an audition seeking adolescent male vocalists. McLean auditioned and was accepted as the first official member of the group. Carter, Dorough, Littrell, and Richardson were selected over the following year. Pearlman named the group the "Backstreet Boys" for a flea market in Orlando, Florida. The group was especially popular in the late 1990s to early 2000s.
For the Disney Junior television series The Lion Guard, McLean voiced Kuchimba, a golden mole. McLean's longtime friend, series composer Beau Black, specifically wrote Kuchimba's song to match McLean's singing voice.
On December 17, 2011, McLean married Rochelle Deanna Karidis in Beverly Hills, California. On November 27, 2012, the couple welcomed their first child, a daughter named Ava Jaymes. Their second child, a daughter named Lyric Dean, was born on March 19, 2017.