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Courtesy of Adam Lambert

Pride Month Spotlight: Adam Lambert

Featured in the series Glee and the musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show, Adam Lambert is a unique American singer-songwriter and actor. At 40-years-old, Lambert is a two-time GLAAD Media Award winner.

Getting his first recognition in the eighth season of American Idol, Lambert has been a performer his whole life. In high school, he was a part of choir, jazz band, and theater. In 2000, he performed at his high school graduation and sang It’s So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday from Cooley High.

Competing in American Idol in 2009, Lambert performed hits including Bohemian Rhapsody, Feeling Good, and We Are the Champions. Although he did not ultimately win the competition, Lambert became a crowd favorite and gained substantial attention from the media. Later that year, Lambert released his debut album Take One, which ranked on the Billboard 200.

Headlining in Asia, Europe, Australia, and North America, Lambert went on his first concert tour in 2010. The tour was titled Glam Nation Tour and he performed his album For Your Entertainment, also released in 2009.

Lambert’s next album Trespassing, released in 2012, hit number one on the Billboard 200. Only about a month after the album’s released, it sold over 100,000 copies.

In the fifth season of Glee, Lambert starred as the rock singer ‘Elliot “Starchild’ Gilbert,’ where he performed hits such as Marry the Night, Barracuda, and I Believe in a Thing Called Love. In 2016, Adam Lambert starred in the musical The Rocky Horror Picture Show, playing the role of ‘Eddie.’

profile of Adam Lambert
Courtesy of Adam Lambert

After first performing with the band on the season eight finale of American Idol, Lambert started touring with Queen in 2014. Since then, Queen + Adam Lambert have had immense success. At the 10th Annual Classic Rock Roll of Honour Awards, they were named “Band of the Year.” This collaboration released Live Around the World, their debut album, in 2020. Queen + Adam Lambert is currently heading in the UK and Europe in the “Rhapsody Tour.”

In an interview with Natalie Morales from Today, Lambert said he always felt comfortable with his sexuality because of the support he had from his loved ones.

“I felt safe at home. I had some teachers that created a safe space for me, without actually saying it. That allowed me to find the comfort in my own skin to be able to come out and say, ‘this is who I am,’” said Lambert in the interview.

The Feel Something Foundation (FSF) is a non-profit organization launched by Lambert in 2019. Lambert’s goal with the foundation is to support human rights of the LGBTQ+ community. Every year, the FSF supports different charities that work to help the community in ways including Education and the Arts, Homelessness, and Suicide Prevention and Mental Health, stated on the FSF website.

Adam Lambert handing out Thanksgiving bag
Courtesy of Feel Something Foundation

In Velvet, the first track from his pop/indie/soul album Velvet, Lambert sings about being interested in someone he just met.

Staccato piano synth plays through the chord progression to begin the song while an ambiance plays in the background. Lambert’s main vocal track is processed with significant delay on the last word of each sentence of the introduction.

Bass drum opens the pre-chorus while snaps snap in place of where a snare drum would hit. Electric guitar is also introduced while Lambert’s solo vocal continues to be delayed. Throughout the pre-chorus, the electric guitar gradually increases in volume, building intensity until a full drum set breaks through to launch the chorus.

Bass guitar adds to the groove in the chorus while a new, oscillating synth richens the texture of the chords. Harmonious background (BG) vocals fill the melody as Lambert incorporates Michael-Jackson-like embellishments between phrases.

All but one instrument cuts out, leaving only the electric guitar panned to the left and a vocal run responsible for the transition into the second verse.

Crisp bass drum, snare drum, and tom-tom fills carry the high energy from the chorus through the second verse. Although the dramaticism of overarching synth is lessened in the verses, the liveliness of the groove stays prominent with the repeated electric guitar lick and new embellishments by the bass guitar. Lambert’s soulful main vocal track sings solo over the instruments to reel energy down from the hook.

BG vocals join the next pre-chorus, singing a perfect fourth under the melody. Percussion cuts out before the drop of the chorus. A washed-out snap keeps the beat while the familiar synth, electric guitar, and bass play with the vocal harmonies for three-and-a-half bars before a drum fill unfolds the chorus.

Processing elements from the first chorus make themselves apparent in the second. High energy, pop vocal and instrumental elements allow the groove to settle before dynamics decrease. Anticipation for another drop in the beat is curated as Lambert sings the pre-chorus again over only snaps and synths.

One and a half bars then exhibit a hiatus of sound until Lambert belts a vocal run at the upper region of his range. This transition is a quantum leap into a vivacious final chorus full of euphonious BG vocals and a vibrant instrumental groove. Lambert continues to vocally embellish the melody throughout the final chorus.

Instruments vivaciously continue playing until cutting out for the second half of the last bar, allowing Lambert to finish the song acapella.

Adam Lambert’s music can be found on Spotify, YouTube, and Apple Music.