A.J. Needs More Time, Backstreet Boys Delay Return

Band says it will return the road in Milwaukee on August 24, 17 days later than originally planned.

A.J. McLean has extended his stay in rehab, forcing the Backstreet Boys to postpone two more weeks of their Black & Blue tour.

BSB had been scheduled to resume their tour August 7 in Vancouver, British Columbia, but the Boys said in a press release Tuesday (July 31) that McLean will not have completed his rehabilitation program by then.

"A.J.'s initial treatment is going very well," Kevin Richardson said in a statement. "His doctors have suggested it would be in A.J.'s best interest to take an additional two weeks in transitional care."

The tour is now scheduled to resume August 24 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, with the August 7-22 dates rescheduled for October.

McLean entered rehab earlier this month to treat alcoholism, depression and anxiety (see "Backstreet Boys Postpone Tour As A.J. McLean Seeks Treatment").

The rest of the group visited A.J. there recently, and the singer told them he was eager to get back on the road, according to a statement from Brian Littrell.

"We truly want to thank our fans for standing with us through this," Nick Carter said in the press release. "And we know that it will be worth the wait for them to see the five of us back on stage."

Bandmate Howie Dorough said earlier this month that BSB might proceed with their tour without A.J. if necessary.

"We've talked about it and we're betting on A.J. to come back. We want him to because we don't feel like the Backstreet Boys without A.J.," Dorough said. "At the same time, if he doesn't feel it in his heart or if this environment isn't the best place for him, we love A.J. — if he needs more time, if we have to revisit the idea of continuing on the tour and us covering for him, we might have to do that."

A.J.'s mother, Denise McLean, acknowledged early on that the 30-day rehab stay originally allotted might not be enough time for her son to get the help he needed.

"I'm hoping that if this program is everything they say it is, because it's so intensive, it will give him a lot of what he needs over the next 30 days," Denise McLean said (see "A.J. McLean's Mom Says Her Son Feeling Safe, Relieved").

"He's definitely going to be levels above [where he was]," she continued. "But whether he's ready to go back into that environment again and fight off all he was fighting off before — I don't know. That remains to be seen."

BSB's new itinerary includes four new dates: October 4 in Nampa, Idaho; October 7 in Albuquerque, New Mexico; October 12 in Phoenix, Arizona; and October 20 in Chula Vista, California.

Two previously scheduled shows — August 9 in Tacoma, Washington, and August 16 in Inglewood, California — have not yet been rescheduled, according to the group's publicist.

Michael Combs, director of the Tacoma Dome, said Tuesday that the arena and the group are trying to reschedule the show there, but that it could be canceled.

New Backstreet Boys tour itinerary, according to the group's publicity firm:

  • 8/24 - Milwaukee, WI @ Bradley Center

  • 8/25 - Cincinnati, OH @ Firstar Center

  • 8/26 - Maryland Heights, MO @ Riverport Amphitheatre

  • 8/27 - Kansas City, MO @ Kemper Arena

  • 8/29 - Houston, TX @ Compaq Center

  • 8/30 - San Antonio, TX @ Alamodome

  • 8/31 - Dallas, TX @ American Airlines Arena

  • 9/4 - Uniondale, NY @ Nassau Coliseum

  • 9/6 - East Rutherford, NJ @ Continental Airlines Arena

  • 9/7 - East Rutherford, NJ @ Continental Airlines Arena

  • 9/8 - Boston, MA @ FleetCenter

  • 9/9 - Boston, MA @ FleetCenter

  • 9/10 - Boston, MA @ FleetCenter

  • 9/12 - Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Center

  • 9/13 - Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Center

  • 9/14 - Toronto, ON @ Air Canada Center

  • 9/15 - Ottawa, ON @ Corel Centre

  • 9/17 - Montreal, QC @ Molson Center

  • 9/18 - Buffalo, NY @ HSBC Arena

  • 9/19 - Cleveland, OH @ Gund Arena

  • 9/20 - Detroit, MI @ The Palace

  • 9/22 - Chicago, IL @ Tweeter Center

  • 9/23 - Minneapolis, MN @ Target Center

  • 9/26 - Calgary, AB @ Saddledome

  • 9/27 - Calgary, AB @ Saddledome

  • 9/28 - Edmonton, AB @ Skyreach Centre

  • 10/1 - Vancouver, BC @ General Motors Place

  • 10/2 - Portland, OR @ Rose Garden

  • 10/4 - Nampa, ID @ The Idaho Center

  • 10/5 - Salt Lake City, UT @ Delta Center

  • 10/7 - Albuquerque, NM @ Journal Pavillion

  • 10/10 - Denver, CO @ Pepsi Center

  • 10/12 - Phoenix, AZ @ Desert Sky

  • 10/13 - San Bernardino, CA @ Glen Helen Blockbuster Pavilion

  • 10/15 - San Jose, CA @ San Jose Arena

  • 10/17 - Bakersfield, CA @ Centennial Garden

  • 10/19 - Las Vegas, NV @ MGM Grand Hotel

  • 10/20 - Chula Vista, CA @ Coors Amphitheater

For more on the A.J. saga, click here for MTV News' "A.J. Files."

(This story was updated at 5:00 p.m. ET Tuesday, July 31, 2001.)