Jelly Roll Teams Up With AJ McLean For Run Through Backstreet Boys’ ‘I Want It That Way’ During Toronto Show

Jelly Roll continues to provide proof that dreams do come true. On Wednesday night (July 10) during his first-ever solo international date, the “Save Me” singer brought out a very special guest to help him celebrate. Performing at the 2,500-capacity venue History in Toronto, the country superstar surprised the sold-out house by inviting the Backstreet Boys’ AJ McLean out to help him on a run through the boy band’s iconic 1999 single “I Want It That Way.”

“Get on out here AJ, let’s sing some music for these motherf–kers in Toronto, baby!,” Jelly shouted as McLean waltzed on stage to screams from the crowd. The two men were in perfect harmony on their duet, with the audience enthusiastically helping out on the “tell me whyyyy” chorus as if the whole thing had been rehearsed beforehand.

During the show, Jelly took a moment to savor his first trip up North while shouting out some classic Canadian cuisine, telling the crowd, “technically, this week is officially my international debut. It’s the first time I’ve… let me tell you something. Everything’s been great. Cover the kids’ ears, but the weed has been incredible, the people have been great. And I mean, I never had poutine until yesterday… I’m sorry I was late to the party, but I will take it home and make a tradition of throwing gravy on my fries.”

In June, Jelly Roll announced that he’d booked his first non-U.S. dates, which included a July 8 show at the Meridian Center in St. Catharines in Ontario at a benefit for the Heather Winterstein Foundation, which was followed by a July 9 gig at Ottawa’s Bluesfest.

“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,” he told the crowd. Man, I couldn’t have asked for a better reception.”

The 39-year-old singer who has scored three No. 1 hits at Canadian radio to date, has never booked any shows in Canada — or anywhere else overseas to date — due to visa restrictions tied to a number of arrests and convictions earlier in his life. Jelly has been candid about his past legal issues and jail time, including dozens of stints behind bars on drug charges dating back to when he was 14, as well as an arrest at 16 for aggravated robbery that sent him to prison for a year when he was tried as an adult; he faced a potential 20-year sentence in that case, though he served just over a year and was put on probation for seven years.

Check out a clip of the duet below.

Wow!! Wild!! @aj_mclean performs a BSB song with @JellyRoll615 in Toronto!!!! Wow!! #Jellyroll

— Maurie Sherman (@DamnitMaurie) July 11, 2024