Adam Lambert may have lost the "American Idol" trophy -- surprisingly, many would say -- to his soft-spoken competitor Kris Allen, but he insists that he's not stinging over the defeat.
"To me it's not about the title of 'American Idol,'" the 27-year-old singer told Billboard.com Friday (May 22). "It's the experience. I got to make music and do a difference performance every week, and I was able to use "American Idol" as a platform to get myself out there and have a career."
Of the rumor that he is gay and that homophobia may have played a role in his loss, Lambert would only respond, "Probably," then laugh and move on. "There's no need to dwell on the negative. I'm just thrilled that I get to move forward and have a career in the music industry."
That career seems to have kicked into high gear, as the singer revealed that he is already in talks with 19 Entertainment to hash out a plan for his debut album. As he did on the 'Idol,' Lambert plans to explore a variety of different sounds on his first solo effort.
"My view of the record industry is that it's a little too specific; the labels tend to try and put one box around every artist and keep them in one genre," says Lambert. "We don't really have to go about it that way. Obviously we want the album to have a cohesive sound, but I think it can be a collection of different styles with me at the center of it. Everyone knows I'm singing, so that's the common thread."
Whatever the album will sound like, Lambert looks to have creative input. "In my talks with 19, I've expressed my desire to have a lot of involvement in the process. I know they have some producers lined up already, and I plan on being very present and involved." He added that fans can expect the project to be released within the year.
During his time on "American Idol," Lambert earned not only an outpouring of fan support, blogosphere buzz and media attention, but also celebrity love. Pop singer Katy Perry, who wore a Elvis Presley-like cape with Lambert's name emblazoned on the back during her guest "Idol" performance, had words of advice for her favorite contestant. "She said, 'Just make sure you stay close with the friends that you had before this all started,'" recalls Lambert. "'Surround yourself with people that keep you grounded.' That was really great advice."
Lambert made no mention of a possible collaboration with Perry, but he did suggest a dream pairing with another high-profile artist. "I'd really love to work with Slash," he said of the former Guns 'N' Roses frontman, who was a celebrity mentor on "American Idol" during Rock Week. "When we did the mentor shoot at the Roxy, I felt so at home with him onstage; I was just like, 'This guy is so rad.' "