Adam Mitchel Lambert, born January 29, 1982, is a 39-year-old American singer-songwriter and actor.
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 Peńasquitos. 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 Fiddle 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. 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."
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.
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: "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 Wonderland 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 Crying 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 solos in the finale, 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, 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, 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. 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.
In that same interview, two days after the finale, Idol franchise creator Simon Fuller, stated: "He's like Marc Bolan meets Bowie, with a touch of Freddie Mercury and the sexiness of Prince" 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 ABC New's 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.
|2006||The Ten Commandments: The Musical||Joshua||Film debut|
|2009||American Idol||Himself (contestant)||Season 8; 2nd place|
|2011||Majors & Minors||Himself (Mentor)||2 episodes|
|2012||Pretty Little Liars||Himself||Episode: "This Is a Dark Ride"|
|2013-2014||Glee||Elliott Gilbert||Season 5; 5 episodes|
|2018||Bohemian Rhapsody||Truck Driver Guy||Cameo role|
- Rachel mentioned him in I Kissed A Girl, saying that she hadn't been so worried about a vote since him and Kris Allen.
- He is the second person in the cast and crew of Glee who is from Indianapolis, the first being Ryan Murphy.
- He auditioned for Glee before the first season even started, however, the casting director said he liked his voice, but thought he was too old to be in the show.
- Adam, much like his character Starchild, models his fashion style after David Bowie.
- He recorded a song with Lady Gaga for his first album.
- He hung out with Madonna for five minutes at her house.
- He said on an interview with Chelsea Handler that he was 250 pounds and had red hair in high school. He claims that his weight gain came from insecurities of being closeted, so to deal with it, he developed an eating disorder where he would binge eat.
- He guest-starred on Pretty Little Liars as himself and performed two of his songs from his album Trespassing.
- He is the second person in the cast to claim he was fat in high school, the first being Chris Colfer.
- Adam is Jewish.
- He has a younger brother named Neil.
- When his career first started, he got into trouble with the Parents Television Council, who demanded that his appearance on Good Morning America be cancelled.
- He got his first tattoo when he was 27.
- He is very honest.
- He naturally has red hair and lots of freckles.
- He went on tour in summer of 2014, featuring original Queen Band members Brian May and Roger Taylor. Tourdates . He continues to tour with them, and on February 24, 2019 opened the 91st Academy Awards with a medley of "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions".