Adam Lambert cheers on Lil Nas X’s performance at the BET Awards.
On Sunday’s show, Lil Nas X performed her song “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” on stage and sealed it with a kiss with one of her male dancers. The performance received a divided response, with some viewers making homophobic comments and tweeting that the public display of affection was “inappropriate”, while others, like Lambert, praised the performance.
“I thought it was hot,” Lambert said in an interview with Billboard released Tuesday. “He really gives it to us. I think he’s definitely like the gay pop star of 2021 – he’s bold, he’s controversial, he’s pushing the boundaries.”
The “American Idol” alum also reflected on the “Old Town Road” artist’s performance in relation to his own gay kiss at the 2009 American Music Awards.
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Lambert performed his song “For Your Entertainment” on stage on the ABC television show. After singing the lyrics “Can you handle what I’m about to do,” Lambert embraced his keyboardist on stage – a moment that Lambert says had an impact on his career.
“I was taken off ABC for a little while,” Lambert said. “They were in a panic, they had groups of Christian parents writing, the censors were in a panic.” He added that he was scheduled to appear on ABC’s “Good Morning America” shortly after the AMAs, but the interview was canceled.
The 39-year-old singer said he was then booked for another morning show where he witnessed a “double standard” in gay kissing.
In the interview withCBS’s “The Early Show” Lambert said her performance was compared to a clip of Britney Spears and Madonna’s kiss on MTV 2003 VMA, which was broadcast freely on the air. The show, however, scrambled Lambert’s kiss clip.
USA TODAY has contacted ABC and CBS for comment.
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“I just remember thinking it was the biggest slap in the face,” Lambert said. “Two women kissing weren’t indecent, but two men kissing were.”
Lambert has now said in 2021 that “two men kissing is kind of old news,” but he “likes” what Lil Nas X does, calling the rapper “grounded” and “outspoken.”
Due to the growing representation of the LGBTQ community in the media, Lambert’s performance “For Your Entertainment” would likely make less noise today. According to GLAAD’s annual “Where Are We on TV” report, representation has grown steadily since 2014. In 2021, there was a slight drop from 10.2% to 9.1%, but the percentage of people LGBTQ of color has increased during broadcast, cable and streaming.
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After:Lil Nas X responds to “hypocritical” and homophobic criticism of the BET Awards kiss: “I love who I am”
Lil Nas X displayed some of the aforementioned outspokenness while responding to viewers who criticized his “Montero” performance.
“You all hate each other so much. you all live your life doing your best to appease straight people. he tweeted. “work on yourselves, I love who I am and whatever I decide to do.”
In other tweet the rapper revealed his performance was scary for him and took “a long time to mentally prepare” because he knew he was “playing something like that in front of my straight peers”.
But he said, “If you don’t push yourself outside of your comfort zone, you will never grow taller.”
Contribution: Cydney Henderson, David Oliver