Lambert at the 21st GLAAD Media Awards, 2010.
|Birth name||Adam Mitchel Lambert|
January 29, 1982 |
|Origin||Rancho Peñasquitos, San Diego|
|Genres||Pop,pop rockglam rockdance,electronic|
|Occupations||Musician, singer-songwriter, actor, record producer|
Adam Mitchel Lambert (born January 29, 1982) is an American singer-songwriter and stage actor. Born in Indianapolis, Indiana and raised in San Diego, California, he performed in amateur theatrical productions as a child, a path he pursued into adulthood, appearing in professional productions in the U.S. and abroad. In 2009, Lambert came to prominence after becoming the runner-up on the eighth season of American Idol. After signing with 19 Entertainment in a joint venture with RCA Records, he released his debut studio album For Your Entertainment in 2009; it debuted at number three on the US Billboard 200 with 198,000 copies in first-week sales, and reached the top 10 in several countries. Its singles "For Your Entertainment", "Whataya Want from Me" and "If I Had You" also became international successes. Soon after the album release, he headlined a worldwide concert tour, Glam Nation, the first American Idol contestant to do so in the year following his Idol season. The tour was followed by two live releases: an extended play entitled Acoustic Live! (2010), and a live CD/DVD Glam Nation Live (2011), which debuted at number one on the SoundScan Music Video chart. Lambert took executive producer credit and was a principal writer on his second studio album, Trespassing, released in May 2012, to critical acclaim. Trespassing made its debut in the number one spot on the Billboard 200 album chart, also topping the Billboard Digital Albums Chart and Canada's Digital Albums Chart. Lambert made music history as the first openly gay artist to achieve this top charting position.
Citing influence from various artists and genres, Lambert has a flamboyant, theatrical and androgynous performance style, and a powerful, technically skilledtenor voice with multi-octave range. His showmanship and commanding presence in live shows have also become part of his signature. He has received numerous awards and nominations, including a Grammy Award nomination for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance in 2011 and an Honorary GLAAD Media Award in 2013. By April 2012 his first album had sold nearly two million copies worldwide and 4.2 million singles worldwide as of January 2011. The Times identified Lambert as the first openly gay mainstream pop artist to launch a career on a major label in the U.S.
Lambert was born in Indianapolis on January 29, 1982, to mother Leila, an interior designer; and father Eber Lambert, a program manager for Novatel Wireless. He has a younger brother, Neil. His father is of mostly Norwegian descent and his mother is Jewish. Lambert was raised in his mother's religion and has performed songs in Hebrew, such as "Shir LaShalom" and "The Prayer" at a 2005 tribute concert to assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin,as well as at the San Diego Temple of the Arts.Shortly after his birth, his family moved to San Diego, California, settling in Rancho Peñasquitos. Lambert began performing with Metropolitan Educational Theatre network (now MET2) from the age of nine, and appeared in local productions of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown and Fiddler on the Roof, among others. A few years later, he began more intense acting and vocal coaching, continuing to perform with both MET2 and what was to become the Broadway Bound Youth Theatre Foundation, as he moved through Mesa Verde Middle School and then Mount Carmel High School (MCHS). There, he became heavily involved with theater and choir, performed vocals with the school's jazz band, and competed in the local Air Bands competitions. He also appeared in local professional productions such as Hello, Dolly!, Camelot, The Music Man, Grease, Chess and Peter Pan, at venues such as The Starlight, The Lyceum and others. After graduating in 2000, he attended California State University, Fullerton, but left after five weeks to move to Los Angeles: "I just decided that what I really wanted to do was try to work in the real entertainment world. Life is all about taking risks to get what you want."
2001–08: Career beginnings
At 19, Lambert landed his first professional job, performing on a cruise ship for ten months with Anita Mann Productions. Afterwards, he performed in light opera in Orange County, California. By 21, he was signed with a manager and cast in a European tour of Hair for six months: "That was a huge turning point for me personally, because I finally got comfortable in my own skin. I was discovering a lot about myself. Sex, drugs and rock 'n' roll, a lot of it". In 2004, he appeared in the Theatre Under the Stars (TUTS) production of Brigadoon and a Pasadena Playhouse production of 110 in the Shade, before being cast in the role of Joshua in The Ten Commandments: The Musical at the Kodak Theatre alongside Val Kilmer. Lambert, still unknown, was one of the few facets of the production to garner a positive review. He came to the attention of the casting director for Wicked, and was hired as the understudy for the role of Fiyero and an ensemble member in the first national touring production of the musical from 2005; and the Los Angeles production from 2007. He finished performances with the musical in 2008. Beginning in 2004, he regularly performed at the Upright Cabaret and the Zodiac Show, which was co-created by Carmit Bachar of the Pussycat Dolls.
During this same period, Lambert briefly fronted underground rock band The Citizen Vein with Steve Sidelnyk, Tommy Victor and Monte Pittman. He recalled, "We did three gigs and that was it and we recorded a couple things, like rough recordings, and I don't know, it didn't quite click". He also worked as a demo singer and a session musician; a compilation of his 2005 recordings were later released on the album Take One (2009) by Hi Fi Recordings and Wilshire Records. Upon its release, Lambert issued a statement: "Back in 2005 when I was a struggling artist, I was hired as a studio singer to lend my vocals to tracks written by someone else. I was broke at the time and this was my chance to make a few bucks, so I jumped at the opportunity to record for my first time in a professional studio. The work I did back then in no way reflects the music I am currently in the studio working on."
2009: American Idol
Lambert auditioned for the eighth season of American Idol in San Francisco, California. His decision came after a week at Burning Man: "I had a psychedelic experience where I looked up at the clouds and went, 'Oh!' I realized that we all have our own power, and that whatever I wanted to do, I had to make happen". Lambert sang "Rock With You" and "Bohemian Rhapsody" for his initial audition. Advancing to Hollywood week, he performed "What's Up" and "Believe" solo, and "Some Kind of Wonderful" in the group effort. Lambert was a hit with judges. Simon Cowell voiced some concern about his theatricality, but Randy Jackson found it "current". He advanced easily to the top 36 performing "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction", after which he was voted into the top 13.
In the first week of live shows, his rendition of Michael Jackson's "Black or White" was praised by all four judges. For Country week, he sang a sitar-infused version of "Ring of Fire". While Randy Jackson, DioGuardi, and Paula Abdul all liked the performance, Cowell called it "indulgent rubbish". His Motown night acoustic version of The Miracles' "The Tracks of My Tears" drew praise from judges and a standing ovation from Smokey Robinson, the week's mentor and the original singer-songwriter. Advancing to the top 8, he sang the 2001 Michael Andrews and Gary Jules arrangement of "Mad World". Because the show had exceeded its time slot, only Cowell gave a critique, which he did by giving Lambert a standing ovation, the only one he bestowed during his decade-long run as an American Idol judge. After Lambert sang "If I Can't Have You", delivering what DioGuardi called his "most memorable performance", Cowell described his vocals as "immaculate" and Abdul was reduced to tears. Cowell named his rendition of Led Zeppelin’s "Whole Lotta Love" “one of my favorite performances", admitting that "nobody can top that now". He followed it by "nailing" his duet of "Slow Ride" with Allison Iraheta. For the top 3 show, he performed "One" before Cowell declared, "If you are not in the final next week, it will be one of the biggest upsets"; and continued with "Cryin' before Abdul affirmed, "we'll be seeing you next week and many years after that". He also visited his hometown and reprised his earlier successes of "Black or White" and "Mad World" at his alma mater, Mount Carmel High School. Afterwards, San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders declared May 8, 2009, "Adam Lambert Day".
Lambert performed three solo songs in the final, a reprise of "Mad World", followed by the 1960s civil rights anthem "A Change Is Gonna Come", to tremendously positive judge reaction. Abdul predicted, "Whatever happens with this Idol journey, I know you're going to be iconic". After his performance of the mandatory winner's single, "No Boundaries" Cowell summed up Lambert's journey: "Over the entire season, you've been one of the best, most original contestants we've ever had on the show. The hope and whole idea of a show like this is to find a worldwide star, and I truly believe we've found that in you". Alongside the solo performances, Lambert also sang a medley of "Beth", "Detroit Rock City", and "Rock and Roll All Nite" with rock band Kiss; and joined with Kris Allen, Brian May and Roger Taylor (of Queen) to perform the anthem "We Are the Champions" during the finale. Lambert was announced as the runner-up for the eighth season of American Idol. Upon winning, Kris Allen stated: "Adam deserved this", later explaining he thought Lambert deserved to win as much as he did, and that Lambert "was the most consistent person all year. He was seriously one of the most gifted performers that I've ever met". Lambert's version of the winner's single was released alongside Allen's. The LA Times later ranked Lambert 5th in its list of the top 120 American Idol contestants, selected from seasons 1 to 9 of the show, above Allen.
Photos of Lambert kissing another man surfaced during the American Idol competition. Highlighted as controversial, they were displayed by conservative commentators on The O'Reilly Factor, who called them "embarrassing", but did not agree that the images would impact the competition. Lambert confirmed that the photos were of him, stating he had nothing to hide and had always been open about his life. Mainstream media speculated on his sexuality and the readiness of American Idol voters for an openly gay winner.[note 1] Asked by Rolling Stone whether the buzz surrounding his sexual orientation impacted the final vote, Lambert laughed and said "probably". He confirmed that he was gay in a Rolling Stone cover interview shortly after he was named runner-up.
Performances and results
|Week #||Theme||Song choice||Original artist||Order #||Result|
|Audition||Auditioner's Choice||"Rock with You"
|Hollywood||First Solo||"What's Up"||4 Non Blondes||N/A||Advanced|
|Hollywood||Group Performance||"Some Kind of Wonderful"||Soul Brothers Six||N/A||Advanced|
|Top 36/Semi-Final 2||Billboard Hot 100 Hits to Date||"(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction"||The Rolling Stones||12||Advanced|
|Top 13||Michael Jackson||"Black or White"||Michael Jackson||11||Safe|
|Top 11||Grand Ole Opry||"Ring of Fire"||Anita Carter||5||Safe|
|Top 10||Motown||"The Tracks of My Tears"||The Miracles||8||Safe|
|Top 9||Top Downloads||"Play That Funky Music"||Wild Cherry||8||Safe|
|Top 8||Year They Were Born (1982)||"Mad World"||Tears for Fears||8||Safe|
|Top 7||Songs from the Cinema||"Born to Be Wild" – Easy Rider||Steppenwolf||3||Safe|
|Top 71||Disco||"If I Can't Have You"||Yvonne Elliman||5||Safe|
|Top 5||Rat Pack Standards||"Feeling Good"||Cy Grant||5||Bottom 2|
|Top 4||Rock and Roll Solo
|"Whole Lotta Love"
"Slow Ride" with Allison Iraheta
|Top 3||Judge's Choice (Simon Cowell)
|Top 2||Contestant's Choice
Simon Fuller's Choice
"A Change Is Gonna Come"
|Tears for Fears
Kris Allen/Adam Lambert
- ^Note 1 Due to the judges using their one save to save Matt Giraud, the Top 7 remained intact for another week.
Fresh from the competition, Lambert performed "Mad World" on CBS' The Early Show, and the next morning on Live with Regis and Kelly. He was featured on the ABC News' 20/20 in June, and began the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2009 in July. He performed Muse's "Starlight" on Good Morning America's televised concert series in Central Park in August, and that summer was also the recipient of two 2009 awards: the Young Hollywood Award for Artist of the Year and the Teen Choice Award for Male Reality/Variety Star. Lambert appeared on Larry King Live and stated that he planned to create a pop rock, multi-genre album fused with electronic production and stuck to those intentions in his subsequent debut.
2009–11: For Your Entertainment and touring
For Your Entertainment, Lambert's debut studio album, was released on November 23, 2009. Debuting at number three on the Billboard 200 and selling 198,000 copies in the US its first week, the album saw Lambert in collaboration with producers such as Rob Cavallo, Dr. Luke and Max Martin; and writers that included Matthew Bellamy, Ryan Tedder, Rivers Cuomo, Justin Hawkins, P!nk, Linda Perry and Lady Gaga. At Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the album received an average score of 71, which indicates "generally favorable reviews". Spin said the album is "perhaps the strongest, most flavorful batch of tunes to reach an AI vet, and Lambert's polymorphous vocal skills unite dancefloor strut and hard-rock pomp in a convincing glam package". Rolling Stone, however, gave it a more mixed review: "The songs sound great but feel strangely stuffy -- [it] seems like a disc that was overthought. Next time, the hugely talented Lambert should make sure he's going straight for the gut." Its Claude Kelly and Dr. Luke-produced lead single "For Your Entertainment" preceded the album's release but was not as successful as its second single "Whataya Want from Me" which impacted on charts worldwide, became his highest-peaking single (at number 10) on the Billboard Hot 100, and was nominated for the Grammy Award for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance at the 53rd awards ceremony. Another notable single was "Time for Miracles", which was the ending theme for the disaster movie 2012. Queen guitarist Brian May lauded the "truly sensational" song, stating that he was "completely blown away" upon hearing it. Since its release, For Your Entertainment has sold nearly 2 million copies worldwide and was certified gold in the US in June 2010.
On November 22, Lambert performed "For Your Entertainment" at the American Music Awards of 2009. The controversial performance, which was the night's finale, showed Lambert kissing a male bassist and grabbing the crotch of another. In response, the Parents Television Council, a conservative decency group, urged viewers to complain to the FCC, though the performance aired "outside the FCC's usual 6am-10pm time frame prohibiting the broadcast of indecent material". ABC received about 1,500 telephoned complaints and cancelled Lambert's November 25 performance on Good Morning America. Instead, CBS invited him to perform on The Early Show, on the same date. Discussing the incident in a Rolling Stone interview, Lambert stated: "Female performers have been doing this for years—pushing the envelope about sexuality—and the minute a man does it, everybody freaks out. We're in 2009—it's time to take risks, be a little more brave, time to open people's eyes and if it offends them, then maybe I'm not for them. My goal was not to piss people off, it was to promote freedom of expression and artistic freedom." Lambert returned to the AMAs two years later as a presenter, and was warmly received. Rejecting claims that the singer was banned from the show in 2009, Executive Producer Larry Klein said that he's anticipating future Lambert performances: “Adam Lambert is a friend of ours, he's talented and I like everything about him." Lambert's performance was included in Billboard's list of "Top Ten American Music Awards Moments" on the eve of its 40th anniversary, in November 2012.
In the months surrounding his album release, Lambert appeared on the cover of high-profile magazines such as Entertainment Weekly in May 2009, Rolling Stone in June 2009 and Details in November 2009. In his Details shoot he was photographed with a nude woman, sparking controversy. His Rolling Stone cover story became the magazine's best selling issue of the year. He appeared on the cover of Out magazine in their 2009 "Out 100" issue, again sparking controversy when Out's publisher issued him an open letter questioning the "gayness" of his image. In April, Lambert was chosen one of People Magazine's Most Beautiful People 2010. He appeared on the cover of Japan's May 2010 issue of Rolling Stone, after his single "For Your Entertainment" reached its fifth consecutive number-one spot on their radio airplay charts. In November 2011, Lambert covered what became a sought after edition of The Advocate, which included an in-depth interview. Lambert was chosen for Barbara Walters' 10 Most Fascinating People of 2009, and was interviewed on the December 10 show.
In support of the album, Lambert appeared on programs and at events, in the US and abroad. In late 2009, he performed on the Late Show with David Letterman,The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien, the season finale of So You Think You Can Dance, and The Jay Leno Show. Other appearances included The Ellen DeGeneres Show, The View, and The Oprah Winfrey Show. In December, he hosted and performed at radio-sponsored Jingle Balls in New York, Miami and Tampa; and headlined the Gridlock New Year's Eve 2010 festival at Paramount Studios in Los Angeles, benefitting the American Red Cross. In February, AOL Music showcased Lambert in a five-song mini-concert on AOL Sessions. He did another intimate acoustic set for IHeartRadio, and performed his first official solo concert, which sold-out, at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, California. In March, he was chosen to inaugurate the resurrected award-winning VH1 Unplugged concert series, and was a featured artist on the ABC News Nightline "Playlist" segment. A sample of his international appearances during this period include sets in Stockholm, British Columbia, and the Maxidrom Festival in Moscow.
In April 2010, Lambert returned to American Idol as the first former contestant to mentor during an Elvis Presley themed week, where his contributions were praised and he also performed. In June, he appeared on Canada's MuchMusic Video Awards to receive the UR Fav International Video award for "Whataya Want from Me".
In early June 2010, Lambert embarked on his debut headlining concert tour Glam Nation, playing throughout the United States with Allison Iraheta and Orianthi before continuing on through Europe and Asia. His concert in Malaysia on October 10, 2010, went ahead as planned, despite protests from an Islamist political party. Lambert performed a total of 113 shows, nearly all of them sold out. The complete concert in Indianapolis was filmed for Lambert's first video release Glam Nation Live, a package consisting of a 13-track CD with DVD. The concert, which MTV called "out of this world", and his subsequent video release, were well-received, with Entertainment Weekly saying that it "sizzles" with the energy that Lambert's vocals bring in a live concert setting. Glam Nation Live debuted at number one on the SoundScan Music Video chart and landed in the number-12 spot on Billboard's 2011 year-end chart for music video sales. This followed the release of his first extended play (EP), titled Acoustic Live!, which included acoustic versions of his songs recorded live in various countries. The EP garnered excellent reviews and was called "electrifying" by the New York Daily News.
Lambert was profiled in VH1's celebrated Behind the Music series, in an hour-long documentary which premiered in August 2011. More in-depth interviews followed that fall, on E! True Hollywood Story, and CNN Talk Asia. Lambert mentored for a second time on The Hub TV Network's Majors & Minors, this time coaching singing contestants who were children.
On November 6, 2011, Lambert joined Queen as lead singer at the MTV Europe Music Awards held in Belfast, where the band was honored with the Global Icon Award. In a "spectacular" performance that closed the show, Lambert and Queen presented a medley of the classic hits “The Show Must Go On”, "We Will Rock You", and "We Are the Champions". In December, Roger Taylor stated they were in talks with Lambert about fronting more live shows for Queen, calling the artist "a really great performer with an astonishing voice".
After changing management from 19 Entertainment to Direct Management Group in August 2011, Lambert announced that his highly anticipated second studio album, Trespassing, would be released on March 20, 2012; and that he would serve as executive producer. Delaying the release for additional material, Lambert announced in late March that it would drop on May 15, 2012. The title track was co-written with Grammy Award winning Pharrell Williams, while the album's lead single, "Better Than I Know Myself", a collaboration with Dr. Luke and Claude Kelly, was released digitally on December 20, 2011. Its debut live performance on the The Tonight Show with Jay Leno received strong positive reviews, focusing on Lambert's impeccable vocals and more stripped down, sophisticated look. Its reprise on the The Ellen DeGeneres Show brought equally favorable reviews. The album cover by Lambert's friend and Art Director for Trespassing, Lee Cherry, is a dramatic departure from his depiction on the 2009 cover of For Your Entertainment, signaling a new era in his career.
Lambert premiered his provocative and "stunningly art-directed" video of "Better Than I Know Myself" in February 2012. Directed by Ray Kay, the video provides split screen and split personality entree into an interpretative world where dark and light collide and coalesce. The multiple meanings attached to the work serve as the introduction to Trespassing's theme, which Lambert says reflects the dark and light sides of himself through song.
It was announced in February that Lambert would take the stage with Queen to headline the UK's Sonisphere Festival in July. The performance was to have particular significance as its location at Knebworth Park marked the site of Freddie Mercury's final performance in August 1986. Discussing the collaboration, Brian May remarked that he expected Lambert to be a "great interpreter" of Mercury's songs. Subsequently, the Sonisphere Knebworth festival was cancelled due to logistics and "circumstances". Days later, Roger Taylor announced that Queen and Lambert would perform in Moscow; later announcing the addition of two shows in London, and one in Kiev that would also feature Elton John as a headliner. In late April, a fifth concert was added in Wrocław, headlining a new rock festival. Queen announced the addition of a third London show, as a result of the instantaneous sell-out of the first two London dates.
The final version of the Queen + Adam Lambert collaboration began with a two hour extravaganza under the auspices of the UEFA in Kiev on June 30, the eve of the Euro 2012 Football Championship. Viewed live by hundreds of thousands of fans in Ukraine's main square, the performance was touted for the strength of Lambert's showmanship, vocal excellence and interpretative skill, which confidently balanced old and new. The Olympic Stadium concert in Moscow took place on July 3, while the Poland event in Municipal Stadium proceeded on schedule on July 7. Because of Queen's status in the UK and the pairing with newcomer Lambert, London's three dates (July 11,12,14) at the HMV Hammersmith Apollo were heavily reviewed. Almost uniformly, the concerts were noted for Lambert's vocal command, his "sizzle" and "electrifying" presence; along with the synergy of the collaboration, which Brian May called "organic."
Trespassing was released on May 15, 2012, following more than a week of major news stories and positive reviews. Lambert tweeted at finding that the album had spent its first day at the top of the U.S. iTunes album chart. On May 23, the album debuted in the number one position on the Billboard 200 chart, selling close to 78,000 copies. Lambert again took to twitter, citing the historic significance of being the first openly gay artist to reach this pinnacle, and acknowledging the help of his fans. In the UK the album debuted at number three in the midweek chart.
His second single "Never Close Our Eyes", written by Bruno Mars and produced by Dr. Luke, was released digitally on April 17, to strongly positive reviews. It debuted on national television on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on April 27, when Lambert performed for their concert series, again garnering positive reviews. He appeared on Good Morning America on May 14, performed the new single and co-hosted the Pop News.
Lambert returned to American Idol for his third consecutive year on the results show that preceded Idol's final week. The May 17 performance of "Never Close Our Eyes" was touted for its vibrant energy and dazzle, as well as for the powerhouse vocals that had become Lambert's signature.
The video for "Never Close Our Eyes," released on May 29, flipped the song's more personal, manifest content on its head, as Lambert had done with Trespassing's first official video. Directed by Dori Oskowitz, it depicts a drab, futuristic, Orwellian-type landscape which becomes transformed through rebellion, visually represented by dazzling neon color and celebratory dance. The latter signify the return (and triumph) of individual expression, advancing the album's themes of dark vs. light, and suppression vs. self-affirmation. The video was released to U.S. iTunes for digital sale on June 5.
Throughout the spring and summer of 2012, Lambert performed across Europe, North America, Japan and Australia, appearing in festivals, on radio and television, and in concert. Highlights of the promotional tour included an appearance on the UK's The Graham Norton Show, one of several headlining spots at Summer Sonic Festival 2012 in Tokyo and Osaka; and an acoustic performance at Sydney's Top 40 Lounge, where his cover of Bob Marley's "Is This Love" was described as "stunning" and "incredible".
On September 30, he appeared on the finale of The Voice of China, which is the country's most popular program and aired to hundreds of millions of viewers on television and online. The only Westerner invited to perform, he sang a duet of "Whataya Want from Me" with a contestant, and also performed the song "Trespassing". Lambert was the first Western artist to appear on the show and became the first American Idol to stage a solo concert in Mainland China when he returned in March 2013.
Lambert's third single, "Trespassing", was released as part of an eight track EP of remixes that included a radio edit of the original song. Entitled "Trespassing Remixes", it became available to radio on October 8, and to digital outlets on October 16, with hard copies sold from Lambert's official website only. "Trespassing" debuted at number one on the Billboard Hot Dance Singles Sales chart, giving Lambert his tenth number one Billboard entry.
On October 23, Lambert acted and performed two songs from Trespassing in the Halloween special of the television series Pretty Little Liars, which aired on ABC Family. The episode was the number one "most social" program of the day, and the highest rated episode in the fourteen-year run of Halloween themed telecasts by ABC Family, giving the cable network a big ratings success for the night.
Lambert appeared for the first time in South Africa in November, headlining arena concerts in Cape Town and Johannesburg. The performances drew media attention, anchored by his cover of "Are You Gonna Go My Way". South Africa's The Sunday Times called Lambert's Johannesburg performance "epic" and "electrifying," stating: "His voice is stunning and his entertainment factor is through the roof."
On November 30, Lambert performed at the 2012 Mnet Asian Music Awards (2012 MAMA), which was held in Hong Kong and aired in 85 countries, targeting an audience of more than 2.3 billion. He was lauded for his powerful vocals, and command of both stage and fashion. Lambert had appeared in Guangzhou a few days prior, performing for a private Mercedes-Benz event; and then returned to Shanghai after the MAMA's for the "Hennessy Artistry" concert series, which is a campaign sponsored by Hennessy to mix musical genres and top artists from around the world. While in Shanghai, he was interviewed by CCTV, China's predominant state broadcasting system.
Lambert hosted and performed at the 2012 VH1 Divas concert, which was broadcast live on December 16 and featured a dance music theme, including special tributes to Donna Summer and Whitney Houston. He sang with Keri Hilson and Kelly Rowland in the Donna Summer tribute segment, opened the show with David Bowie's Let's Dance, and performed Madonna's hit Ray of Light. Lambert drew praise for his sketches, fashion and performances. The concert benefited VH1's Save The Music Foundation, a non-profit organization that promotes and supports music education in public schools.
The album Trespassing was rewarded in year end lists and polls, among them best album of the year at Rolling Stone and Ryan Seacrest.com, where Lambert was also voted "Male Artist of the Year"; number three at Billboard for "Favorite 200 No.1" albums, and number eight on People magazine's list of "Top Ten Music" in its year end issue. At VH1, two of the album's singles appeared on its list of 40 most watched videos, at numbers 4 and 36; and Queen + Adam Lambert was named best live act of 2012 at Gigwise, and one of Classic Rock magazine's top events of the year.
In January, it was reported that Lambert would be leaving 19 Recordings, where his contract had expired, but remain with RCA Records. It was also announced that work would begin on the direction of a third studio album.
On January 31, Lambert performed a "smash set" at the Hammerstein Ballroom in New York City as part of the We Are Family Foundation charity gala, at which he was also honored with the Unity Award. It was the first time the song "Shady" was performed with Sam Sparro and Nile Rodgers, with whom Lambert had co-written and recorded the Trespassing track.
Lambert kicked off the newly dubbed "We Are Glamily Tour", with seventeen stops throughout Asia and Europe, on February 17 in Seoul. The sold-out show was heavily reviewed, with a focus on his cover of Rihanna's song "Stay", which was called "flawless", "incredible" and better than the original. About the same time, he was named an official spokesperson for the Chinese release of the Trion video game Rift published by Shanda, which entered Open Beta on March 6. The endorsement profitizes Lambert's popularity in the region. He received considerable attention from Chinese media around his premier solo concert on the mainland, held March 3.
His first solo concert in Hong Kong on March 5 was noted for the live debut of two songs, "Time for Miracles" and a cover of "Shout", called "stunning" and vocally impressive. His arrival in Singapore for a March 8 show was preceded by a week of controversy surrounding complaints that it promoted the "gay lifestyle", and was given an "Advisory of 16 and above" by the Media Development Authority. Lambert addressed the issue directly in his concert, stating: "The only lifestyle I am promoting is one of love and friendship, music, joy and fashion. So whoever wants to be part of that lifestyle, yeah, we accept anybody". The concert was well reviewed, with the vocals called "breathtaking", and the show "a magical performance of lights sound and colour".
While still in Belarus for a March 15 debut, Lambert again became the subject of controversy in advance of his Russian concerts. Anti-homosexual laws and rhetoric were invoked, challenging courts to raise the legal age to 18 for entry to his St. Petersburg show. An official security alert was issued to US citizens planning to attend, due to "information regarding a threat of physical violence against spectators and performers", but the concert proceeded as scheduled. The tour wrapped on March 22 with a sold out arena show in Helsinki.
Lambert won the "Favorite International Artist" category at the STAR TV 17th Chinese Music Awards held in Macau in April, also performing two songs from Trespassing. Organized by CCTV, the 2013 event marked an expansion of its previous format in order to become more international and influential in the global music community. It was estimated that the broadcast and webcast reached a worldwide audience of 2 billion. Lambert returned to Shanghai a few days later, recording a segment for Dragon TV's the 80's TalkShow that included a performance of "Pop That Lock" from Trespassing; as well as recording "Mad World" and other footage for the opening ceremony of Chinese Idol, which launched on Dragon TV in prime time on May 19. Lambert appeared as a guest judge during auditions while there. He had previously been enlisted for the ad campaign for the new Idol program.
He returned to American Idol on May 16 for the fourth consecutive year, performing a duet with Angie Miller on the twelfth season finale of American Idol, where Miller was a finalist. The pair tackled the song "Titanium" in a rendition named the show's "top moment" by The Hollywood Reporter.
Critics, celebrities and colleagues have been outspoken in their praise for Lambert’s vocal command. Kathie Bretches-Urban, co-founder of Metropolitan Educational Theatre Network (now MET2) where Lambert performed as a youth, said “He has invested his entire life in music and performing . . . He'd just come out onstage, and it popped". In a 2009 Associated Press interview, Wicked casting director Bernard Telsey, recalled Lambert's audition and his "amazing" voice: "I literally remember saying, 'Oh my God, this guy has the highest range’.” Record producer Rob Cavallo once described Lambert as having an unlimited range, and able to sing every note on a guitar from the lowest to the highest. David Stroud, a Los Angeles based vocal teacher, coached Lambert for his 2010 international Glam Nation Tour, in which he performed 113 shows without vocal rest. Stroud described Lambert as being able to "do extreme things with his voice that most singers will probably never be able to do . . . I will vocalize him to G above high C. He has climax notes at E's above high C, so I need to give him that extra range.” In a March 2012 interview, rock artist Meat Loaf rated Lambert's voice in the company of only two others, Whitney Houston and Aretha Franklin, based on "that jet pack quality to their voice that just lets it take off."
In 2011, when he took the stage at the MTV Europe Music Awards alongside honoree Queen, it was a fitting match for Lambert, whose style and vocals have often been compared with Freddie Mercury's. Brian May, guitarist for Queen, noted that Lambert’s voice has “sensitivity, depth, maturity, and awesome range and power which will make jaws drop”; while Roger Taylor added that Lambert had "the best range I've ever heard" in a BBC interview in 2012. Pharrell Williams, after collaborating with Lambert on his Trespassing album, commented, “This kid has a voice like a siren – there’s no guys singing in that Steve Winwood-Peter Cetera range.”
Lambert is considered an effortlessly agile singer, and his expert technique allows his voice to sound limitless. His upper ranges are particularly strong and brilliant, but he displays excellent control, dynamics and support throughout his entire vocal range. Head and chest registers are sufficiently well integrated so that there are no audible breaks in the passaggio; and breath control allows him to sustain notes and phrases without wavering. Lambert's vocal skill has been discussed, dissected and also used for instructional purposes.
In October 2012, British tabloid the Sunday Mirror reported that Lambert had insured his voice for $48 million. A source told the newspaper: "Insurance for stars is a big deal in the US and Adam's voice is his bacon." 
Style and image
Lambert is best known for his theatrical performance style and meticulous attention to detail in all aspects of his personal presentation. He draws upon extensive stage experience in the ease with which he can refine and define his image through fashion and other imagery, which are essential to how he chooses to inhabit his songs, rivet his audiences and showcase his individuality. While a contestant on Idol, Lambert's precise yet varied stagings of himself kept audiences and judges glued as much to his presentation as to his powerful vocals. Lambert's signature flamboyance and glam rock styling was a break-out moment in men's fashion, duly noted by fashion publications and taste-makers, who compared him to Lady Gaga in terms of crossing style boundaries and being unabashedly individual.
Lambert made three fashion related television appearances at the close of 2010, reflecting his growing visibility and association with fashion as a means of creative expression. He fused his passion for music and fashion on MTV's "Talk@Playground", appearing in discussion with Skingraft designer Jonny Cota. He was selected as a guest judge on Project Runway, in an episode that styled an emerging rock band for their upcoming Rolling Stone cover. Fast becoming a fashion icon himself, Lambert was the subject around which the young designers of "All on the Line with Joe Zee" created a modern look, which was then critiqued by Lambert and the hosts.
In 2012, Idol added an image advisor, fashion designer Tommy Hilfiger, to its roster of mentors, underscoring the importance of developing a unique vision and performance identity for contestants. Hilfiger suggested it was the image makers with talent that would ultimately succeed in the entertainment world and specifically mentioned Lambert, stating: "I think Adam Lambert has incredible imagery. And I think he got it." 
Lambert continued to grace the covers of magazines, moving more specifically into the fashion and culture space, both in the US and internationally. In the cover story for his highly stylized 2012 "Fault" Magazine shoot, he stated, "Now I feel like embracing contemporary menswear. I take note of collections and editorials and try and incorporate them into my wardrobe whenever possible." Reflecting the mood and concept behind his album Trespassing, the "Fault" fashion shoot exemplified Lambert's commitment to aligning the elements of his artistic vision so that a cohesive narrative emerges. His versatility and fierce stylistic choices are regularly the focus of commentary, as he continues to break new ground in the use of imagery and style to extend his performances, celebrity and influence. That effect was on display in the heavy media coverage he received during New York Fashion Week 2012,which he concluded with a guest appearance on E!'s Fashion Police.
When Lambert appeared on the December 2012 cover of London-based high style magazine "Fiasco"'s "Obsession" issue, he again took the opportunity to manipulate and provoke with his image and style. Sporting a sophisticated, minimalist look that recalled old Hollywood, Lambert presented with no make-up and silver-grey hair sleekly parted on the side. With this pared down departure from his signature glam aesthetic, Lambert played with male stereotypes and representations; and in the interview, emphasized that his fashion and presentation are often disparate from gay as well as straight regimes: "For the general audience, they look at the way I style myself and they go, 'Errrr, that's gay,' but you ask a handful of gay guys and they're like, 'I would never wear that!'".
Lambert was inspired when his father gave him access to his large record collection of 1970s music. He quickly gravitated towards theatrical rock from artists such as Madonna, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Queen, Aerosmith, and Led Zeppelin. Lambert referred to Michael Jackson and Madonna as his “King and Queen” because they creatively merged their music with makeup, fashion and cinematic videos. He has noted that many of his strongest influences have been British singers, such as Freddie Mercury, David Bowie and Robert Plant. He told the Daily Star, “Those are the people I really gravitate towards". When asked who was his favorite performer of the glam rock era, Lambert answered David Bowie: “he took costumes and story concepts for his Ziggy Stardust character to the next level. His music is amazing, and his lyrics are really intelligent". In an interview with NPR, Lambert said he'd spent hours listening to Queen, trying to figure out how Freddie Mercury did what he did with his voice: “His voice has so much texture to it, he kind of grabs at everything and squeezes it". He stated that Mercury was “completely over the top in the best possible way” and as an openly gay performer, "he owes a debt to Mercury's flamboyance decades ago".
In March 2013, Lambert wrote an article for Out magazine's tribute to David Bowie, who was about to release a new album. In it, he explained how Bowie helped inform the expression of his own sexuality and gender in his work: "A light bulb went off—I wasn’t into drag, I didn’t want to dress like a woman, but I wanted to express my gender and artistic identity differently than the mainstream. Bowie was a key inspiration. It was about the androgyny of mixing it up, and that was what was so incredible about his concepts -- he was one of the first rock stars to really push the idea that sexuality was not black and white but an exploration".
Lambert’s own music has been influenced by numerous genres including classic rock, pop, and electronic music. His theatrical performance style draws heavily from his stage experience. The type of artist Lambert sees himself as being is “one that creates from the ground up, not only an amazing song, but one with a beat, and a story, and a look, and a theme". For his sophomore album, he used inspiration from classic disco, 1990s electronica, funk and dubstep music.
In January 2009, in lieu of gifts for his 28th birthday, Lambert asked fans to donate to DonorsChoose.org, an online charity in which individuals contribute directly to public school projects. Support was focused on music and arts programs, as 2,435 fans donated $322,700. In June 2010, Lambert teamed with the charity again for his "Glam A Classroom" campaign, raising another $208,590, supported by 3,020 fans. In October 2010, he collaborated on a second Signature Collection design with The Pennyroyal Studio, which sold out after raising an additional $43,092 for DonorsChoose.
In January 2011, he started a campaign to raise $29,000 for charity: water to commemorate his 29th birthday. Funds raised by charity: water go towards bringing clean and safe drinking water to people in developing nations. Fans surpassed the goal in less than five hours, and donations reached $60,000 in the next 24 hours. On Lambert's birthday, more than $115,000 came in, which broke the record for most donations in a single day. By the end of the campaign, fans had raised $323,803, which helped 16,190 people receive clean water. He continued his efforts for his 30th birthday, in January 2012, this time asking fans to "give up" their birthdays in an ongoing fundraiser that had raised $82,000 by May 2012.
Lambert returned to the American Idol stage for the March 10, 2011, results show, singing an acoustic version of his For Your Entertainment track "Aftermath". After the performance, a dance remix version was made available for purchase, with proceeds benefiting The Trevor Project.
Lambert was one of several artists who performed at a Royal Albert Hall concert on June 7, 2012 benefiting the Rays Of Sunshine Children's Charity, which grants wishes to seriously ill children.
On June 30, Elton John and Queen + Adam Lambert coordinated with the Olena Pinchuk ANTIAIDS Foundation for a concert to benefit the fight against HIV/AIDS. The event, which was UEFA supported and took place in Kiev on the eve of the Euro 2012 football final, was televised live from a packed Independence Square.
On September 25, 2012, Lambert headlined a fundraising benefit in Washington, D.C. at the 9:30 Club on behalf of Marylanders for Marriage Equality, the group leading the campaign for a November 2012 ballot measure to uphold gay marriage, which Lambert views as a non-partisan, human rights issue.
On January 31, 2013 he received the Unity Award, which honors artists whose music spreads "peaceful messages," from the We Are Family Foundation at their 2012 Celebration Gala 2.0. The foundation is a non-profit which seeks to promote global initiatives and cultural diversity through its outreach programs, many of which are aimed at facilitating youth leaders from around the world. Lambert's announcement that he would "donate" his 31st birthday to the charity raised more than $82,000 in just over a week. Lambert was also a featured performer at the event.
Lambert, himself openly gay, has contributed to the advancement of equality and social acceptance in the LGBT community. He was presented the "Equality Idol Award" by Sam Sparro at the Equality California Los Angeles Equality Awards in August 2011 for being an exemplary role model for the LGBT community. He was honored with his mother the following month at the PFLAG National Los Angeles event for his "authentic" voice. They were presented awards which together interlocked to compose the PFLAG logo, symbolizing support by and for families and friends of LGBT individuals.
Lambert received a GLAAD Media Award nomination for Outstanding Music Artist in 2010. The same year, he lent his voice to a one-and-a-half minute video message on YouTube for the It Gets Better campaign – a project created by columnist Dan Savage in response to school bullying and a rash of suicides among LGBT youth.
The following March, he released a Billboard remix version of his For Your Entertainment song "Aftermath" with a portion of the proceeds going to support The Trevor Project, the leading national organization providing crisis intervention and suicide prevention services to LGBT youth. He raised an additional $43,500 for The Trevor Project after collaborating with The Pennyroyal Studio to make his own Peace pendant. In October 2011, donations on behalf of the Adam Lambert Glambert Fan Army for the MTV Dance Party Marathon raised funds to combat bullying in honor of National Bullying Prevention Month and were split between the LGBT charities GLSEN, It Gets Better Project, GSA, HRC, The Trevor Project and GLAAD. Lambert was a participant in Spirit Day, a movement begun in 2010 to honor LGBT lives lost to suicide, "going purple" in the push to support LGBT youth in the fight against bullying.
Lambert performed in the December 8 "Cyndi Lauper & Friends: Home for the Holidays" benefit concert, which raised funds in support of the "True Colors Fund" and the organization's "Forty to None Project", targeting the epidemic of homelessness among LGBT youth.
In January 2012, in an exclusive interview with UK music news magazine Pressparty, Lambert noted that despite social progress in the US, there was still a long way to go, particularly in the music industry: “I still long for the LGBT community's diversity to be more broadly represented in the entertainment industry. I think larger strides have been made in film and TV but we still are just at the beginning with mainstream music. I consider myself a post-gay man working in a pre-gay industry."
In interviews surrounding his September 2012 benefit performance in support of Maryland's same-sex marriage referendum, he moved closer to accepting a more proactive role in the LGBT community, where previously he had expressed reluctance to be cast as a role model, political or otherwise. Stating that marriage equality is a cause he intends to work towards, Lambert also spoke his mind on a range of topics, including his belief that fear motivates much of the opposition to same-sex marriage; and that the only choice involved in sexual preference is whether or not to be honest about it. He also suggested that unequal treatment under the law is complicit in the burden of "shame and guilt and secrecy" that attaches to the LGBT community, a weight which should be lifted from the next generation of youth.
Lambert was the headline performer at the Miami Beach Gay Pride Parade and Festival on April 14, and was also given the key to the city. A round of interviews focused on his becoming more activist regarding LGBT issues and, despite earlier reluctance, accepting the mantle of gay role model. Lambert will be headlining Pittsburgh's Pride in the Street concert on June 15.
In honor of Pride season, Lambert partnered with AT&T and the The Trevor Project for the "Live Proud Campaign", which will cross the nation summer 2013, raising funds to help empower, raise awareness and bring pride to the LGBTQ community. AT&T will contribute up to $50,000, depending on the degree of participation in the campaign, with submissions for a VIP experience with Lambert at the helm.
Lambert was presented with the prestigious GLAAD Davidson/Valentini Award on May 11 in San Francisco. The honorary award is bestowed yearly to out media professionals who have made a significant difference in promoting equal rights in the LGBT community.His acceptance speech referenced the generational shift within a community that retains a diversity of perspectives, but emphasized commonality in its striving for acceptance.
Lambert was in a relationship with Finnish entertainment reporter and reality TV personality Sauli Koskinen since November 2010, but announced in April 2013 that they had split up amicably and expected to remain friends.
Awards and nominations
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: Adam Lambert|
- Official website
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- Wicked Good: Adam Lambert's American Idol Journey at Broadway.com
- MC alumnus Adam Lambert competes on American Idol; makes top 8 at MCSUN.org
- The Ten Commandments: The Musical, pictures and description of the show from Lanightlife.com