Adam Lambert - new Queen frontman? (Is a jacket a clue?)
Is Adam Lambert set to tour with the legendary rock band Queen?
The 30-year-old "American Idol" finalist, a longtime fan of the British group and of its late flamboyant frontman Freddie Mercury, will reportedly perform with guitarist Brian May, 64, and drummer Roger Taylor, 62, at the Sonisphere touring hard rock festival in the United Kingdom in July, according to a report by the UK tabloid The Daily Star on Friday, February 3.
His spokesperson declined to comment about the matter when reached by OnTheRedCarpet.com. The Queen musicians and representatives for the festival have also not addressed the matter publicly. The official line-up for the UK event, which takes place at Knebworth House between July 6 and July 8, has not yet been announced.
The report was published on the same day that Lambert's new music video, "Better Than I Know Myself," was released (watch it here). The song is featured on Lambert's second studio album, "Trespassing," which is set to hit stores on March 20.
Lambert sang a Queen medley with May and Taylor at the MTV Europe Music Awards in Northern Ireland on Nov. 6, 2011. He wore a long, black, leather jacket with slightly pointed shoulders. He wears what appears to be an identical one in his new music video. (See above) His spokesperson had no immediate comment as to whether it is the same jacket.
The glam rocker and former musical theatre performer, who is known for his wild outfits, had performed Queen's iconic 1975 song "Bohemian Rhapsody" at his first on-air "American Idol" audition, which aired in January 2009. He placed second during the eighth season and performed with May at the finale, which raised speculation that he would become Queen's new frontman.
When asked about the rumors, May told Rolling Stone: "It's not like we, as Queen, would rush into coalescing with another singer just like that. It isn't that easy. But I'd certainly like to work with Adam. That is one amazing instrument he has there."
Mercury, who died at age 45 from complications of AIDS in 1991, was known for his elaborate stage performances and costumes. He and his fellow band members dressed as women, channeling female characters from the UK series "Coronation Street," in the 1984 Queen music video "I Want To Break Free."
[Mercury] was completely over the top in the best possible way," Lambert told NPR in 2010. "Music, most of the time, is about sexuality, whether you are straight, gay or in between. It's about love and sex. That's rock 'n' roll."
Lambert is openly gay and came out publicly via a Rolling Stone cover that was published just after his run on "American Idol." Mercury was reported to have been bisexual but did not speak about his sexual orientation publicly.
Lambert told NPR he owes a debt to Mercury's flamboyance, saying: "There's definitely something missing in today's music scene. We don't have a lot of men on stage doing flamboyant or theatrical. We have a lot of female pop stars doing it, but where are the guys? Where's the classic pop-rock showman?"
'WE WILL ROCK YOU'
During Lambert's first on-air "American Idol" audition, then-judge Simon Cowell told him he was "theatrical." The singer, who was raised in southern California, has performed in musicals such as "Wicked" and "Hair," although not on Broadway, and at various other stage shows, often in flashy costumes.
Queen's songs are featured in the hit musical "We Will Rock You," which was written by Ben Elton in collaboration with May and Taylor. The characters are fictional. Lambert, who once starred in "Wicked" in Los Angeles, has never appeared in the show, which opened in London's West End in 2002. The musical has been performed in places such as Las Vegas, Germany and Russia but not on Broadway.
The show is about a group of rockers living in a futuristic world where musical instruments are banned and everyone else behaves the same way and consumes the same, generic products. Its title was named after the band's 1977 rock anthem that has been for decades been played at stadiums during sporting events.
May told BBC News in 2009 that a film based on the show was in the works, added that he has read a script and that the proposed movie's story is "grittier."
"We have a script. We have Robert De Niro in our family. He's part of our initial thrust. So they've been interested in doing this for a while. And of course the medium of film gives you the opportunity to say a lot more. I've read the script."
Meanwhile, Mercury is also coming to the big screen. British actor Sacha Baron Cohen, known for his alter egos Borat and Ali G, is set to portray the rocker in a biopic tentatively set for release in 2014.
UPDATE: Lambert finally addressed the rumors on Thursday night Tweeting, "Oooh them clever reporters takin my quotes outta context.... I haven't confirmed any guest appearances. I was talking about the EMA'S. :)" He added later, "That being said, I'm truly flattered by your jump to such glorious conclusions mr journalist!! ."