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MARY LAMBERT

MARY LAMBERT IS THE SEATTLE BASED SINGER-SONGWRITER WHO WRITES FEARLESSLY ABOUT HER PERSONAL DEMONS, THE STRUGGLE FOR GAY RIGHTS, AND THE CRUCIAL POWER OF EMPATHY. BEN KELLY WENT TO FIND OUT HOW THE VOICE BEHIND SAME LOVE DEVELOPED INTO A VOICE FOR AN EMPOWERED GENERATION.

Even if you don’t think you know Mary Lambert, you probably do. Hers was the voice that crooned the chorus of Macklemore and Ryan Lewis’ hit Same Love, which permeated international airwaves and video channels for most of 2012 and 2013, tackling homophobia and equal rights through a familiar LGBT mantra: “And I can’t change, even if I tried/ Even if I wanted to.” Currently sitting on 138 million YouTube views, the song reached out to the digital generation, between whom messages can spread instantly, across all boundaries and barriers. “I was so shocked when I heard Same Love on hip hop radio, on rap radio,” Mary explains, as we sit down in The Langham Hotel in London, where she’s kicked off her shoes and tucked them underneath her. “It was already a big deal that it was on the radio, that was insane. Cos we did the song and I was like ‘I don’t know if it’s gonna go anywhere’, it’s a rap song about gay rights, that’s not gonna go anywhere! I never expected it.”

Same Love was a slow burner, but gradually became the biggest song, and the biggest talking point in the world; culminating in a 2014 Grammy Award performance which saw Queen Latifah officiate the marriages of 33 couples on stage, before Madonna joined for a rendition of Open Your Heart. Standing with her arm around Lambert, singing the Same Love lyrics with her must have been the greatest moment of her career? “Yeah it’s up there!” she giggles. “We had intense rehearsals, like four 3 hour rehearsals, so we spent a lot of time together, it was amazing. I mean, she’s Madonna! It was really exciting because we were trying to figure out how to best make the two songs mash and she would be like ‘How do you do this part’ and I’d be stammering like, ‘I sing it like this, but you don’t have to, you can do whatever you want!’ I was really nervous. But she was really sweet.” Watching the clip back on YouTube, it’s hard not to get teary eyed, and Lambert herself lets it all out towards the end. “I cry all the time and we were at the very last rehearsal and I cried collectively for like six hours during one of the rehearsals, but Madonna came over and wiped the tears off my face, and I was like ‘I’m dead!’ I haven’t washed my face since!”

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About Attitude

This very special edition of Attitude is our biggest ever. It marks our first annual Pride Awards, which were created to champion the unsung heroes of the LGBT community; all of our 11 recipients grace the cover, and their extraordinary stories are told inside. They will all be honoured at an event in London, hosted by Alan Cumming, on 26 June. This issue also marks Attitude’s 21st birthday, and inside we feature 21 ordinary 21 year olds from the LGBT community who speak about what matters to them as they come of age in Britain in 2015. The issue also includes interviews with Roisin Murphy, Little Mix, Mary Lambert, Aston Merrygold, Kavana, Collabro, actor Layton Williams, and director Bill Condon; as well as features on the rebranding of Switchboard, and a look back at Queen’s iconic Live Aid performance 30 years on. All this, plus our regular fashion spreads, columnists, real life features, travel and fitness.
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