When she was growing up in Seattle, Lambert told her mom she wanted to be a singing, dancing waitress. It's good to dream small -- little did she know she'd be performing in front of millions one day. As the third person involved in the breakout hit "Same Love," from Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the lesbian singer-songwriter took the stage at this year's MTV Video Music Awards to receive an award for the song's social message, which helped it become an anthem for marriage equality. "The song wasn't about ego; it was so much bigger than all of us. It was about a movement," says Lambert, who also recently released her own single, "She Keeps Me Warm," a track that she says has been equally powerful. "Hearing women of all ages sing that, and not having to use a universal pronoun? It felt honest and resonated with me."
Photographed at the Plaza Hotel in New York City on September 12, 2013