Adam Lambert reveals music execs meddled with his ‘genderfluid’ album cover
Queen star Adam Lambert has revealed that music execs meddled with an album cover featuring him in full make-up.
The singer, who found fame through his appearance on American Idol in 2009, has long embraced a glam androgynous image.
But the out singer revealed this week that his image has not always been uncontroversial.
Taking to Instagram, he tweeted two alternate covers for his debut album For Your Entertainment, released after his stint on Idol.
Lambert revealed that the first cover, which features him sporting an androgynous look in vibrant make-up with blue hair, was considered too controversial by some retailers, who did not want to stock his CD.
Instead a second more conservative cover was produced.
The black-and-white cover obscures much of Lambert’s features, with a hand over his face, though he is still clearly in make-up.
He explained: “Anniversary of my first official album For Your Entertainment ! I was feelin my gender fluid (and fully photoshopped) glam rock fantasy.
“The powers that be released a second cover for retailers who felt ‘uncomfortable’ w the original. (Even though i was still fully painted)”.
He added: “seems so funny now…. but just 8 yrs ago it was a much different climate.”
The singer also gave an interview where he responded to the recent media mania around gender-fluidity.
Speaking to the Express and Star, he said: “Look at all the gender fluidity stuff that’s become the conservation right now.
“The kids coming up right now are less hung up on stereotypical gender roles.
“It’s funny, because I look at kids rocking some nail polish or a little glitter and I’m like, ‘Do you guys think this is new? I’ve been doing this for years!'”
Of course, Lambert – who was born in 1982 – himself drew from older stars like David Bowie and Boy George for his genderfluid glam look.
Last year he alleged that music industry execs are still ‘scared’ of letting gay artists express themselves through music.
Speaking to Digital Spy, the artist said that music industry gatekeepers are still clamping down on expression – insisting that gay men sing about gender-neutral ‘lovers’ while straight men are free to sing about ‘women’.
He said: “There’s only so much you can do as an artist. Luckily we’re in a moment right now with streaming where there’s more power put back into the artist’s and audience’s hands.
“But the gatekeepers who make a lot of the other big decisions in the music industry, those are the ones hardest to convince on certain things. That’s the reasoning for some of that pronoun stuff.”
Lambert continued: “It’d be nice if there was more. I think it’ll happen slowly but surely. There are success stories happening and that’s the biggest thing for the music industry.
“They need to see that it actually works in order for them to feel comfortable with it. The audiences are there for it, but the industry needs to come around a bit more to it. They are, but it’s the last piece.”
“There’s not as much of a reason to be scared of it, because people in general aren’t scared of it.”
Lambert is currently on tour as part of his long-standing association with the band Queen, touring the world in place of the late Freddie Mercury.
He said: “There’s never going to be another (Freddie), and I’m not replacing him.
“That’s not what I’m doing. I’m trying to keep the memory alive, and remind people how amazing he was, without imitating him. I’m trying to share with the audience how much he inspired me.”
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Guitarist Brian May added: “Adam is the first person we’ve encountered who can do all the Queen catalogue without blinking. He is a gift from God.”
Drummer Roger Taylor added: “He’s incredibly musical, and we certainly take anything he says quite seriously.”
The band has had a number of other stand-ins over the years.
Lady Gaga joined the band for a one-off surprise performance in Australia, wearing a dark frizzy wig reminiscent of a younger Brian May.