“American Idol” runner-up Adam Lambert has been in the news this week for more than just the upcoming release of his debut album, “For Your Entertainment”: After putting Lambert on the cover of OUT magazine, Aaron Hicklin, Out’s editor, wrote the singer an open letter, complaining about certain stipulations placed on the interview and cover shoot by Lambert’s management team — allegations to which Lambert fired back via Twitter. (Read EW Idol Expert Michael Slezak’s take on the matter here.)
We caught up with Lambert at rehearsals for the American Music Awards in downtown Los Angeles Thursday, and got his unvarnished take on the dispute. We also chatted about the new album and his AMA performance, and will bring you those answers Friday as part of our ongoing coverage of Sunday’s awards show.
Entertainment Weekly: Let’s talk about the Out magazine kerfuffle.
Adam Lambert: Isn’t that fun? [laughs]
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EW: We now know the behind-the-scenes dialogue between the magazine and your management team. The thing I’m curious about is, from your perspective, how does it feel to have your image managed by someone other than you?
Lambert: What people don’t realize is, I am managing my image, more than maybe the editor of Out magazine likes to give anybody credit for. My team is a team. And I really feel fortunate that 19 Management and Simon Fuller said to me, from the get-go, “We want to do what you want to do. You need to tell us how you want to do things, what interests you have,” and they’ve been incredibly supportive of me. I really mean it. I’m not being puppeted around. I didn’t want to jump onto a gay magazine as my first thing, because I feel like that’s putting myself in a box and limiting myself. It was my desire to stay away from talking about certain political and civil rights issues because I’m not a politician. I’m an entertainer. That is not my area of expertise. I can talk about relationships and personal experiences because as an artist those things involve writing lyrics and that part of my process. But I didn’t feel comfortable talking about the March on Washington. I didn’t feel comfortable, so I asked my publicist to ask the interviewer to stay away from the political questions. I take full responsibility for that. I think that the editor has his agenda and has his opinions, which I respect, but they’re not necessarily my opinions. And I wish there was a little respect for that. Not every gay man is the same gay man.
EW: They’re gonna take away your laminated membership card.
Lambert: Apparently. It’s just sexuality. We’re all very very different, just like all straight people are different.
EW: Who told you that?
Lambert: You know? That’s the thing. But the funny thing is, in order for us to progress, we need to stop segregating ourselves. And a letter like that, that viewpoint — the letter that Aaron wrote is holding us back. Because it’s recognizing the big difference as opposed to letting us all ignore preference and just be people. So I think in attempt to champion a cause he’s actually taking a big step backwards.
EW: With things like the phrase “gay-gay”?
Lambert: That was taken out of context. It was all taken out of context. And also, the other thing that I feel about it? If there are things going on behind the scenes with my management, it has nothing to do with my interview with them. He really crossed a line.