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Adam Lambert Admits First Queen Shows Were ‘Terrifying’

Queen + Adam Lambert
Christopher Polk, Getty Images

Adam Lambert has opened up about his first run of shows with Queen, saying they were “terrifying” because he was convinced he had no right to front Freddie Mercury‘s group.

“I thought, ‘There’s no way I should be doing this,'” Lambert told ET Canada. “I had the confidence of the band and they were really lovely about it. They were like, ‘No, no, no, you’re great. We love it. Do what you want.’ But in my head I kept going, ‘No, I don’t know.’”

Brian May and Roger Taylor first performed with Lambert while he was a competitor on Americal Idol in 2009. After enjoying the experience, they teamed up again three years later, and continue performing today under the banner Queen + Adam Lambert.

In the end, Lambert said he left the final decision to the people who, in his estimation, were most important. “The first audience we had was very supportive, and each audience afterwards was supportive,” Lambert said. “So, slowly, little by little, I was like, ‘Okay, all right, I can do this – kind of.’ But there’s no comparing to Freddie.”

Mercury died in 1991 of complications from the AIDS virus, but he remains on many leading lists of the best frontmen ever. Queen spent five years collaborating with Free and Bad Company frontman Paul Rodgers beginning in 2004, then started work with Lambert. In time, Lambert eventually developed a determination to put his own stamp on things, where appropriate.

“The intention of the lyrics, the mood of the song – if I kept those thing in the forefront of my mind, as opposed to, ‘How did Freddie do it?’ I usually would find my way there,” he said. “Working with the band has taught me a lot. I’ve learned a lot about songcraft, and about how a song can connect with a mass crowd. Brian and Roger are wealths of information and experience and artistry. It’s a family now. It’s great.”

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