‘I think he’d be down’: Adam Lambert contemplates Freddie Mercury’s reaction to his tenure with Queen

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It is, of course, impossible to know what the late Freddie Mercury might have thought about Adam Lambert’s performances in his stead with Queen. But the American Idol finalist suspects it would have been positive.

Lambert has made a series of appearances with Queen since Brian May and Roger Taylor took part in the Idol finale back in 2009. Up next is a highly anticipated U.S. debut, as part of the iHeart Radio music fest later this month in Vegas.

“I think he’d be down,” Lambert says of Mercury, in a talk with Wild 106.1 FM. “Brian, Roger and the band, they’ve been really cool about telling me stories about Freddie — and kind of letting me into the kind of guy that he was. They always keep saying: ‘Oh, you guys would have gotten such a kick out of each other. You probably would have made each other laugh.’ It’s quite a compliment.”

Lambert isn’t the first to serve as fill-in frontman since Mercury died in 1991 from an AIDS-related illness. Among them are George Michael (at a 1992 tribute concert), Robbie Williams (on the 2001 soundtrack for A Knight’s Tale), Paul Rodgers (from 2005 through 2009) and Tom Chaplin of Keane fame (in 2010). There’s even been a Queen + Wyclef Jean rap version of “Another One Bites the Dust” along the way.

Still, for Lambert, Queen’s original singer remains one of a kind.

“There will only be one Freddie Mercury,” Lambert says. “There’s really no comparing. I’m just up there when I sing those songs, just trying to kind of pay tribute.”

The iHeartRadio festival, set for September 20-21, 2013, will also feature Katy Perry, Justin Timberlake, Ke$ha, Bruno Mars, and others, performing at the MGM Grand Arena.

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