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BIG ON HEALTH, FASHION, AND FATHERHOOD MARANDA PLEASANT: What makes you come alive or inspires you? A. J. McLean: What inspires me is my daughter, because I want to set a good example for her, as does my wife. I set a good example with my way of being, eating, acting, speaking. MP: What makes you feel vulnerable? AJM: When I came out in the public about my struggles with alcohol and drugs, that’s probably the most vulnerable I have ever been in my entire life. I try to be an open book now as much as possible. Vulnerability and me go hand in hand. I try to put myself first so that I can take care of my family, so I try not to fight vulnerability as much now. MP: If you could say something to everyone on the planet, what would it be? AJM: I had this question asked of me recently when I was buying food for my wife and brother-in-law, and I would like to ask it of other people: “Why is it that most celebrities pay with cash as opposed to credit card? Is it so that they are not recognized right away and want to be more unassuming?” MP: How do you handle emotional pain?

AJM: I know for sure that my daughter and wife love me. I know I am on this earth for bigger and better things than just being a Backstreet Boy. I am already experiencing something better than being a pop star, and that’s being a father. It’s the best job in the world. A lot of work, but a lot of fun. MP: What causes or organizations are you passionate about? AJM: I am passionate about the ASPCA. I am a huge animal lover. I have also been involved in LGBT organizations like The Trevor Project, and I worked with Perez Hilton on the It Gets Better campaign. There are still so many amazing organizations out there that I would love to get involved in. I would love to go to Africa and be a part of an AIDS benefit. MP: Tell me about your latest projects. AJM: My wife, a dear friend, and I are starting a clothing and accessories line called Alexander Jaymes; Jaymes is my daughter’s middle name. We are also working with some lovely young ladies on a kids clothing line called All The Cool Kids. I am a part of Xale, which is a drink that is the polar opposite of your typical energy drink. This drink is anti-stress and way healthier. I am also working with Anvil, which has been creating road cases for sixty years, on new mini road cases for laptops and cell phones. MP: Why are these important to you?

AJM: I used to drink and do drugs, but now that this is not an option, I just sit in it. I accept it, walk through it, and then come through the other side. You have to be comfortable in the uncomfortableness. MP: How do you keep your center in the middle of chaos? Do you have a daily routine? AJM: Meditation is a huge part of my life. And prayer. I am not a religious person. I don’t go to church, but I am very spiritual. I do believe that there is a greater being that has brought me this far through life. Something or someone is on my side, teaching me valuable lessons. I try to meditate every day for at least five minutes. I put my phone on silent, sit in quiet, and try to find my center. MP: What’s been one of your biggest lessons so far in life? AJM: A dear friend of mine once told me that the only way around is through. I now live by this. I have no regrets. I believe you have to go through everything to grow and learn. Accept life on life’s terms and just let things go. MP: What truth do you know for sure?

AJM: The clothing and accessory lines are important to me because I have been a huge fan of fashion for years. I have always wanted to branch off and become a fashion guru. I want to share my artistic views with the world. Xale, I think, is going to change people’s lives and change the way energy drinks are seen. Anvil is important to me because I have been surrounded by the brand my entire career in the music business. To bring the fans into the world of being like part of the crew through things like cell phone cases, making them feel like they are on tour with their favorite band, is a cool thing. MP: What is love for you? AJM: Love for me is innocence, honesty, compassion, trust, loyalty, a gentle summer breeze, sunshine, a great cuddle. There is nothing like the love of a child. The relationship between father and daughter— there is no other love like it and there never ever will be. It’s beyond unconditional and is the best form of love there is. A. J. McLean, Backstreet Boys’ bad boy, was chosen as one of VH1’s Save the Music’s ambassadors in 2012. He’s a vocal supporter of marriage equality and has teamed up with Give a Damn Campaign as well as The Trevor Project.

I try to meditate every day for at least five minutes. I put my phone on silent, sit in quiet, and try to find my center. AJMCLEAN.COM | DRINKXALE.COM ORIGINMAGAZINE.COM 65

Profile for THRIVE. ORIGIN + MANTRA Magazines

ORIGIN Magazine: Issue 21  

Annie Lennox, Ariana Huffington, Questlove, Top Musicians making a Difference, Music, 12+ Leaders redefining success, innovation, Michael Fr...

ORIGIN Magazine: Issue 21  

Annie Lennox, Ariana Huffington, Questlove, Top Musicians making a Difference, Music, 12+ Leaders redefining success, innovation, Michael Fr...

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