NEXT WEEK: ADAM LAMBERT PERFORMS IN KEY WEST

Keys Weekly’s Britt Myers interviews superstar Adam Lambert before his live show at Key West’s Coffee Butler Amphitheater on Thursday, April 28. CONTRIBUTED

If you’ve simply categorized Adam Lambert into a box labeled “former reality competition stars,” you owe yourself an apology.  The 2009 “American Idol” runner-up didn’t just cash in on a few minutes of fame with a one-and-done record deal and some random reunion tours. 

Instead, he conquered the world with passion, courage and a humble approach to his craft, and we have the interview to prove it — right before Lambert’s arrival and performance in Key West on Thursday, April 28.

The full podcast interview can be found here and at keysweekly.com. But before we send you off into the digital cosmos, let us explain why Adam Lambert might just be the coolest artist on the planet that you’ve been too naive to love — until now.

For starters, imagine launching just your second album in 2011, and having it land atop Billboard’s Top 200. That feat alone signaled Lambert’s lasting star power, but he was also the first openly gay artist to do it. The first. Ever. Let that sink in for a moment. Of all the musicians, singers and performers, ever. He was first.

AL: “When that happened, when I was told that milestone had been reached, I thought surely someone had done it before, and I was so shocked that they hadn’t,” Lambert said. “I was honored, and right after I was finished with the TV show and started doing my own music and touring, I very quickly came to find out how many amazing people out there were looking for some sort of inspiration, some guidance and bravery. When I first got into the music industry, it was selfish, but I just wanted to sing and perform. Once this all happened, I realized what opportunity there was to make a change in the world and to help people. All of a sudden, the whole career meant more to me than I had thought.”

In addition, by the time Rami Malek reminded the world of Freddie Mercury’s genius in 2018 with the hit film “Bohemian Rhapsody,” Lambert had been living the dream, performing and touring with Queen since 2011. He contributed lead vocals in the coveted position that the late Mercury once commanded. Not only was Mercury an idol to Lambert, the role allowed the world to see another side of Lambert’s talented prism.

AL: “Pardon the cliche, but it’s a dream come true. I auditioned for ‘American Idol’ with ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ Then the movie got people excited again and shifted the people we have in the audience at the shows. … When I get on stage with them, in the arenas, it’s such a rush. The music is so fun to sing.”

Touring with Queen took Lambert across the globe, injecting his stardom into diverse pockets of fans spanning many ages and genres. In 2012, he and Queen performed in Kyiv, Ukraine, resulting in an estimated 400,000 fans watching live from Ukraine’s main square — a moment that has become increasingly surreal for him, given today’s events in that city and country. 

AL: “There’s definitely a soft spot in my heart for that show and that place. … We split the bill with Elton John, and I was so nervous. But the audience was so warm … and to see what’s going on there now, and what else has happened there, even before now, but since that show, my heart goes out to anyone who’s affected by this senseless violence. … The world is a tricky place and nothing is permanent. I hope it ends very soon and I hope we can all keep raising awareness and humanitarian aid.”

Lambert is so much more than the front man for Queen, a runner-up in “American Idol” or a 2009 Grammy nominee for Best Male Pop Vocal Performance for his song, “Whataya Want from Me.”

He is self-aware in the moment, able to remain grounded on the grinding wave of stardom. 

His approach to his craft remains humble, which he attributes to finding commercial success later in life. 

And when he speaks to you, it comes from a place of sincere interest and reflection, as we can attest to in the full interview, which also includes a few questions submitted by our social media  followers in Key West and around the globe. 
Enjoy Adam Lambert, in our interview and live in Key West this Friday. We can’t promise that any seats remain, but if they do, reward yourself now at thekeywestamp.com.

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Britt Myers traded in a life of monetary success, a chiseled body and intellectual enlightenment for a piece of the pie of the Keys Weekly newspapers. He is also the proud parent of an incredible six-year-old and a sucker for Michael Mann movies and convenience store hot dogs.