Adam Lambert stopped by The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon on Wednesday night (March 1) to perform his take on Culture Club‘s “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me.”
Wearing a bold zebra-print suit, the American Idol alum serenaded the crowd, singing “In my heart the fire is burning/ Choose my color, find a star/ Precious people always tell me/ That’s a step, a step too far.”
Originally released by Boy George and co. in 1982 as their debut U.S. single, the new wave ballad peaked at No. 2 on the Hot 100 and was followed by other top ten hits off Kissing to Be Clever like “Time (Clock of the Heart),” “Church of the Poison Mind” and “I’ll Tumble 4 Ya.” The following year, the band earned their first No. 1 hit with “Karma Chameleon.”
Lambert’s rendition, meanwhile, is included on his new covers album High Drama, which also features bombastic re-imaginings of Duran Duran’s “Ordinary World,” Bonnie Tyler’s “Holding Out for a Hero,” Billie Eilish’s “Getting Older” and more.
While accepting an award at the 2023 Creative Coalition Spotlight Initiative Gala in January, the Queen + Adam Lambert singer looked back on the homophobia he faced coming off his breakthrough on Season 8 of American Idol, deciding to be “be as gay as I f—ing can be. And be flamboyant and be wild, and if it gets me into trouble, it gets me in trouble, but I’m not going to back down from it.”
Watch Lambert’s performance of “Do You Really Want to Hurt Me” on Fallon above.