The pop star and former "American Idol" standout Lambert dropped by Q104.3 New York's "Jim Kerr Rock and Roll Morning Show" to talk to Jim Kerr and Shelli Sonstein about his lifelong relationship with classic rock, his second place finish on "Idol" and how he ended up collaborating with Queen.
Lambert is wholly positive about his "American Idol" experience; he says, in fact, that his Queen courtship began on the show after the band made a guest appearance to perform "We Are the Champions" with the contestants.
Once his "Idol" season was over, Lambert says Queen reached out to him, but before he could commit to anything, he had to begin his solo career and establish himself in his own right.
"It's one thing to just get up onstage and sing some songs," Lambert says, "but the weight of the legacy of [Freddie Mercury] and Queen is very heavy."
In addition to wanting to do right by his idol, Mercury, and his new bandmates, Brian May and Roger Taylor, Lambert recalls the pressure of Queen's first live concert, which was in Ukraine...in front of about 250,000 people. He had just nine days of rehearsal.
"It was a big payoff, a combination of relief -- I definitely felt...fantastic. I felt honored," he says. "I felt like, 'Wow, not only are these fans embracing this experience, but Brian and Roger have been unbelievable.' They've been so collaborative; they've given me a lot of freedom. They've been so supportive."
Lambert tells the show that May and Taylor made it easy for him to be himself and not worry too much about replicating Mercury's performances.
"I also thought to myself, 'Look, I can go into this and -- because they are who they are -- I'm cool with them telling me exactly how to sing every song if that's how they want to do it.' And to my delight, they were like, 'Well, [do] whatever you want to do! What do you want to do with [the songs]?'"
Watch the full interview above!
Get all the Queen + Adam Lambert tour dates at Queen's official website here.
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