Adam Lambert made a name for himself back in 2009 when he battled into the runner-up sot on American Idol‘s eighth season with a repertoire that included soaring, powerful covers of songs by Johnny Cash and Smokey Robinson that displayed his flair for finding a unique lane on well-loved classics.
After years of solo hits and an ongoing stint fronting classic rock powerhouse Queen, Lambert was back on familiar ground on Sunday night (April 30) when he returned to the Idol stage for a rocking cover of the 1973 Anne Peebles hit “I Can’t Stand the Rain.” The slow-burn ballad — famously covered by Tina Turner in 1984 on her Private Dancer album — got a electric reboot in the singer’s hands thanks to a set that surrounded him with digital purple rain showers.
With blue makeup tears dripping from his eyes and a typically understated all-leather ensemble spiked with sparkle accents, fingerless gloves, black platform books and a mesh tank top, Lambert bumped and grinded his way through the song, hitting all the high notes you’d expect and adding his patented glam magic to the R&&B burner.
Lambert dropped by just in time to meet this year’s Idol top 10, which was revealed on Sunday night. The singes vying for this year’s title are: Wé Ani, Marybeth Byrd, Megan Danielle, Haven Madison, Warren Peay, Zachariah Smith, Oliver Steele, Colin Stough and Iam Tongi.
The latter has been on a serious roll this season, earning hugs and bringing tears to the judges’ eyes with his gritty story and soulful vocals, including on Sunday night when Tongi ditched his guitar for a moving cover of Sam Cooke’s “Bring It On Home to Me.”
Check out Lambert’s cover of “I Can’t Sand the Rain” below.