Adam Lambert: Looking Back on Controversy

By Lucas Grindley

Originally published on Advocate.com November 07 2011 3:43 PM ET

Singer Adam Lambert is looking back on his early choices with a more experienced take, in a new interview and photo shoot with Out magazine.

Lambert is critical of his decisions to kiss his male keyboardist during the American Music Awards and to pose provocatively with a female model in a Details magazine spread. A new controversy caused by a lawsuit that claims Lambert has an old recording contract that predates American Idol isn't part of the interview, and on that section of his history the recording star has issued a series of defiant tweets.

Lambert allegedly recorded 12 songs for Colwel Platinum before joining American Idol, and the small company is now trying to release them as an album — but Lambert's lawyers blocked the release, according to  The Hollywood Reporter.

"This release comes as a surprise to me," Lambert wrote on Twitter. "Remember than in any dispute, reserve judgement until all the facts surface from ALL parties. Guilt and innocence come with a complete story."

The release of a dueling recording could complicate the rollout of his own single this year and an album next year. Lambert talks repeatedly about what's he's learned about the importance of communicating the right impression to "the masses" in the interview with Out, which named him to its list of the most inspiring gay people, the Out 100.

"Timing is everything," he told editor Aaron Hicklin. "That’s one thing that I’ve learned a lot about this year." Lambert said he was still introducing himself to mainstream America when he decided to pose in the Details spread, "playing into a fantasy" of his female fans. And he sees an error in his spontaneous decision to kiss his keyboard player during the American Music Awards, since for many viewers it was the first time they'd seen him after American Idol.

"The AMA thing was maybe a little too much, too soon, and the photo shoot for Details, although very beautiful, maybe it wasn’t the right timing," he conceded.

It's an interview that starts on regrets, with Out's Hicklin admitting that "I was mistaken" to address an open letter directly to Lambert in 2009, seeming to issue a "personal attack" alleging that Lambert shied away from being seen as gay. Hicklin said his critique contributed to Lambert's spontaneous kiss, and in an earlier interview with The Advocate he confirmed that Hicklin's letter might have helped drive him to do it.

Lambert says all of his freshman exuberance might have taken away from album sales.

"I live and I’ve grown up in a space that is very accepting and open-minded," he said. "I surround myself socially with people that are artists and very bohemian and I forget sometimes that, OK, we’re dealing with mainstream culture now, which does not have the same mentality as I do."

But that's all behind him.

"Now that I have established who I am and I’ve gotten it out of my system, what’s really important — without denying or downplaying my pride as a gay man — is the music," he told Hicklin. "Looking back, I think the other things trumped the music a little bit."