If AJ McLean doesn’t already have a special place in your heart from being, arguably, the most fun member of The Backstreet Boys, perhaps he’ll snag a spot in there for being an awesome dad. The singer recently shared that his oldest daughter, 9, has decided to change her name.

Going from Ava to Elliott will take some getting used to, McLean admits, but he wants his daughter to know he’s in her corner.

“When my daughter asked to change her name to Elliott, initially, I didn’t know if it was a transgender thing, which it is not, but it is a personal choice,” McLean tells PEOPLE. “And it is her body, it’s her name, it’s her everything. And she’s still Ava. She’ll always be Ava to me.”

Fans first noticed the name change when McLean’s wife, Rochelle, shared a back-to-school image of the couple’s daughters on Instagram. Their oldest daughter’s balloon read “Elliott’s First Day of 4th Grade.”

Despite McLean admitting he’ll have a tough time with the name change, that in no way impacts how much he loves his child or his unconditional support of her decisions.

“But at the same time, whatever reasoning it is, that’s hers, and I’m going to support it a million percent, my wife will [too],” he says.

He said last year, she came to him and said she wasn’t really that impressed with her name, and told McLean, “Dad, I just feel like my name is not that unique and not that original, and there’s a lot of Avas at dance and a lot of Avas at school.”

Related: Everything you need to know about popular baby names—and if it’s the right choice for you

She’s not wrong! “Ava” has been on the top 5 of most name lists since 2005. While it’s an absolutely beautiful name, it’s also common. (As an elder millennial with the middle name “Marie,” I get it.)

When fans began questioning the name change on Instagram, Rochelle responded with an explanation on her Instagram Stories last month and confirmed it wasn’t a name change based on gender.

“She wanted something unique that no one else had (There are so many Ava’s),” she wrote. “I didn’t really see the harm in respecting her desire to be unique.”

Rochelle went on to note that it’s a “little odd” that parents pick names for children at birth and “expect them to forever indentify[sic] as that person.”

Related: My child is nonbinary—and I’m so proud

“Anyway … so that’s how Ava became Elliott. I knew once I put it out there people would have opinions, but be kind,” she continued. “She’s just a kid trying to make her way in this crazy world! I just want her to know she can always be whoever she wants to be.”

What an excellent point. There are probably plenty of adults out there who could consider changing their name based on personal preferences, gendered or not. Particularly those with really common first names. Some names suit a person, and some don’t.

The name change to “Elliott” was inspired by the movie “Pete’s Dragon,” which his daughter loves.

“She just finished watching ‘Pete’s Dragon,’ and she loved the name Elliot, but with two Ts,” McLean says. “Now it just rolls off the tongue. Now she’s Elliott.”

As for Elliott and his younger daughter, Lyric, McLean wants them to know no matter what they do in life, their dad has their back.

“Whatever journey both my girls have, I will be in their corner a million percent, my wife will be in their corner and support them, whatever their path is and whatever their journey is,” he says. “That’s just the family that we are.”