Adam Lambert Defends Lil Nas X’s BET Awards Onstage Kiss, Reflects on Backlash
The "Old Town Road" singer/rapper performed at the BET Awards on Sunday (June 27). Lil Nas donned an Egyptian pharaoh costume while he performed "Remember the Time" by Michael Jackson in honor of the late King of Pop, before transitioning into his latest single, "Montero (Call Me By Your Name)."
During his performance, Lil Nas made out with one of his backup dancers on stage, a moment that caused social media to blow up with both celebration and controversy.
One fan of the smooch? Lambert, who told Billboard that he "thought it was hot."
The American Idol alum shared, "I mean, he's really giving it to us. I think he is definitely like the gay pop star that is 2021 — he's bold, he's controversial, he's pushing boundaries. That's what we want our pop stars to do. It's just taken this long to have it be a gay one."
Lambert previously made similar headlines with his performance of "For Your Entertainment" at the 2009 American Music Awards performance. During his set, the pop-rocker kissed his keyboard player. The same-sex smooch caused an uproar online and in the news.
"I was pulled off of ABC for a little while," Lambert explained. "They were freaked out, they had Christian parent groups writing in, the censors were freaked out. The thing I found so funny was like, 'Censors? It's a kiss! When was that indecent?'"
Although he received significant backlash for the otherwise harmless kiss, Lambert was able to book a slot on The Early Show shortly after the performance. During the show, they aired a clip of Madonna, Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera's controversial 2003 MTV VMAs kiss, before showing a clip of Lambert kissing his keyboard player with their mouths censored.
"I just remember thinking that was the biggest slap in the face — it's like, that proved my point," Lambert added. "It's so crazy to me that this double standard was so blatant and obvious, where two women kissing was not indecent, but two men kissing was."
Editor's note: An earlier version of this story incorrectly noted that Adam Lambert had appeared on Good Morning America, not The Early Show. We regret the error.