And the singer admits he knew talent shows weren’t cool before he found fame in American Idol – he aimed to use the exposure to advance his career.
He’s performed with remaining Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor on TV twice before. So when he hits the Hammersmith Apollo stage with them on July 11, 12 and 14 he knows what he has to achieve.
Lambert tells the Daily Mail: “We want to keep the music alive and give it an energy that would have made Freddie proud.
“You can’t replace him. But playing with Queen is the best thing that could happen to me. My intention is to pay tribute to Freddie.”
And Lambert believes the experience will be educational: “I’m looking forward to spending time with Brian and Roger,” he explains. “I want to make myself familiar with their more obscure songs and hear some stories from the guys themselves. I’ll get my own personal Queen documentary.”
He stresses there’s more to his abilities than those people saw on American Idol. “It was a popularity contest, so I had to lay on the charm,” he says. “Now I’m lifting the veil to show the parts that aren’t so easy to digest. I knew talent shows weren’t cool – but I thought it might convince a label to invest in me.”
Lambert won’t say if anything else is planned with Queen, and he’s not sure how much more he’d want.
He says: “Working with them is going to be a great honour, but I’m also very keen for people to hear my own music, so who knows what the future will hold?”