When Adam Lambert accepted Queen’s proposal to fill in for Freddie Mercury I had 9 days to prepare two hours of concert before half a million people, but did not hesitate. “I like challenges,” recalls who has gone from being an ephemeral replacement to most stable singer in the group in decades.

“This is still a collaboration and, at the same time, I have the impression that I am part of the family, like an adopted nephew or something like that“, affirms in a talk with EFE before the publication this Friday of the album Queen + Adam Live Around The World, what collects the best of the nearly 200 concerts they have given together around the world since 2014.

Your meeting it was perhaps one of those things that had to happen. Lambert (Indiana, 1982) was barely 9 years old when Mercury passed away in 1991, but like many powerful-voiced singers today, he grew up trying to emulate him (“Also to Robert Plant or Janis Joplin,” he adds).

In fact, in the audition that gave him the pass to American Idol in 2009 he interpreted Bohemiah Rhapsody by Queen and in the contest his first meeting with the band took place captained by Brian May and Roger Taylor, a seemingly innocuous encounter, until years later he received a call from his representative offering to perform with the group live.

“Immediately I said yes, and as I hung up, I was like, ‘Oh no! Will I be able to do this? Will the band and the public like me? ‘ The first performance together was going to be before half a million people in Kiev and I only had 9 days to prepare for two hours of concert, but everything went well. It was a challenge and I like challenges “, recalls.

The main slogan was clear from May and Taylor. “They told me very clearly: ‘Don’t imitate Freddie. ‘ And that gave me the green light to do it my way “, highlights who little by little has been finding their own niche within the formation.

“Very early I thought of them as my bosses, but they have been very generous, I have grown up with them and now we are at a point where if I propose something, for example in the arrangements or scene design, they take me into account. I also tell you that, if it were not like that, it would seem good to me and I would limit myself to saying: ‘Yes, sir!’ “, He acknowledges with a laugh.

Before him, others like Paul Rodgers tried to fill the void left by Mercury, but only Lambert has endured so many years in the position earning good reviews on the way to a mission that seemed impossible of departure. What has made it possible?

“One of the things that makes Queen is that mix of styles that I love. I have a lot of respect for Roger and Brian and we get along very well, which is important. As for Freddie, what I liked the most about him, besides his voice, was his humor, tell jokes on stage and try to have fun. We have that in common. When you are an interpreter, taking it too seriously is not the most fun for the public“, he reflects.

Although I do not expressly say so, there is no doubt that the vocal range and the enormous flexibility of his throat have also had something to do. “It is a challenge to interpret that music, almost like an athletic sport,” acknowledges Lambert, who quotes songs that have been challenging for its convoluted dynamics, such as Who Wants To Love Forever, Another One Bites The Dust The The Show Must Go On.

There is also that extravagant side that Mercury and he share and it manifests in their wardrobe. “When choosing what to wear, I think a lot about the legacy of the band and the ‘looks’ that Freddie made famous. So I think: Would he wear this? If it is yes, I go ahead “, account.

Despite the decades of difference, they also It connects them to be two gay performers in a predominantly heterosexual world and masculine like rock.

“In his time, it was not easy for him to talk about it. Now things have changed and I feel lucky to be able to be so open about my sexuality. Somehow I believe that this generation has to continue down that path and that, if he had lived today, he would have felt more comfortable to show who he was and what I felt, “he says.

Far from considering that his current work with Queen overshadows his solo career (in March he released his fourth solo album, Velvet), for Lambert both facets of his career are complementaryAlthough at the moment it does not seem that this will translate into the recording of a Queen album with new material.

“It is something that only journalists ask, we have never talked about it,” he adds about the future of the mythical band, which does not publish unpublished material since the 2008 launch of The Cosmos Rocks with Paul Rodgers and with which in 2021 it will pass through the Wizink Center in Madrid on July 6 and 7.