Gay US singer Adam Lambert has said he is happy to be out and proud.

The American Idol runner-up has been open about his sexual orientation since appearing in the contest last year.

He told the Herald Sun: “I think just being visible and proud of who I am gives the right message.

“I think empowerment is a great gift to give to people. And it doesn’t have to be about just my gay fans, I want my female fans to feel comfortable in their own skin and feel sexy. Hopefully my music promotes that.”

Last year, Kiss star Gene Simmons claimed that Lambert had “killed his career” by talking about his sexual orientation.

Simmons said: “He’s done. I hope I’m completely wrong. I hope he becomes the next Beatles and proves me wrong.”

But Lambert countered: “For someone to criticise me talking about my sexuality and say, ‘America doesn’t care about what you do behind closed doors and it’s going to kill your career,’ well that’s funny because all he talks about is how many women he’s slept with.”