Adam Lambert Biography
Lambert released his debut album, For Your Entertainment, in November 2009, via RCA Records/19 Recordings. The album debuted at number three on the Billboard 200 in December 2009 selling 198,000 copies in the United States in the first week.
Lambert was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. He is the son of Leila, an interior designer, and Eber Lambert, a program manager for Novatel Wireless. Lambert was raised Jewish.
Lambert moved to California shortly after his birth and grew up in Rancho Peñasquitos in northeastern San Diego. He attended Deer Canyon Elementary School, Mesa Verde Middle School, where he was a winner in the Airband competition (featuring Michael Jackson's "Thriller"), and Mount Carmel High School (MCHS), where he was in theater, choir, and frequently performed vocals with the school's jazz band "MC Jazz". Some of his memorable MCHS performances included Frederick in The Pirates of Penzance and "It's Only a Paper Moon" with MC Jazz.
Lambert has performed in Hebrew at Jewish events, singing songs such as "Shir LaShalom" at a 2005 tribute concert to assassinated Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin. Adam attended Temple of the Arts in San Diego and has performed at the Kol Nidre service on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur. Lambert also performed in Jewish-themed The Ten Commandments: The Musical as Joshua, performing the song "Is Anybody Listening?"
Lambert has been a stage actor since he was about ten years old. He was cast as Linus in San Diego's Lyceum Theater's production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown. Around age twelve, he was cast in a production of Fiddler On the Roof and continued performing throughout his teenage years including Hello, Dolly!, Chess, Camelot, The Music Man, Grease and played Captain Hook in Peter Pan. At age 19, Lambert left the U.S. to tour with Anita Mann Productions for ten months before returning to the U.S. to perform light opera in Orange County, California. He was then cast in the European production of Hair and U.S. theater productions of Brigadoon and 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 was one of the only actors in the play that garnered a positive review. From December 2006 to May 2007, Lambert briefly moonlighted as the front man for rock band The Citizen Vein with Steve Sidelnyk, Tommy Victor and Monte Pittman. During this time Lambert also met Producer Malcolm Welsford who helped develop his recording career since 2005. He was then cast as the understudy for the part of Fiyero in the Broadway production company tour and Los Angeles casts of the musical Wicked. Since 2004, he has regularly performed at the Upright Cabaret and the Zodiac Show, which was co-created by Carmit Bachar of the Pussycat Dolls.
Lambert auditioned for the eighth season of American Idol in San Francisco, California. In a Rolling Stone interview he said his decision to audition for the show came after a week at Burning Man where he experimented with "certain funguses." He went on to say that "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." During his initial audition, he sang "Rock With You" and "Bohemian Rhapsody." Lambert had cited several musical influences, including Madonna, Queen, David Bowie, Michael Jackson, Aerosmith, and Led Zeppelin. In the semifinals, Lambert was voted into the Top 13, joining fellow Group 2 performers Allison Iraheta and Kris Allen. Lambert and Allen became roommates in the Idol mansion, with Allen stating it was due to their neatness.
During Michael Jackson week, he sang "Black or White" leading to praise from all four judges, with Paula Abdul predicting that he would go on to the finals. The following week, Lambert sang a version of "Ring of Fire". While Randy Jackson, Kara DioGuardi, and Abdul all liked his performance, Simon Cowell called it "indulgent rubbish". On Motown night, Lambert sang an acoustic version of The Miracles', "The Tracks of My Tears". The judges all liked it, and Smokey Robinson, the week's mentor and the original singer-songwriter, gave Lambert a standing ovation. For his Top 8 performance, Lambert sang the 2001 Gary Jules arrangement of "Mad World". Because the show had exceeded its time slot, only Cowell gave a critique, which he did by simply giving Lambert a standing ovation. During the results next night, the other judges agreed that a standing ovation was the best critique of Lambert's performance. For his second Top 7 performance, Lambert sang "If I Can't Have You", delivering what DioGuardi described as his "most memorable performance", while Cowell described his vocals as "immaculate". Abdul was reduced to tears, with host Ryan Seacrest joking that Lambert had melted her into a "pool of Abdul". In the Top 4, Lambert was the first to sing, performing "Whole Lotta Love". Cowell commented, "that was one of my favorite performances...nobody can top that now", while Abdul, punning on the song's title, described Lambert's performance as "a whole lotta perfect".
Photos of Lambert romantically kissing another man surfaced while he was competing on American Idol. Initially shown and discussed by commentators on The O'Reilly Factor, the panel agreed that the images would likely have no impact on the competition. Lambert confirmed that the photos were of him, stating he had nothing to hide and has always been open about his life. Mainstream media speculation centered on Lambert's sexuality; presuming he was gay, he would be the first gay American Idol.[note 1] Much of the media focus regarded the readiness of American Idol voters for an openly gay winner. Asked by Rolling Stone whether the speculation surrounding his sexual orientation impacted the final vote, Lambert laughed and said "probably". He confirmed that he was gay in a Rolling Stone cover story interview shortly after he was named the American Idol runner-up.
For the top three show, where each of the three remaining contestants does a hometown visit and performance, Lambert sang both Michael Jackson's "Black or White", and the Gary Jules version of Tears for Fears' "Mad World" at his alma mater, Mt. Carmel High School. Afterwards, San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders declared May 8, 2009 "Adam Lambert Day."
On May 20, 2009, Lambert was announced as the runner-up for the eighth season of American Idol. Lambert performed a medley of "Beth", "Detroit Rock City", and "Rock and Roll All Nite" with rock band KISS during the final episode. His version of the winning single "No Boundaries" was later released on iTunes alongside American Idol winner Kris Allen's version. Before the results were announced, Allen and Lambert joined together with Queen’s original guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor to perform the anthem "We Are the Champions".
Upon winning, Allen said "Adam deserved this." Explaining this remark, Allen said that 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."
In May 2009 Billboard magazine confirmed his solo album was expected to be released in November 2009. Lambert stated that he would love to work with Slash, stating "When I was working with Slash I felt at home." He also stated that his solo album would be eclectic, having a variety of sounds. Rock group Queen, with whom Lambert performed on the season finale, were at one point said to be considering asking Lambert to be their new frontman. However, with the release and success of Lambert's debut solo album For Your Entertainment, it is unlikely he would accept such an offer. Lambert was a guest on Larry King Live (guest-hosted by Ryan Seacrest) along with Kris Allen, judge Paula Abdul, and the rest of the top ten finalists. In that appearance he stated that he planned to create a multi-genre album, calling it a "rock-pop-electronic-dance thing". Lambert stuck to those intentions; the album he subsequently released conformed highly to his description of the album he planned to make.
Adam Lambert worked with producers Greg Wells, Ryan Tedder, Max Martin, Sam Sparro, RedOne, Dr. Luke, and Linda Perry, among others, in the run-up to the release of his debut album, For Your Entertainment. Aimee Mayo stated on Twitter that she wrote at least two songs for Lambert, one co-written with Ryan Tedder and Chris Lindsey and, another with Ferras, the latter of which was not included for selection. Lady Gaga also reportedly wrote a song that they spent some time recording. On October 28, 2009, Lambert announced via Twitter that his lead single from his debut album would be "For Your Entertainment", a song that was produced by Dr. Luke.
Lambert was recruited to record the soundtrack "Time for Miracles" for the disaster movie 2012 that was released on October 20, 2009 as a side project single. The song was lauded ahead of its release by Queen's guitarist, Brian May, who described himself as being "completely blown away" upon hearing the track. The track "Time for Miracles" also appears on For Your Entertainment.
On June 19, 2009, Hi Fi Recordings and Wilshire Records revealed that they would be releasing On With the Show, a compilation of songs Lambert had recorded prior to American Idol while working as a session musician. The album's first single is "Want." Lambert later issued a statement through 19 Entertainment stating, "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." On November 17, Adam's album was released with a new name: "Take One." The album is available on iTunes.
Since Idol Lambert has so far won two awards: the Young Hollywood Award for Artist of the Year and the Teen Choice Award for Reality/Variety Star. Lambert participated in the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2009 with his fellow Top 10 contestants; the tour visited 50 cities in the United States and Canada from July 5 to September 15, 2009.
In November, Lambert performed "For Your Entertainment" at the American Music Awards of 2009. The performance showed Lambert kissing a male keyboardist, grinding a dancer's head against his pelvis, and grabbing the crotch of another. Lambert told Rolling Stone magazine, "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." In response to his performance, the Parents Television Council, a conservative decency campaigning group, urged viewers to complain to the FCC. The performance, at the end of the show, was broadcast "outside the FCC's usual 6am-10pm time frame prohibiting the broadcast of indecent material". ABC received about 1,500 telephoned complaints and announced he would not perform on Good Morning America on November 25 as planned. CBS subsequently invited Lambert to perform instead on The Early Show, on the same date in New York City.
February 27th, 2010 Adam Lambert performed his first official solo concert, held at Fantasy Springs Resort Casino in Indio, CA to a sellout crowd of 3,500 fans from around the world, including Thailand, Australia, Canada and Mexico