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Adam Lambert Reveals Why He Almost Didn’t Do ‘American Idol’ After Realizing He Was Gay

Adam Lambert at Capital Summertime Ball 2023Redferns

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Adam Lambert has had an incredible career over the past 15 years, from his rise to fame on American Idol to touring the world as the frontman for Queen. In a new interview, Lambert reveals he almost didn’t audition for Idol at all after realizing he was gay.

Why Adam Lambert Auditioned for American Idol After Realizing He Was Gay

In an episode of Them‘s YouTube series Becoming, Lambert shared his life journey, starting with the moment he first realized he was different. After completing high school and coming out, Lambert pursued acting in musical theater. However, he never thought a show like American Idol would be accepting of someone like him.

“I never thought that it was a show that I’d be able to do. A. I’m a theater kid. Also, I’m gay, which never seemed to really land very well in that show. I mean, there definitely were a few, but they all kind of got not taken seriously,” Lambert said.

Despite his reservations, Lambert decided to take a risk and audition for the show in 2009 with a powerful rendition of “Bohemian Rhapsody.” He quickly became a fan favorite and made it all the way to the Finale.

However, being openly gay on mainstream television at the time came with its challenges. Just a few weeks before the finale, some viewers dug up old photos of Lambert kissing another man and posted them online in an attempt to “out” him.

“I think I lost some fans at that point,” Lambert 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.”

Lambert remained true to himself and went on to become the first openly gay artist to debut at number one on the Billboard charts with his 2012 album Trespassing.


Adam Lambert on Touring the World with Queen

After Idol, Lambert landed on the cover of Rolling Stone and eventually caught the attention of rock legends Queen. In 2014, Lambert began touring with the band as their lead vocalist.

“I never in a million years thought I would be deemed appropriate to be on stage with [Queen],” Lambert told Them. “I thought they’d be like, ‘That’s ridiculous. He’s nothing like Freddie [Mercury].'”

However, Lambert’s stunning vocals and showmanship made him the perfect fit. He’s now preparing to embark on Queen’s 50th anniversary tour in 2024. Looking back on his journey, Lambert says he finally feels fully comfortable with who he is.

“I feel more very sure of who I am, more than I ever have, more comfortable with my skin than I ever have,” he shared. “And I want to bring that to my music.”

After overcoming self-doubt and industry barriers, Lambert serves as an inspiration to LGBTQ artists and fans around the world. His story shows that staying true to yourself is always worth the risk.

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