The US superstar shot to fame on American Idol and became a chart-topping sensation. Yet, he is perhaps better known (at least in the UK) as the current frontman of Queen. The collaboration has breathed new life into the band and taken them back on tour with a major series of stadium dates lined up this year. Lambert shares Freddie’s remarkable showmanship and spectacular vocal abilities when few others have ever come close. No wonder Brian May and Roger Taylor have called him “a gift from God.”
The singer opened up in a new interview with Forbes about the music and people that have influenced him – and why Freddie had special place in his heart long before he even dreamed he might be a pop star himself.
Lambert said: “I remember definitely going to Wayne’s World with my brother and asking what that song is that they’re singing the opera stuff to. That was the first time I think my dad was like, ‘Well, that’s Queen.’ I’m like, ‘Who are they? We went to the vinyl closet and he pulled out some Queen records.
“I saw Freddie [Mercury] in his eyeliner and nail polish and looking like a witch and he put on some of these albums for me and I was like, ‘Okay, this is a trip.'”
For a young boy discovering his own need to express himself and break boundaries, it was a revelation. He had found a kindred spirit and also a way to connect to his own father.
Lambert added: “The thing I think I loved so much about Queen, being a musical theatre kid, (is that) they’re so theatrical. Freddie, in particular, was such a showman and so grand in the way he sang things. And even the references of some of their songs genre-wise are operetta.
“It was this bridge my father and I found between rock and roll and the theatre world and it was really special to me.”
Bohemian Rhapsody, famously, was the song Lambert bravely chose for his life-changing 2009 American Idol audition. While he was on the show, May and Taylor were contacted by friends telling them to check out an incredible young talent.
The seeds were sown and ten years later history is about to made all over again. The movie Bohemian Rhapsody (with a cheeky Lambert cameo) was a mammoth box office success, the band is about to embark on its biggest ever North American tour and Lambert, himself, is poised to release his new album, Velvet.