The 2017 terror attack at Ariana Grande’s Manchester Arena concert “scared the hell” out of Adam Lambert.
The American Idol runner-up has been touring worldwide with Queen as part of the Queen + Adam Lambert collective, and will also be performing as part of a 10-date residency at the Park Theater in Las Vegas in September.
Though Adam is a natural stage entertainer, he admits that he was “caught off guard” by tragedies such as the Manchester bombing, which claimed the lives of 22 people, and the 2016 shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in which 49 people were killed.
“These events definitely caught me off guard and scared the hell out of me,” the singer recalled in an interview with British GQ magazine. “Events in Paris (the Bataclan theatre massacre), events in Orlando, Ariana’s concert – all these terrible tragedies have scared me. I feel somewhat reassured by amazing security teams that have been put into place, at least for our concerts. I think there’s a lot of new security protocols that have been put into place, both on stage and in the audience, so that makes me feel better. Letting that stop what we do is letting them win and we don’t want that.”
Away from the stage, the 36-year-old is considered a gay icon and has used his fame to help campaign for LGBT rights. Adam, who came out at the age of 18, said the public interest following American Idol made him feel as though his sexuality sometimes “preceded who I was, or my talent,” and though that could be disappointing, he also sees the benefits in acting as a spokesperson for the gay community.
“I think that a lot of good can come out of being proud. That’s what Pride is, this whole idea that you have nothing to hide and you’ve accepted yourself and you demand people accept you for who you are,” he said. “If it weren’t for people coming out and being confident and matter of fact about it, we wouldn’t be where we are today.”