Adam Lambert: ‘I don’t know how in the closet Freddie Mercury actually was’

Adam Lambert has spoken out about the changing culture of being able to express sexuality in the music industry, and how it’s hard to measure how open Freddie Mercury really was.

Lambert, who rose to fame on US talent show American Idol before finding success as a solo artist, has been the touring frontman of Queen and replacement of Freddie Mercury with the band since 2011. Now in a new interview, he’s paid tribute to the late frontman – and spoken of the difficulty of discussing sexuality in ‘a different time’.

Queen and Adam Lambert performing live

“I don’t know how ‘in the closet’ Freddie actually was,” Lambert said, appearing on the cover of the latest issue of Attitude magazine. “I mean it was like another time where it was just taboo to even discuss it in the media. I think it might have been interpreted as him being tongue-in-cheek, but he sort of owned it from the get-go.

“There were interviews where they were asking if he was gay and he was like, ‘Yeah as a daffodil… gay as a daffodil’. And I don’t know if they thought because he was being flippant about it that he wasn’t being serious. But he never really said, “No, I’m not’.”

Speaking of expressing his own sexuality in the current music industry, Lambert said:  “It has never been: ‘These are the rules’. It’s more about the struggle and the stress of what will and will not connect, and that has changed since I started out.

“As a pop artist you want people to relate to you and then at some point I had to just balance all of that out with who I actually am, as an artist, as somebody who wants to express himself.”

The trailer for the much-anticipated Queen biopic ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ dropped last month, starring Rami Malek as frontman Freddie Mercury.

 However, the clip came under fire from writer and producer Bryan Fuller – who accused the movie of ‘queer erasure‘.Taking to Twitter, Fuller wrote: “Anyone else mildly annoyed (enough to tweet about it) that the #BohemianRapsody (sic) trailer features gay/bi superstar Freddie Mercury flirting with and twirling with a woman but no indication of his love of men?”

Other users said Fuller was disrespecting Mercury’s bi-sexual identity, while another Twitter user suggested that the filmmakers may be holding back scenes surrounding Mercury’s sexuality and AIDs-realted death in order to “thrill-audiences.”

Bohemian Rhapsody is released in the UK on October 24. The film also stars Mike Myers, Allen Leech and Game of Thrones’ Aidan Gillen.