Adam Lambert - Just Another Duck in the Tabloid Celebrity Shooting Gallery
So, has anyone NOT heard the most recent rumor about Adam Lambert supposedly “slamming” Susan Boyle?
It would be kinda hard to miss given the feeding frenzy in the internet tabloid media. I mean, it’s EVERYWHERE. Internet gossip sites from all over the world are picking up this story, and it’s even on mainstream sites like MSN, Yahoo and Comcast. Not just their music pages, mind you, their FRONT pages. Even the L.A. Times has put in its 2 cents.
Google “Adam Lambert Slams Susan Boyle” and it could take weeks to comb through the results.
You’d think Adam Lambert had committed mass murder instead of saying he doesn’t care for another artist’s album. I mean nobody ever does that, right?
It seems this story began with an article published in the upcoming March issue of Gay Times magazine, in which the author quotes Adam as saying,
"I know, if only it weren’t for Susan Boyle! I’m happy for her success, but that album is terrible. Wild Horses is the one that made me laugh the hardest. I just died when I heard it, I was crying with laughter. It was the most horrendous, sacrilegious treatment of that song!"
Fans from both camps are upset and are asking questions. I have a couple of my own.
Did Adam Lambert really slam Susan Boyle? And why is it important that the whole world knows it?
The answer to the first question is "maybe". From what I have seen, neither Adam nor his management have yet to even confirm publicly that an interview with Gay Times actually took place. There is no reason to believe this is not a legitimate claim on the part of GT, but if it wasn’t, it wouldn’t be the first time a publication printed a celebrity quote either fabricated, manipulated, edited, or borrowed from another source. It happens as much as rain falls in Seattle. I’m not pointing a finger at Gay Times by any means, but do find the lack of confirmation from Adam’s camp reason enough for anyone to ask the question.
But GT is not a celebrity tabloid and GT says an interview took place. Given no evidence to the contrary, let’s take them at their word. Ok, so did Adam Lambert actually say what GT alleges he said? Just after the story started gaining internet legs, Adam himself tweeted,
"Oh joy! MisQuoted again... Becoming quite funny actually."
A day later, as the web reports went viral, he added this, in successive tweets:
"I'd like to remind everyone that we ALL are entitled to our own opinion. (That's the kind of entitlement that IS sexy)Being PC is so boring. Oh and...I'm referring to everything I've ever said that is "controversial". Just being honest which I prize over being full of s**t. I WAS horribly mis-quoted though... :)"
Hmmm, could he be talking about the GT article? Odds are, the answer is a big “Yep”. I mean, what else is out there that would prompt him to issue these remarks? There’s a chance he was just speaking of the “Adam Lambert Slams Susan Boyle” headlines on so many sites, but since that’s not a direct quote from him, it’s highly unlikely.
So assuming he could have been addressing the GT quote, if he is saying the author misquoted him, who do we believe? And in what way was he misquoted? Adam hasn’t elaborated on his remarks, so we can only hypothesize.
First we can examine Adam’s past behavior in similar circumstances. And in so doing there is much to bolster the belief that he is very professional in his communications regarding fellow artists. He has exhibited enormous respect for his peers, even when they have not done likewise towards him. One such example is when controversial rapper, Eminem, used a well-worn gay slur to describe Adam by name in one of his songs. When asked by MTV News if he felt Eminem crossed a line, this is what he replied:
"Well, you know, he used a word that's not necessarily very nice, but I'm sure he's got some sort of justification for it. And I'm not going to take it personally. It's cool, Eminem. If you get mentioned in an Eminem song, you're doing something right. And I'm sure he was planning on creating some controversy, because he's a smart guy."
That really sounds like someone who is into slamming other artists and their work, right? (Sorry for slipping into sarcastic mode for a second there.) That was a prime opportunity to do so, if ever there was one. But no, Adam took the high road.
Then there is the radio interview from 12/3 with San Diego radio station Star94.1 in which the DJs do ask Adam outright, if playfully, to “start beef between you and Susan Boyle…She’s selling a lot of albums, and I think you two should start talking bad about each other.” Adam agrees with one of them that Susan could “kick his butt”, but makes no derogatory comments about her or her album. He declines and says, “I can just do an impression of her, but I don’t know if that would be very good”. Then, in keeping with the playful tone of the moment, he gives a very short and humorous, but not in the least mocking or demeaning, impression of Susan that even she would probably laugh at if she has any sense of humor at all.
In interviews he is often baited to ridicule other artists, but to this writer’s knowledge, has never taken the bait. He has occasionally stated a particular artist’s music may not be to his taste (Nickelback, for example), which, when asked directly and put on the spot, is an honest yet respectful answer. He is also very open to others expressing similar sentiments about his music. He has often said, “I’m not for everyone.”
Add to these examples the scores of interviews in which he dazzles the likes of Oprah and Leno with his good manners, intelligent articulation, and personable likeability, consistently displaying his innate talent for sensitive and professional communication, and one has to wonder why so many now are readily believing he has suddenly undergone a Jekyll to Hyde transformation. Is it rational to base such a belief on a few words in a quote given in a print article with no accompanying audio or video from which to discern tone and intent, a quote of which he, in all likelihood, says is actually a “misquote”?
Or more simply put, should we believe everything we read in a magazine?
(For those who answered in the affirmative, I suggest you read no further, as I doubt you have understood much of this piece, and I will continue to make use of words of more that two syllables that you most likely will not understand.)
The GT article is generally favorable to Adam. There doesn’t appear to be any desire to intentionally portray him in a negative light . So to think a motivation like that exists would be unreasonable without further evidence coming to light. But could there be another motivation? A more, shall we say, lucrative one?
Which takes us back to the second of my initial questions, and the much more interesting one.
Why is it that Adam Lambert possibly stating he doesn’t like another artist’s song/album become worldwide news?
And that, dear readers, is a very simple question to answer:
Because WE can’t get enough of Adam Lambert!
For many, his world class talent, unique and distinctive voice, impeccable vocal skill which has been lauded by top experts in his profession, intelligence, charm and charisma, not to mention innate sex appeal, have captured their attention in a BIG way. For others, his unapologetic open approach to his sexual orientation, and sexuality in general, has done likewise, with some holding him up as the long awaited poster boy for gay rights, while leaving others seething with hatred for the very same reason . Love him or hate him or somewhere between, Adam inspires millions to fascination. The very fact that you are reading this is evidence of that.
A current google search of his name spanning the nine months since American Idol ended, turns up well over 62 MILLION results, 31 million in the last week alone, 624,000 in the last 24 hours! Considering he is a very recent newcomer to the world stage, did not win American Idol, his first album released only three months ago - going gold with very little promotion until very recently - those are staggering numbers.
These numbers represent the power of Adam Lambert to capture an audience and keep them, for good or for ill. Which translates into huge dollar signs to those who make their living from internet hits and magazine sales. So it logically follows that just about anything connected to Adam Lambert will be seized on as an opportunity for personal and corporate gain. Parading the niceties of Adam Lambert on one’s website or in one’s publication will likely bring increased attention resulting in increased revenue, but reporting his supposed bad boy behavior brings far more in the increasingly tabloid obsessed mindset of current Western society.
So ask yourselves, could that hypothetical misquote in GT have been inserted just for the purpose of revenue through sensationalism? Maybe, maybe not. (If it truly is a misquote, it could have been an innocent mistake.) We will probably never know. It can be noted, however, for the sake of the current point, that out of all the positive comments attributed to Adam in the GT article, the sole negative, and probably least important of them – the Susan Boyle quote - was chosen as the only one highlighted in its own separate bubble graphic that stands out on the page like a big bright billboard. What was the purpose of that? Could it possibly be because negativity sells more? You be the judge.
It’s possible the quote in question was accurate and included as just part of the whole interview and not a manipulation of a celebrity for monetary gain. But the massive proliferation of this one aspect of that article all over the web undoubtedly is. And it’s working like a charm. We are all being played for profit on a grand scale.
Much of what you have just read can be applied to Susan Boyle as well. Her name is a money machine. Put the two together in a controversy set against one another, and a virtual goldmine comes into being. And it’s all part of the game.
What kind of game, you ask?
A global shooting gallery largely powered by greedy carnival hawkers, otherwise known as the tabloid press. Celebs all over the world have targets on their backs, and take their turns on the ever spinning wheels of the gallery, depending on the rabid demand for them at any given moment, while sharpshooters and novices alike take aim, striving to hit the targets that give the reward of the biggest prize. And Adam Lambert is now a duck that rewards big time when hit.
It’s a game we all play. Or watch. Or shake our heads at. But never ignore.
And for the sake of the game and its rewards, Lambert/Boyle wars are fashioned.
Keep this in mind the next time you choose to believe a celebrity quote that is not directly from his/her mouth within the entire context of its utterance. Remind yourself that it’s a game that you are choosing to be a part of and that celebrities, by and large, have no choice but to participate in the game or leave the professions they love - a game whose rules they did not create and cannot change.
Does Adam realize he has become one HUGE duck in the global tabloid celebrity shooting gallery? You betcha. He staked a claim to his spot as a target in that exclusive club the second he hit the American Idol stage and opened his mouth.
Will he sometimes say things
without thinking of the way they can be used, or of the ammo that will likely
land on his very beautiful, colorful face? Undoubtedly. It keeps us interested.
He likes it that way. So does his label and his management. Remember what he
said about Eminem – “I'm sure he was
planning on creating some controversy, because he's a smart guy." Adam understands how the game is played.
Does he care? Is he afraid of the possible injury? Highly doubtful. I suspect for Adam Lambert the shooting gallery experience, at least up till now, is more of the proverbial water-rolling-off-a-duck’s-back variety. Especially when he looks at his bank account. That makes for a very effective bullet proof vest.
But one thing’s for certain. This latest non-issue-turned-global-tabloid-fodder is evidence that Adam Lambert has reached a level of megastar status that ensures those pellets from those guns in that shooting gallery are ALL aimed squarely at his leather and lace clad persona, and likely will remain cocked and ready to fire for a long while to come.
Will he be able to withstand the caliber of artillery that will eventually be fired at him in this game? My bet’s on him.
Susan Boyle? Another story altogether given her fragile condition. Personal financial gain will always win over honesty and integrity in this game and, unfortunately for her, the tabloid celebrity shooting gallery is no respecter of persons.