Lambert: I do not court controversy on purpose

"Depending on which part of the world you're from, certain things may seem controversial to you or not. But my intention is not to provoke. It's to reflect, to be honest and to be real." — AMERICAN SINGER ADAM LAMBERT (above)
"Depending on which part of the world you're from, certain things may seem controversial to you or not. But my intention is not to provoke. It's to reflect, to be honest and to be real." — AMERICAN SINGER ADAM LAMBERT (above) ST PHOTO: ONG WEE JIN

Singer says his countdown performance, which provoked an online petition to remove him from the line-up, has been specially created for Singapore

American singer Adam Lambert says he does not "do controversy on purpose".

He was speaking at a press conference at Grand Park Orchard Hotel yesterday in response to the petition drama that took place last month over his scheduled perform- ance at Mediacorp's New Year's Eve concert, Celebrate 2016, at the Marina Bay Floating Platform.

The 33-year-old says: "I was actually flattered that people cared so much.

"Depending on which part of the world you're from, certain things may seem controversial to you or not. But my intention is not to provoke. It's to reflect, to be honest and to be real."

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He also insists that his preparations for the show are no different from those for other shows.

"Over the past five years, whenever I do a TV performance, I work very carefully with the producer and with my team to figure out what's appropriate for the programme so that's what we did for this," he says.

During his performance at the American Music Awards in 2009, he kissed a male band member and simulated sexual acts with dancers on stage.

For his performance here, he says that he had created it "especially for Singapore".

He adds: "I took a lot of time to figure out which songs were going to speak to as many different people as possible, which songs best represented me and my current album and mission statement."

Last month, some Singaporeans objected to the openly gay singer performing at the countdown show, which will be telecast on free-to-air television, and started an online petition to remove him from the programme.

The online petition against Lambert performing here closed on Nov 29, four days after it was started, securing a total of 20,065 signatures.

In a note on the page, the petition organisers - who signed off as "Concerned citizens, Concerned parents, Concerned individuals" - said the petition was closed because "thankfully, the performer himself has responded that he will be putting on a different show, which is hopefully in better taste and shows greater restraint".

An opposing petition in support of him performing here, started one day after the first was launched, received more than 24,000 signatures.

It closed with a note that said: "The opposing petition has lost, Adam is still going to do the concert."

After his stop here, Lambert will head to China, Japan, New Zealand and Australia. As the stand-in lead singer of iconic rock band Queen, he is set to headline the Isle of Wight festival in the United Kingdom in June.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 31, 2015, with the headline 'Lambert: I do not court controversy on purpose'. Print Edition | Subscribe