Adam Lambert on Coming Out, Being Gay on ‘American Idol,’ and Collabing With Queen

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Adam Lambert is so much more than just the frontman of Queen — and that’s saying something.

In the latest episode of Them’s YouTube series, Becoming, the singer opened up about his career and life journey, from his childhood to American Idol to the present day. Lambert was an early bloomer; while he knew from a young age that he was “probably different than the other boys than school,” he said that it “wasn’t until sixth grade” that he realized, “This is how I’m wired.” After getting a BFA in musical theater, Lambert acted in productions of Hair and Wicked before auditioning for American Idol.

“I never thought it was a show that I would be able to do,” Lambert said of the singing competition. Aside from being “a theater kid,” he is gay, which “never seemed to really land very well on that show.” But he auditioned anyway, with a soulful rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” and quickly became a beloved contestant. That didn’t shield him from facing homophobia in 2009 though. He wasn’t officially “out” during the competition, and a few weeks before the finale, some viewers took it upon themselves to dig up old social media photos of Lambert “making out in drag” with an ex-boyfriend.

“I think I lost some fans at that point,” he said. “But I always said to myself, ‘Well, those aren’t the fans I want anyway.’ If they think I’m gay, and they don’t like that, then go away. That’s who I am.”

Clearly, that didn’t stop him. Post-Idol, Lambert landed on the cover of Rolling Stone and became the first out gay person to have an album debut at the top of the Billboard charts, with 2012’s Trespassing, and started touring with Queen in 2014.

Fast forward to the present day: Lambert said that he felt like he was embarking upon “a new chapter.” “I feel more very sure of who I am, more than I ever have, more comfortable my skin than I ever have,” he said. “And I want to bring that to my music.” Frankly, we can’t wait to hear it.

For more about Lambert’s career, including his organization the Feel Something Foundation, watch the full interview above.

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