Thursday, January 28, 2010

Adam Lambert works at getting beyond 'the kiss'

It was David Bowie who first cannily reasoned that if you look and act enough like a rock star, you might actually become a rock star.

The same thinking paid off in spades for last season's American Idol runner-up, Adam Lambert. He might have lost the final vote to Kris Allen, but his attitude, his charisma and his gift for playing rock 'n' roll dress-up – not to mention a supple voice that can really wrap itself around the high notes – marked him as one of the few true, born entertainers ever to grace the series. He arrived a star. He just needed a venue.

Granted, Lambert's cockiness has since cost him a few fans on the "family values" side of things. Two days shy of the release of his debut album last November, the neo-glam extravaganza For Your Entertainment, he earned the ire of puritanical TV viewers and conservative pundits when he kissed a male keyboardist and shoved a male dancer's face into his crotch during a live performance of the title track on the American Music Awards. One of the most ridiculously overblown epidemics of gay panic this side of BrĂ¼no erupted, and America still hasn't completely gotten over it.

"The TV networks have been punishing me for it. They wouldn't let me do any live TV. They still haven't," says Lambert, 27 (until Friday), reclining beneath a painting of Marilyn Monroe in a trendy Ossington Ave. boite. "I'm not bothered by it anymore. It is what it is and I do think it'll blow over. Time heals and people are fickle and all that. But it's even made some other networks nervous about other projects, ones I shouldn't talk about for `political' reasons.

"It's too bad. Especially because, I feel, the media has a responsibility to progress society. It would be really nice if the media tried to open their minds and desensitize certain parts of the U.S. to certain things. I see straight people kissing all the time, so why is two men kissing obscene?"

Lambert – in town this week for a Monday MuchMusic appearance and some interviews before he heads to the Grammy Awards Sunday night as a fashion correspondent for Entertainment Tonight – has earned innumerable cool points by refusing to apologize ever since. Still, there's been some speculation that For Your Entertainment has stalled about 40,000 copies shy of gold status in the States because of lingering homophobia.

For his part, Lambert is just incensed that 1,500 angry letters to the FCC in a nation of 300 million can have such repercussions. Team Lambert, for instance, is still trying to figure out what scale of tour it should mount this year, if any.

Ideally, of course, he'd love to go big and theatrical, with "costumes and video and lighting and explosions: the whole thing."

What he'd prefer not to do in the meantime is become a crusader for gay rights in pop music. "On the one hand, I think it's cool because there isn't a lot of visibility for a young, gay, male musician. But ... I do resent slightly the fact that when I'm presented in the media, it's `openly gay singer and American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert.' ... My occupation is not `openly gay guy.' I'm a singer. My sexuality should be a sidebar, if anything."

Order "For Your Entertainment" Now! from:
iTunes or Amazon


  1. Adam, It doesnt matter what a few people think about your performance on the A.M.A.;s. I thought that it was a fantastic performance and your singing was the best. Keep true to your self and kep doing what you are doing in your shows. You actually have millions of fans and would be doing a injustice if you changed anything or yourself. I know that we cant wait for you to start touring. I know that I will personally be one of the first ones in line for your show. Keep up the great work. And remember we love you and you have a lot of fans who want more.

  2. I loved the video for "For your Entertaiment". I would have loved to see that performed. I love Adams voice and thats the only thing I found wrong with the AMA show , the singing wasn't to his usual perfect vocals.
    From your Glambert girl in Arkansas.

  3. Adam, your talent is to big for this silliness to hold you down. Most of us know it was a PERFORMANCE, not a "Picture of Dorian Gray!". You are kind, generous, positive, polite, and more forgiving of your critics than many others would be. Rock on and ignore the ignorant...
    Luv ya always!

  4. Oh, yeah - and we don't care who you sleep with (like it's anybody's business anyway), since we know we don't stand a chance. :)