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Adam Mitchel Lambert (born January 29, 1982) is a Jewish American singer, songwriter, and actor from San Diego, California. In May 2009, he finished as the runner-up on the eighth season of American Idol.[1]

Lambert released his debut album, For Your Entertainment, on November 23, 2009,[2] via RCA Records/19 Recordings. The album debuted at number 3 on the Billboard 200 on the week of December 12, 2009,[3] selling 198,000 copies in the United States.[4]

Early life

Lambert was born in Indianapolis, Indiana, the son of Leila, an interior designer, and Eber Lambert, who works for program management at Novatel Wireless.[5] 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".[6] Some of his memorable MCHS performances included Frederick in The Pirates of Penzance and "It's Only a Paper Moon" with MC Jazz. He has cited David Bowie, Madonna, Michael Jackson, Queen, and Led Zeppelin as influences.

Lambert, who is Jewish, performed in Hebrew at Jewish events, singing songs such as "Shir LaShalom".[7][8] He goes to Temple of the Arts synagogue in San Diego and has performed at the Kol Nidre service on the Jewish holiday of Yom Kippur.[9] Lambert also performed in Jewish-themed The Ten Commandments: The Musical as Joshua, performing the song "Is Anybody Listening?"[10]

Early career

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.[11] 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 CA. 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.[12] While acting, Lambert briefly moonlighted as the front man for rock band The Citizen Vein with Steve Sidelnyk, Tommy Victor and Monte Pittman. 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.[12] 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.

American Idol

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."[13] 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.[14][15] 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.[16]

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.[17] 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".[18] 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.[19] 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".[20] 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 kissing a 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.[21] Lambert confirmed that the photos were of him, stating he had nothing to hide and has always been open about his life.[22] Mainstream media speculation centered on Lambert's sexuality; presuming he was gay, he would be the first gay American Idol.[23][note 1] Much of the media focus regarded the readiness of American Idol voters for an openly gay winner.[23] Asked by Rolling Stone] whether the speculation surrounding his sexual orientation impacted the final vote, Lambert laughed and said "probably".[24] He confirmed that he was gay in a Rolling Stone cover story interview shortly after he was named the American Idol runner-up.[25]

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.[26][27] Afterwards, San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders declared May 8, 2009 "Adam Lambert Day."[28]

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".[29]

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."[30]

Post-Idol

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.[31] 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.[32] 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".[33] Lambert stuck to those intentions; the album he subsequently released conformed highly to his description of the album he planned to make.[34]

Adam Lambert worked with producers Greg Wells, Ryan Tedder, Max Martin, Sam Sparro, RedOne[2], Dr. Luke, and Linda Perry, among others, in the run-up to the release of his debut album, For Your Entertainment.[35]. Aimee Mayo stated on Twitter that she wrote at least two songs for Lambert[36], 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.[37] 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.[38]

Lambert was recruited to record the soundtrack "Time for Miracles" for the action 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.[39] The track "Time for Miracles" also appears on For Your Entertainment.[40]

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.[41] The album's first single is "Want."[42] 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."[43] 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.[44][45] Lambert participated in the American Idols LIVE! Tour 2009 with his fellow Top 10 contestants; the tour visited fifty 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 p*** people off, it was to promote freedom of expression and artistic freedom."[46] In response to his performance, the Parents Television Council, a conservative decency campaigning group,[47] urged viewers to complain to the FCC.[48] 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".[49] ABC received about 1,500 telephoned complaints and announced he would not perform on Good Morning America on November 25 as planned.[50][51] CBS subsequently invited Lambert to perform instead on The Early Show, on the same date in New York City.[52]

Discography

Studio albums

Year Album details Peak chart positions Certifications
(sales threshold)
US
[53]
US
Indie
[53]
CAN
[53]
UK
[54]
NZ
[55]
2009 Take One


* Released: November 17, 2009

* Label: Rufftown Recordings

72 6 * US sales: 48,000[56]
For Your Entertainment


* Released: November 23, 2009

* Label: RCA Records

3 11 87 8 * US sales: 417,000[57]
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Digital albums

This album charted from legal digital downloads.

Year Album details Peak positions
US[58]
2009 Season 8 Favorite Performances


* Released: June 30, 2009

* Label: RCA Records/19

33

Singles

Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US
[59]
US Pop
[60]
CAN
[61]
NZ
[62]
2009 "No Boundaries" 72 52 38 American Idol Season 8
"Time for Miracles" 50 26 For Your Entertainment
"For Your Entertainment" 61 23 24
2010 "Whataya Want from Me"A 68 34 60
"—" denotes releases that did not chart
  • A Current single.

Digital singles

These songs all charted from legal digital downloads.

Year Single Peak chart positions Album
US US
Pop
CAN
2009 "Mad World" 19 30 10 American Idol
live performances
"A Change Is Gonna Come" 56 59
"One" 82 84
"Cryin" 102 75
"Slow Ride" (with Allison Iraheta) 105
"The Tracks of My Tears" 117
"Feeling Good" 121
"—" denotes releases that did not chart

Music videos

Year Song Director
2009 "Time for Miracles" Wayne Isham
"For Your Entertainment" Ray Kay

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Result
2009 Young Hollywood Awards Artist of the Year won[63]
Teen Choice Awards Choice Male Reality/Variety Star won
Choice Summer Tour (shared with American Idol Top 10) nominated
Choice Red Carpet Icon – Male nominated
2010 People's Choice Awards Break-Out Musical Artist pending

Notes

  1. Clay Aiken, American Idol (season 2) runner-up came out as gay in 2008. Will Young, the 2002 winner of Britain's inaugural Pop Idol contests on which all the other Idol series are based, pre-emptively came out as gay after he won.

References

  1. American Idol
  2. 2.0 2.1 [1]
  3. http://www.billboard.com/charts/billboard-200#/charts/billboard-200?chartDate=2009-12-12
  4. Caulfield, Keith (2000-12-02). "Susan Boyle Sees 'Dream' Soar To No. 1 On Billboard 200". Billboard. http://www.billboard.com/news/susan-boyle-sees-dream-soar-to-no-1-on-billboard-1004050070.story#/news/susan-boyle-sees-dream-soar-to-no-1-on-billboard-1004050070.story. Retrieved 2009-12-28. 
  5. Figuracion, Inigo (2009-05-06). "Inigo's San Diego Blog". About.com. http://sandiego.about.com/b/2009/05/06/american-idol-front-runner-adam-lamberts-san-diego-beginnings.htm. Retrieved 2009-12-05. 
  6. San Diego Union-Tribune Staff Writer (24 February 2009). "‘Idol’ hopeful banks on theatrics to snag a spot". http://www.joesplaceblog.com/2009/02/24/adam-lambert-interview-with-sign-on-san-diego/. Retrieved 11 March 2009. 
  7. Kaufman, Gil (2009-06-09). "Adam Lambert Talks About His Crush On Kris Allen". MTV.com. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1613535/20090609/story.jhtml. Retrieved 2009-06-09. 
  8. Hen Liberman interviews Adam Lambert. (15 November 2009) (YouTube video). Adam Lambert Answers Your Questions. Guy Pines. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d59BgaKkdiU#t=2m48s. Retrieved 27 November 2009. 
  9. [2]
  10. [3]
  11. Rocchio, Christopher (2 March 2009). "Adam Lambert dishes on making 'American Idol's Top 12 finals". Reality TV World. http://realitytvworld.com/news/adam-lambert-dishes-on-making-american-idol-top-12-finals-8535.php. Retrieved 6 March 2009. 
  12. 12.0 12.1 Broadway.com staff (26 February 2009). "Headlines: Wicked's Adam Lambert Makes American Idol Top 12". http://www.broadway.com/Wicked-s-Adam-Lambert-Makes-American-Idol-Top-12/broadway_news/5022245. Retrieved 6 March 2009. 
  13. [4]
  14. Adam Lambert Biography Allmusic.com
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  16. "Idols move into the Idol Mansion.". http://dannygokeyfansite.com/2009/03/21/more-american-idol-mansion-peek-us-weekly-issue/. Retrieved 2009-03-30. 
  17. "MJs Top 13 Performances Recap & Review.". http://mjsbigblog.com/american-idol-season-8-top-13-performance-video.htm. Retrieved 2009-03-10. 
  18. "Psychotic State: American Idol". http://psychoticstate.blogspot.com/2009/03/american-idol-adam-is-in-ring-of-fire.html. Retrieved 2009-03-17. 
  19. "Performances and Reviews". http://www.americanidol.com/contestants/season_8/adam_lambert/. Retrieved 2009-03-29. 
  20. "TV-Watch: Kris Allen "Works Hard" to "Stay Alive" on Disco Night.". http://tvwatch.people.com/2009/04/22/idol-kris-allen-works-hard-to-stay-alive-on-disco-night/. Retrieved 2009-04-22. 
  21. "Gay Talk Surrounds Adam Lambert of 'Idol'.". http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/12/fashion/12gayidol.html?_r=1&ref=style. 
  22. "Adam Lambert: America's First gay 'Idol'?". http://www.abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/Television/story?id=7336548&page=1. 
  23. 23.0 23.1 "Adam Lambert: Shaking Up 'Idol': He's the most exciting American Idol contestant in years: Huge voice, over-the-top theatrics...and that whole Is he gay? thing. He's a true original – and just what the show needed." By Mark Harris, Entertainment Weekly,
  24. "Adam Lambert Talks “American Idol” Finale, Sexuality, Katy Perry" Chris Harris, Rolling Stone. 5/22/2009.
  25. Idol Adam Lambert 'comes out' in print, USA Today
  26. "American Idol puts on a show for MC". http://www.mcsun.org/?p=3602. Retrieved 2009-05-07. 
  27. "Adam Lambert Hits San Diego". http://weblogs.newsday.com/entertainment/music/idol/blog/2009/05/adam_lambert_hits_san_diego_fo.html. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  28. "Adam Lambert Gets His Hometown Hurrah". http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/05/08/adam-lambert-get-his-home_n_200359.html. Retrieved 2009-05-08. 
  29. [6]
  30. "Kris Allen's Thoughts on Idol and the Future". http://www.americanidol.com/news/view/pid/1751. Retrieved 2009-06-07. 
  31. [7] "'American Idol' Runner-Up Adam Lambert 'Thrilled' About The Future", Billboard Magazine, May 22, 2009.
  32. [8] "Queen Considering 'Idol's' Lambert As Frontman", Billboard Magazine, May 23, 2009.
  33. [9]
  34. "Album review: Adam Lambert's 'For Your Entertainment'". http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/music_blog/2009/11/album-review-adam-lamberts-for-your-entertainment.html. Retrieved December 10, 2009. 
  35. "YouTube - 2009-08-23 Adam Lambert Interview with John Soeder (Plain Dealer Pop Music Critic)". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lhwgsTCqQYA. Retrieved December 10, 2009. 
  36. "Aimee Mayo (AimeeMayo) on Twitter". http://twitter.com/aimeemayo. Retrieved December 10, 2009. 
  37. "Adam Lambert (AdamLambert) on Twitter". http://twitter.com/adamlambert. Retrieved December 10, 2009. 
  38. "Twitter / Adam Lambert: Debut Single...". http://twitter.com/adamlambert/status/5241677403. Retrieved December 10, 2009. 
  39. [10]
  40. "For Your Entertainment - Adam Lambert , Billboard.com". http://www.billboard.com/search/?Nty=1&Ntx=mode%2Bmatchallpartial&Ntk=Keyword&Ns=FULL_DATE%7C1&Ne=125&N=126&Ntt=Adam%20Lambert#/album/adam-lambert/for-your-entertainment/1299259. Retrieved December 14, 2009. 
  41. [11]
  42. [12]
  43. Billboard article: "Adam Lambert Pre-'Idol' Debut Album Due This Summer"
  44. "Official Winners: 2009 Teen Choice Awards" (pdf). http://www.teenchoiceawards.com/pdf/TC09WINNERSFINALDB.pdf. Retrieved August 16, 2009. 
  45. "Young Hollywood Awards – Winners – 2009". http://www.yhawards.com/2009/winners.html. Retrieved August 16, 2009. 
  46. Kaufman, Gil (23 November 2009). "Adam Lambert Says AMA Kiss Was 'In The Moment'". MTV News. http://www.mtv.com/news/articles/1626851/20091123/lambert_adam_american_idol.jhtml. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  47. Poniewozik, James (2005-03-20). "The Decency Police". Time. http://www.time.com/time/magazine/article/0,9171,1039700,00.html. Retrieved 2009-10-14. 
  48. Eggerton, John (23 November 2009). "PTC Upset Over Adam Lambert AMA Performance". Broadcasting & Cable. http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/390281-PTC_Upset_Over_Adam_Lambert_AMA_Performance.php. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  49. "Adam Lambert Could Cost ABC Television Up To $500,000". Rockstar Weekly. 23 November 2009. http://www.rockstarweekly.com/content/view/1202/149/. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  50. "ABC: Lambert's performance draws 1,500 complaints". Yahoo! Music. Associated Press. 23 November 2009. http://new.music.yahoo.com/adam-lambert/news/abc-lamberts-performance-draws-1-500-complaints--61996642. Retrieved 23 November 2009. 
  51. "UPDATED: ABC's 'Good Morning America' Cancels Adam Lambert's Performance". Yahoo News. Yahoo.com. 24 November 2009. http://omg.yahoo.com/news/updated-abcs-good-morning-america-cancels-adam-lamberts-performance/31728?nc. Retrieved 25 November 2009. 
  52. "Adam Lambert To Perform On "Early Show"". CBS News. Cbsnews.com. 24 November 2009. http://www.cbsnews.com/stories/2009/11/24/earlyshow/leisure/celebspot/main5762324.shtml. Retrieved 24 November 2009. 
  53. 53.0 53.1 53.2 "Artist: Adam Lambert chart history". Billboard. http://www.billboard.com/#/artist/adam-lambert/chart-history/1100123. 
  54. "Chart Stats - Adam Lambert". chartstats.com. http://www.chartstats.com/artistinfo.php?id=12460. Retrieved 2009-12-04. 
  55. "charts.org.nz - New Zealand charts portal". charts.org.nz. http://charts.org.nz/search.asp?search=Adam+Lambert&cat=a. Retrieved 2009-12-04. 
  56. "Take One sales". Billboard. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/idolchatter/post/2009/12/carrie-underwood-plays-on-through-christmas-in-idol-album-sales/1. Retrieved 2009-12-03. 
  57. "Carrie Underwood leads 2009's best-selling 'American Idol' albums". USA Today. http://content.usatoday.com/communities/idolchatter/post/2009/12/carrie-underwood-plays-on-through-christmas-in-idol-album-sales/1. Retrieved 2009-12-30. 
  58. Billboard.com (2009-05-27). "Idols inundate Hot 100, but Glee gloats with top debut". http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/news/idols-inundate-hot-100-but-glee-gloats-with-1003977092.story. Retrieved 2009-05-27. 
  59. http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/esearch/chart_display.jsp?cfi=379&cfgn=Singles&cfn=The+Billboard+Hot+100&ci=3108817&cdi=10213340&cid=06%2F06%2F2009
  60. http://www.billboard.com/#/column/chartbeat/chart-highlights-country-dance-club-play-1004054789.story
  61. http://www.billboard.com/bbcom/esearch/chart_display.jsp?cfi=793&cfgn=Singles&cfn=Canadian+Hot+100&ci=3108800&cdi=10212643&cid=06%2F06%2F2009
  62. http://www.rianz.org.nz/rianz/chart.asp
  63. http://www.hollywoodlife.com/Article.aspx?articlepath=RSS\Features\20090605\Young-Hollywood-Awards-Full-List-of-Winners.xml&cat=features&subcat=&pageid=1

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