Adam Lambert is one of the greatest vocalists of his era, there’s no doubt about that. And one of the best ways he shows that off is when he sings songs originally by other artists. He's not afraid to cover songs by legends, and he's not afraid to make them his own.
Lambert's voice is both unique, and adaptable, sounding great across pop, rock, glam, and even country music.
From American Idol, to Glee, to special performances, and of course, songs by Queen, here are ten of our favorite Adam Lambert covers.
Lambert doesn't need a rock song to show off.
During season eight of American Idol, Lambert sang a slowed-down Gary Jules cover of this song originally by Tears for Fears, and lets his vocals speak for themself. It's amazing he didn't win his season of American Idol. He even got a rare standing ovation from judge Simon Cowell. Though he's turned back to the cover time and time again, namely during the Global Citizen concert, it was this version that still gives us all the feels.
In 2012, Queen + Adam Lambert went on their first European tour, and the rest is history. There's probably no better band to show off Lambert's powerful vocals. He doesn't try to emulate or replace Freddy Mercury, but instead delivers his own performance of the songs that add a new level to the classics. This is rock and roll royalty.
In the later seasons of Glee, Lambert joined the cast as Starchild, a glam rocker who joins the band started by Kurt, Santana, and Rachel. When he tries out to join the band, he does so with this killer Gaga track where he can show off why he's the ultimate showman. The thing that's great about Lambert, is that he backs up that showmanship with vocals to match.
Performing at the 41st Annual Kennedy Center Honors, Lambert's powerful vocals and incredible stage presence actually brought Cher to tears. This isn't just one of Lambert's best covers, this is one of the best covers of all time. Lambert's vocals soar through the song, filling the room and touching everyone in it. This performance is so great you can actually mute it and just watch the reactions on people's faces as he absolutely kills it. This is the stuff that makes legends legends.
Lambert wasn't able to shine much in the five-lead-singer band he formed with Kurt, Rachel, Santana, and Dani (Demi Lovato), so when he teamed up with Kurt and Dani to form the short-lived band One Three Hill, the band had it's best number on the show. While Lambert sings backup for a lot of the song, his vocals perfectly compliment Lovato's and when he gets to solo, he absolutely tears the roof off. I desperately want to see Lambert and Lovato sing together again. Also Lambert and Lovato look GREAT in tuxes.
Whether he's on a TV show, in a club, a stadium, or a huge outdoor festival, Lambert knows how to make his vocals fit the venue. So when he performs in front of thousands of people he knows how to send the songs out so that even the very last person in the back is having a great time. He absolutely nails this song.
Lambert returned to his American Idol roots for this season 12 duet with Angie Miller. With just his vocals, Miller's and a piano for the first part of the song, we get to hear every note that Lambert sings, and each one is beautiful. He came back to the show that made him famous and showed exactly why he's a superstar.
Now this is how you rock a crown. Dressed in gold and leopard print, like the rock royalty he is, Lambert absolutely destroyed these classic Queen rock anthems. He gets to show off his harder side in this one, and proves he's the only person worthy to be singing with the band. Just look at how he commands an audience.
At the 2015 CMT: Artists of the Year event, Lambert teamed with British songstress Leona Lewis to sing this slow country jam about jealousy and longing. Lambert doesn't usually sing country songs, and so he shows off just how wide his range is by absolutely killing this song.