Backstreet Boys’ AJ McClean Reveals His Favorite *NSYNC Songs to Sing on Tour — and One's 'Raunchy' (Exclusive)

AJ McLean may be a member of the Backstreet Boys, but he's still an *NSYNC fan! PEOPLE caught up with the 46-year-old singer at the iHeartRadio Music Awards on Monday, where he opened up about hitting the road with *NSYNC's Joey Fatone for their A Legendary Night tour

Published Time: 02.04.2024 - 15:31:05 Modified Time: 02.04.2024 - 15:31:05

AJ McLean may be a member of the Backstreet Boys, but he's still an *NSYNC fan!

PEOPLE caught up with the 46-year-old singer at the iHeartRadio Music Awards on Monday, where he opened up about hitting the road with *NSYNC's Joey Fatone for their A Legendary Night tour.

“It's an incredible show," says McLean. "It's so much fun. You may not get all 10 of us on stage, but you're getting two of us singing each other's songs."

There's plenty of hits to chose from among the '90s stars' collection of hits. But while some might expect McLean to gravitate towards *NSYNC hits like "I Want You Back" or "Tearin' Up My Heart," when asked his favorite songs to sing by the once rival boy band, McLean chose two lesser-known tracks.

“Well, now it's changed, because we do 'Space Cowboy' in the show, and that's become my new favorite," McLeans says. "'Digital Get Down' was always my favorite. Just because it was adult, dirty, raunchy."

"Space Cowboy" and "Digital Get Down" are both off of No Strings Attached, *NSYNC's third studio album. Released in 2000, it immediately topped the Billboard charts and produced the singles "Bye Bye Bye, "It's Gonna Be Me" and "This I Promise You."

McLean went on to praise more of *NSYNC's music. "Some of the ballads, obviously I'm a big fan of," he tells PEOPLE. "But I'm a real big fan of the new song 'Paradise.' "

“Paradise" is featured on band member Justin Timberlake's new album Everything That I Thought It Was, “I got to hear it a week before it premiered," McLean recalls. "The first thing I said to myself was, ‘Damn it. Why is this not a Backstreet Boys song?’ ”

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tar adds he hopes the *NSYNC reunion “isn't just a quick thing” and that “they do go back on the road."

"The fans need it," McLean says. "They want it."

At the iHeartRadio Awards on Monday, McLean was joined by another *NSYNC member — Lance Bass. The two presented onstage, and sat together in the audience during the show.

Coming up on 30 years since the release of the pair's debut singles with Backstreet Boys’ and *NSYNC, both bands are still standing strong, which McLean is proud of. 

“It’s a testament to the fans .. the music, and to each other, the brotherhood,” he tells PEOPLE Monday. “We love what we do. We're a bunch of hams. We live to be on stage. So any chance we get to perform, be on tour, any of that, we're going to keep doing it until literally the wheels fall off. So we're coming up on 31 years together this month, and we're still standing and we're still going.”

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McLean and Fatone, 47, announced their joint "A Legendary Night" tour across North America in January. The first run of shows for the tour kicked off on March 15 in Temecula, California, and concluded on March 30 Jacksonville, Florida.

More dates have since been added to the tour, due to high demand, with shows beginning again in August, McLean shares. 

“We added now 20 more dates. Half of those are sold out and we're about to add more dates in August,” he tells PEOPLE. "It's 90 minutes of just organized chaos and fun. So if you haven't seen it, come see it and you will not regret it.”

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