Adam Lambert has never shied away from expressing his love of Freddie Mercury, the late, great theatrical lead singer of classic rock band Queen. And ever since he was joined by the original members of the British group during his finale performance on “American Idol” in 2009, speculation has swirled that Lambert could step into Mercury’s bedazzled boots and serve as the group’s new vocalist in homage to his hero.
Lambert reportedly told the British tabloid, Daily Star, that he will, in fact, hit the road this summer with original members guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor to play a string of dates, including one at Knebworth in England, where Queen played their final show with Mercury in 1986, five years before he died.
“The intention is to pay tribute to Freddie and the band by singing some f—ing great songs,” he said. “It’s to keep the music alive for the fans and give it an energy that Freddie would have been proud of.” Lambert is set to release his second solo album, Trespassing, on March 20. The first single, “Better Than I Know Myself,” dropped in late December.
But it was his performance in November with May and Taylor at the MTV Europe Awards that revived rumors that he might step into Mercury’s formidable lead slot. Now that the dream gig appears to be reality, Lambert is trying to manage expectations while paying due respect to glam rock icon Mercury.
“After the EMAs, I heard faint little slithers of a backlash from people saying: ‘You can’t replace Freddie Mercury.’ But I already knew that,” he said. “There’s no intention in my mind of replacing Freddie. That’s impossible. The way I’m choosing to view it is that it’s a great honour and one I’m in no way going to shirk … Being asked to front Queen is the best thing that can possibly happen.”
At press time spokespeople for Queen and Lambert could not be reached to confirm the report.