All this week, MTVNews.com is celebrating the Class of '09, and in hunting down some graduation footage, we came across a familiar voice. This video was taken at the graduation ceremony for San Diego, California's Mt. Carmel High School in 2000. And who closed out that event with a very special song? "American Idol" runner-up Adam Lambert, who serenaded his graduating class with an a capella take on "It's So Hard to Say Goodbye to Yesterday," the tune from "Cooley High," later made more famous by Boyz II Men.
Watching Lambert perform (along with a not-in-the-frame backing group) is a little jarring after watching him on "Idol." He's obviously missing a lot of the polish (and the make-up) that made him America's sweetheart (seeing him in a cap and gown looks surreal, to say the least). But even at age 18, he has exceptional pipes and incredible range (that high note he hits near the end of the song is pretty impressive). He obviously has charisma, too — the entire crowd is hanging on every note (and that has nothing to do the fact that they really have nowhere to go). Lambert's fame wasn't necessarily inevitable at the beginning of the millennium, but his talent was most certainly well-developed.
Welcome to Class of '09 Week on MTVNews.com, where we're celebrating a memorable time in the lives of more than 3 million high school seniors: graduation! We'll be rolling out articles and videos with graduation memories from your favorite celebrities and much more. Be sure to upload your own three-minute video for our Class of '09 Valedictory Search to Your.MTV.com — the winner will be flown to New York for lunch with MTV News' Sway and will attend a taping of MTV's new series "It's On With Alexa Chung."