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Jelly Roll Duets With Backstreet Boys’ AJ McLean for ‘I Want It That Way’

The “Save Me” singer made his international debut in Toronto earlier this week

After playing his first international shows earlier this week in Canada — performing in Ontario in support of the Heather Winterstein Foundation for Indigenous youth and at Ottawa’s Bluesfest — Jelly Roll took the stage in Toronto and brought out the Backstreet Boy’s AJ McLean for the occasion.

The pair delivered a duet of the massive 1999 hit “I Want It That Way,” while the crowd sang along to the iconic lyrics: “You are my fire/The one desire/Believe when I say/I want it that way.” The on-stage collaboration follows after Jelly Roll and AJ McLean were spotted linking up at the 2024 BMG Pre-Grammy Party in Los Angeles, California earlier this year.


During Wednesday’s show, Jelly Roll also shared his appreciation for the crowd. “I can’t tell ya’ll how unreal this was man. I kind of gave up hope that they were ever going to let me into Canada. Man, I couldn’t have asked for a better reception,” he said, later adding, “I am such a fan of Toronto music. I either wanted to come [to History] or the Mod Club. That was my dream, was to go to one of those two.”

In June, the CMT winner opened up about his struggles booking shows internationally due to prior felony convictions and has previously admitted to being in jail around 40 times, most of which were for drug-related charges. When speaking to Jon Bon Jovi for Interview magazine, the country singer said, “It’s funny, America has finally agreed to let me leave and give me a passport, but some countries won’t let me come because of my felonies. We’re working on that. I think it’s going to work in my favor.”

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