The Backstreet Boys announced today the postponement of sixteen dates on their Black and Blue Tour, so that A.J. McLean can check himself into rehab. McLean will undergo a thirty-day treatment program for depression which has lead to excessive alcohol consumption and anxiety attacks.
The tour, which began on June 8th, was to run in North America through September 1st, after which the BSBs would head to Japan and Australia during the fall, wrapping up the yearlong promotion behind their latest album, Black and Blue, which was released last November. The band will pick up their initial itinerary on August 7th, with the rescheduled dates to begin on September 7th and running through the end of the month.
The postponement of dates was initially thought to be connected to an injury to Nick Carter, who was rushed to a Boston emergency room Saturday after breaking his wrist during a basketball game. Despite his injury, Carter flew through the ER in an hour and was able to join the BSBs on stage at Boston's Fleet Center to perform that evening, the second of what was to be a five-performance run.
But Kevin Richardson told MTV viewers that A.J. came to them during their day off (July 8th) and told them he had a problem. The group then decided collectively that McLean's treatment took precedence over the tour. "It's been suggested that we not be so forthcoming about this situation, as many artists in the industry have in the past, but we feel compelled as a group to be honest with our fans and not let them down," the other BSBs - Carter, Howie Dorough, Brian Littrell and Richardson said in a joint statement. "A.J. is our friend and our brother and we whole-heartedly support him during this difficult time. We trust that our fans - who've always stood by us - will understand this decision is absolutely necessary in order for A.J. to be well."
Rescheduled Black and Blue Tour dates: