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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > 297 > Queen’s heir apparent

Queen’s heir apparent

He shot to fame on American Idol in 2009 but now Adam Lambert has stepped into the shoes of possibly the greatest showman of all time. He tells Attitude about his first memory of Freddie Mercury, how it feels to be on stage with rock legends and how they inspired his new music

Words Cliff Joannou Photography Austin Hargrave Styling Joseph Kocharian Shot at Millennium Biltmore Hotel, Los Angeles

Adams wears shirt, by Ashish, jeans, by Frame Denim at MR PORTER, top, by T by Alexander Wang, boots, by DSquared2

The first time Adam Lambert turned to his dad and asked about Queen, he was just 10 years old. It was 1992 and, along with his brother, they had gone to see to see Wayne’s World together. “Bohemian Rhapsody was in it and I remember asking my father: ‘Who sings that song?’ That was my first real exposure to them”, he recalls as we settle down for our interview in the chic Music Suite in Los Angeles’ legendary Millennium Biltmore Hotel. “My dad replied, ‘Well, you’ve heard We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions and I said: ‘Oh yeah, I’ve heard those’.

That’s one of the things I love about Queen’s music. It’s kind of been omnipresent even if I didn’t know who they were. “Even before I understood who they were as a band, I heard their songs.” Adam first hit the public’s consciousness as the young rock kid with the impressive set of lungs when he came second on American Idol in 2009. Since then, he’s become one of the shows success stories, and in 2012 his second album Trespassing was the first by an out gay artist to reach Number One on the Billboard chart.

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About Attitude

Double cover: Adam Lambert on touring with Queen and Sense8 actor Miguel Angel Silvestre. Plus: Ross Lynch on playing killer Jeffrey Dahmer, enigmatic singer serpentwithfeet, Dusty Ray Bottoms on his gay-cure exorcism, and Drag Race’s Eureka O’Hara.