OG Idol champ Clarkson called Lambert a “bit of a pioneer” for being a gay man on the mainstream, prime-time show and having so much of middle America vote for him against eventual champ, vanilla guy-with-guitar Kris Allen.
Lambert, who did not officially come out to the world at large until after his Idol run, said he’s seen a “big change” since then.
“I remember coming off of Idol and going into the mainstream music industry/label system, and even if they were themselves excited there was a lot of question marks, there was a lot of fear, ‘Is thing going to sell?'” said Lambert, whose colorful, boundary-pushing interpretations and performances made him a fan and judge’s favorite from his very first audition.
Lambert said it was a bit of a struggle to stay focused and keep his eye on just being an artist and musician, but in the end he’s really thankful for the experience he’s had, even with all the unexpected ups and downs.
“I think that the world has changed,” he said. “I think we’re in a place now, within the music industry, within the entertainment industry and in the world, yes there’s discrimination, there’s still problems, there’s still work to be done, but there has been so much progress made.”
Watch Lambert on The Kelly Clarkson Show below.