Adam Lambert was born on January 29, 1982 in Indianapolis, Indiana and grew up in San Diego, California. He is a Jewish American singer and actor and was the runner-up on the eighth season of American Idol in May 2009.
Lambert has been a stage actor since he was ten years old. In 2004, he played Joshua in The Ten Commandments: The Musical at the Kodak Theater alongside Val Kilmer and was the understudy for the part of Fiyero in the touring and Los Angeles casts of the musical Wicked. He has also performed at the Zodiac Show and the Upright Cabaret.
Prior to his American Idol fame, he gained experience performing within the Jewish community. In 2005 he joined Temple of the Arts to perform at a memorial concert for Yitzhak Rabin where he sang Shir LaShalom at American Jewish University with Maya Haddi and Noa Dori. In 2007, he performed at the Kol Nidre service at Temple of the Arts at the Saban Theatre.
On American Idol, Lambert became known for his edgy, rock performances and consistently received high praise from the judges, including from the notoriously tough Simon Cowell. Some of his performances on the show included Michael Jackson’s “Black or White”, Johnny Cash’s “Ring of Fire”, Tears for Fears’ “Mad World”, Sammy Davis, Jr.’s “Feeling Good”, Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”, U2’s “One”, and Aerosmith’s “Cryin”. For the top three show, Lambert sang at his alma mater, Mt. Carmel High School, and San Diego mayor Jerry Sanders declared May 8 “Adam Lambert Day”. On the May 20, 2009 finale episode, he performed with Kiss and Queen and was announced as the runner-up.
When provocative photographs surfaced of Lambert dressed in drag and kissing other men, he proclaimed, “I have nothing to hide. I am who I am.”