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- July 23, 2001
- Vol. 56
- No. 4
With A.J. McLean Fighting Depression and Alcoholism, the Backstreet Boys Take An Unscheduled De-Tour
McLean's difficulties apparently became more and more noticeable over the past year. "[The group] told me he's been missing meetings and staying out late," says MTV News correspondent John Norris, who conducted the interview. "He would keep partying and not make the call the next day." What precipitated his tailspin is anyone's guess, but friends agree that the recent death at age 81 of McLean's grandmother Ursula Fernandez, who helped raise him, affected him deeply. "He was heartbroken," says McLean's close friend Rachel Zoe Rosenzweig, a stylist for the band.
That may explain the lyrics to a song McLean was shown composing in a home video on TRL. "What do people really want?" he sang in the clip. "They wanna be happy."
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