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Adam Lambert says fame put pressure on him to ‘be an educator’

Lydia Smith August 9, 2019

Singer Adam Lambert performs in concert at Terminal 5 in New York City (Noam Galai/Getty Images)

Adam Lambert has said he felt pressured to be an “educator” as a gay person in the limelight.

The 37-year-old gained fame after appearing on American Idol in 2009.

Speaking to Billboard, he said: “I was really overwhelmed in the very beginning. ‘American Idol’ was so fast. All of a sudden I was on magazine covers.

“I was dealing with the personal adjustment I had to make, and then on top of it, there was all this energy behind being the gay guy doing it. I knew I was comfortable saying, ‘Yes, I’m gay.’ 

“But educating the masses? I didn’t get into this business to be an educator. I just wanted to wear glitter and sing.”

The singer said the lack of LGBT+ people in the mainstream media at the time meant he was asked a lot of questions about his sexuality.

“When I started my professional journey, in the mainstream media there weren’t a lot of [queer] people, so that was the thing the media wanted to talk about. I loved talking about it, but at the same time I was like, ‘Can it not precede me?’”

Adam Lambert attends Bohemian Rhapsody New York Premiere at The Paris Theatre on October 30, 2018 in New York City.
Adam Lambert has spoken about struggling with his mental health (Rachel Murray/Getty Images for GLAAD)

Earlier this year, Lambert opened up about being “lonely and depressed” in a letter to fans.

In a letter to fans on Thursday (February 21), Lambert wrote about his mental health: “I love making and performing music, but there have been many times where I’ve had to compromise on my artistic vision, with executives making decisions based on money and not art.

“Don’t get me wrong—I’m VERY proud of my body of work. But I’m coming out of a dark period of second-guessing my own artistry and having my mental health suffer because of it.”

He added: “I started asking myself, ‘Is all this hustle really worth it?’

“I put all my focus on work and started to feel detached in my personal life. My self worth was suffering, I was lonely, and becoming depressed.”

Lambert added that he pulled himself “out of the darkness… with a bit of professional help, and the support of colleagues, friends and family.”

More: Adam Lambert, American Idol, mental health, Music

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