Reinventing Adam Lambert
BY Matthew Breen
October 17 2011 4:00 AM ET
“I got a smoothie and I pumped gas!”
Adam Lambert’s mornings aren’t so unlike those of many Los Angeles residents on their way to work.
“These are my days,” he says at Conway Recording Studios in Hollywood, teasing the last ounce of his smoothie with a straw. “I woke up, I got on my treadmill at my house this morning and ran for 20 minutes and got ready. I love this juice place. This is called the singer’s remedy, and it’s lemon and cayenne. It clears your throat and gets your cords ready. And it’s something I actually do. And I need gas to drive. It’s a normal day.”
Normal to a point. Then there’s the whole magazine interview, photo shoot, and a day working in the studio. Lambert is recording his follow-up album to his 2009 debut, For Your Entertainment, and has been writing and recording for the last five months. And a lot has changed since the most controversial figure to come out of American Idol first took to the national stage.
At age 12 he wowed the audience of his San Diego children’s theater company with a powerful operatic solo in Fiddler on the Roof, an experience that launched a budding theater career. Fifteen years later his unexpected reboots of some beloved songs (Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire,” Tears for Fears’s “Mad World”), paired with a more decidedly glam aesthetic than that of his largely all-American competitors, made him the most interesting thing to watch on American Idol’s eighth season, where he finished as first runner-up.
Lambert has long been comfortable in front of an audience. It was the other trappings of fame that threw him — and the media — for a loop.
Before the show had even finished filming he appeared on the cover of Entertainment Weekly in an article speculating about whether he was gay and why he wouldn’t say so — all without having given an interview. (Idol contestants are prohibited from giving individual interviews while in competition.)
He came out in Rolling Stone and appeared in a provocative photo spread in Details magazine suggestively grabbing a naked woman. When he did agree to appear in a gay publication, in Out magazine (owned by Here Media, the parent company of The Advocate), his management issued so many conditions for the photo (“must accompany a straight woman”) and interview (“not too gay”) that Aaron Hicklin detailed the conditions in his editor’s letter. Lambert responded via Twitter, suggesting that others not force their own agenda on him, and then shocked media watchers on his first post-Idol TV performance by kissing his male keyboard player at the American Music Awards.
“I kind of asked for it in a way,” he says of the fuss surrounding the kiss, which prompted CBS to censor a later broadcast of the performance and led ABC to cancel a morning show appearance. “Not everything is so premeditated as people think it is. There are things that just happen, there are things you just do. It was an impulse.”
Lambert admits it was “a bit reactionary on my part. I think I was a little overwhelmed with everything. It was me reacting a little bit to that ‘you’re not gay enough’ thing. At that moment for whatever reason I was like, Well, is this gay enough? It was me being a little bit pissed off!”
- Meet the 2013 Point Foundation Scholars
- Filipino Archbishop Says Gay Men and Lesbians Can Marry — Each Other
- R&B Singer Monifah Carter Talks About Her Journey as a Lesbian in the Music Industry
- PHOTOS: Marry Me in Maine
- Op-ed: How Animated Shows Like Futurama Can Unite Us All
- Republican Wants Right to Fire LGBT Employees Who 'Work in a Tutu'
Sign Up For Email Updates
- Entertainment News Muscle Worship: Meet the Men of L.A.'s New Gay Strip Club 32 min 42 sec ago
- Religion Filipino Archbishop Says Gay Men and Lesbians Can Marry — Each Other 2 hours 21 min ago
- Travel Drag Racing in Jerusalem 2 hours 57 min ago
- Crime Police Seek Suspects Who Vandalized Chick-fil-A With Antigay Slurs 2 hours 59 min ago
- Women Martina Navratilova, Billie Jean King Among First Inductees to Gay and Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame 6:51 PM
- Entertainment News Dolce & Gabbana Sentenced To Jail 6:20 PM
- Politicians President Obama Adresses LGBT Rights in Berlin Speech 4:59 PM