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    A.J. McLean...Backstreet Girl?! Oh, Boy!

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    AJ McLean, Tyler Shields
    AJ McLean, Tyler Shields tylershields.com

    This Backstreet Boy has no problem getting in touch with his feminine side.

    A.J. McLean pulls off a mean RuPaul in this photo of the singer all dolled up in a voluminous black tulle dress and killer black Loub pumps. And check out the singer's model-perfect legs! Sexy!

    Completing the 'tude? Black nail polish, a cigarette and wicked tats.

    So what, in god's good name, could explain the cheeky gender switcheroo?

    MORE: "Vulgar" Lady Gaga, Katy Perry and Backstreet Boys Banned in China

    Turns out, the singer was mugging it up for his friend, celebrated photog Tyler Shields, who photographed McLean a few days before his wedding last December. The photo will be part of Shields' new exhibit at the Imitate Modern gallery in London.

    Shields posted the photo on his website, along with this caption: "It takes a real man to be a [woman]!"

    We caught up with Shields on the phone, and he gave us the full scoop.

    Turns out, the photographer officiated McLean's Beverly Hills wedding, a goth-themed affair in which the singer's bride, Rochelle DeAnna Karidis, walked down the aisle to the strains of "November Rain."

    "We always talked of doing something kinda crazy," says Shields, who came up with the idea of shooting McLean in drag to commemorate the union. It was a full-on production: A stylist got him the dress, and the shoes were custom-ordered. ("Like size 11 or 12," Shields remembers.)

    MORE: Leslie Carter, Nick and Aaron's Sister and Former E! Star, Dies at 25

    Can you guess where they did the shoot? L.A.'s Skid Row!

    "I wanted to take him to the dirtiest, grimiest place I possibly could," Shields says. "I made him walk down Skid Row in heels like that."

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    PICS: House of Carters



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