Singer Adam Lambert praised rapper Lil Nas X following the latter’s much-discussed performance at the BET Awards that saw him kiss another man. Lambert also spoke about his own story, trying to incorporate queer themes into his work as a pop star and the backlash he suffered.
“I thought it was hot,” Lambert said of Lil Nas X’s performance, in an interview with Billboard. “I mean, he really gives it to us. I think he’s definitely like the gay pop star of 2021 – he’s bold, he’s controversial, he’s pushing the boundaries. This is what we want our pop stars to do. It just took so long for him to be gay.
“He’s so grounded and firm in who he is and what he does, he won’t apologize to anyone,” Lambert explained. “What I love about Lil Nas right now is that we need him to be upfront about it. He’s in a position where it works for him, and he’s using it. In the music industry, it’s like, “How many streams do you have, how many sales, what’s his position on the radio?” Once you hit a certain point, you get more leeway, you get more credibility; the industry gives you a longer leash, so to speak. And I feel like one of the great things about Lil Nas is that when you watch “Old Town Road” you see that this massive worldwide success has given him some freedom to make statements. and make real art. Timing is everything.
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Lambert speaks from experience. In 2009, he made headlines for a performance of his song “For Your Entertainment” at the American Music Awards, in which he kissed his keyboardist. The backlash came swift and hard.
“I was taken off ABC for a little while,” he recalls. “They were panicked, they had groups of Christian parents writing, the censors were panicked. What I found so funny was like, “The censors? It’s a kiss. When was that indecent? “
Lambert then did an interview with ABC’s morning show. Hello america to defend its performance. He was not prepared for the near hostility of questions.
“They showed a clip, trying to make a comparison with Madonna kissing Britney and Christina at the VMAs a few years ago. So they showed a clip of that moment, and then right after, they cut a clip of my performance the day before I was kissing a guy on stage, and they censored our mouths, ”he recalls. “I just remember thinking it was the biggest slap in the face – it’s like it proved my point. It’s so crazy to me that this double standard was so blatant and obvious, where two women kissing weren’t indecent, but two men kissing were.
Fortunately, for Lambert, he sees signs of progress. “Two men kissing is old news,” he joked. “Of course, there are still a lot of issues, and there is still a lot of work to be done, but I think for a lot of people we are past the shock and alien nature of seeing gay representation in action. We are in a very divided and polarized time, but I think we are on the positive side of that polarity. There is so much goodwill for someone like [Lil Nas X], and I’m just happy that I can have the prospect of enjoying it.
Since his performance at WADA in 2009, Adam Lambert has had great success in his career. His albums Intrusions, the original high and Velvet all of them got a positive review and sold well. The tours for each album also became major draws. In addition to his solo work, Lambert also became the lead singer of the reformed group Queen, taking the place of original singer Freddie Mercury. Lambert has also received widespread praise for his philanthropic efforts, particularly in the area of LGBTQ activism.