Adam Lambert Reflects on Backlash from 2009 AMA Same-Sex Kiss at Event

"I’m going to be as gay as I f--king can be and be flamboyant and be wild."

Credit: Adam Lambert/Instagram

“American Idol” alum Adam Lambert recently disclosed the severe backlash he faced following his impromptu same-sex kiss at the 2009 American Music Awards, during his acceptance speech at the 2023 Creative Coalition Spotlight Initiative Gala.

The incident, which was widely covered by the media, sparked a wave of criticism and controversy, with the network, ABC, that aired the show threatening to file a lawsuit against the artist.

Recalling the events of that fateful evening, Lambert stated, "I did the kind of performance I’d seen since I was a teenager. I was like, I want to be sexy and have dancers on stage, and I did a couple of suggestive moves with some of my dancers and an impromptu kiss with my bass player," though he had actually kissed his keyboardist. "I was feeling it."

The singer, who was being honored for his role in the Sundance Film Festival drama “Fairyland,” revealed that he was immediately met with severe condemnation from the network, who banned him from appearing on their channel and threatened to sue him.

Despite the backlash, Lambert remained resolute, and his experience only served to strengthen his resolve to be an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community. He stated, "I’m going to be as gay as I f--king can be and be flamboyant and be wild,” he said he had decided, “and if it gets me into trouble, it gets me into trouble. I’m not going to back down from it."

Lambert's powerful and moving speech at the 2023 Creative Coalition Spotlight Initiative Gala served as a reminder of the progress that has been made in the fight for LGBTQIA+ rights, as well as the challenges that still lie ahead. The artist's determination to be an advocate for the community serves as an inspiration to us all.

Related: Adam Lambert Says LGBTQ+ talent Won’t Require ‘Straight Saviors’

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