Best known as the glam-rock runner-up on season eight of American Idol, Lambert is already making plenty of headlines. Born on January 29, 1982, in Indianapolis, Ind., the San Diego-raised singer began stage performances at the age of 10 in plays including You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown and The Ten Commandments: The Musical alongside Val Kilmer. Later, he served as an understudy in the Los Angeles production of Wicked.
Throughout the 2009 Idol competition, Lambert was praised by the judges, all of whom predicted he would make it to the finals. At the same time, the media began to speculate that Lambert was gay. He publicly confirmed this on the cover of Rolling Stone in June 2009, less than one month after coming in second to Idol winner Kris Allen, though he’d been out to friends for nearly a decade.
Lambert’s debut album, For Your Entertainment, was released in 2009; it spawned the Top 10 single “Whataya Want from Me.”