Flamboyant US pop singer Adam Lambert has made history this week with his second album Trespassing becoming his first US number one record, and marking the first time an openly gay artist has hit the top spot in American album chart history.
"I'm so excited, you have no idea. I'm kind of in shock," he told TheFIX in a phone interview.
"One of the great things about the album going number one this week is that it proves a point that music doesn't have an orientation, music is universal. And even though at times it does matter in the industry — marketing and all that — I would love to get to a point where it doesn't matter. I think this milestone kind of says that."
The 30-year-old 'Whataya Want From Me' and 'If I Had You' singer has had one of the most successful careers to come out American Idol (he was runner-up in 2009). His openness about his sexuality and boundary-pushing, often-androgynous image has made him a gay icon, but more importantly, a music icon.
"I just hope to inspire people to do whatever the hell they want to do. My biggest goal with my music is to try to liberate people, to get people to feel like they don't have to be one thing or another thing, and they're allowed to be and do what they want, with who they want," he said.
That's a running theme on Trespassing, which debuted at number 10 on the Australian charts this week. As well as co-writing many of the songs, Adam was executive producer on the album, luring big-name collaborators like Bruno Mars, Pharrell Williams and Aussie pop prince Sam Sparro.
The result is a confident collection of strut-worthy, funk-meets-electro-pop tracks (the title track, 'Cuckoo' and 'Kickin' In') mixed with dark slow-to-mid-tempo ballads ('Never Close Our Eyes', 'Chokehold'), anchored by the edgy persona the star's fans, who call themselves "Glamberts", know and love.
Among his many fans are the remaining members of legendary band Queen . Adam has already performed with them twice, and he'll fill in for the late, great Freddie Mercury in a series of live shows in the UK in July. How does Adam feel about stepping into such hefty shoes?
"Well I'm bringing my own shoes to the party! I think Freddie would like my shoes," he laughed. "My whole goal is really to pay tribute and to pay respect to his memory as an amazing vocalist, as an amazing showman, and a writer. It's very important for me to not get up there and start imitating anybody."
Queen fans don't seem to mind either.
"I think people are really excited to hear these songs sung live on stage. Of course there's always going to be a little bit of a sensitivity," he said. "For a die-hard fan, they might feel a little threatened by me taking responsibility for the song — but you know, it kind of comes with the territory."
If Adam has his way, he might be working with another gay icon in the most fabulous music collaboration ever. We asked him which Australian artist he'd love to work with — and it's a no-brainer.
"Kylie Minogue, that'd be fun. She's so cute," he said. "She's fabulous". Bring on Glaminogue!
It should come as no surprise that Adam, who's been with Finnish Big Brother contestant Sauli Koskinen for one-and-a-half years, is a vocal supporter of gay marriage.
"At this point it's about equal rights," he said. "I think you can disagree with it on a personal level, but people should have the equal right to do what they need to do and be protected under the law."entertainment.msn.co.nz: Adam Lambert 'in shock' at being the first openly gay artist to hit number one in US