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"Idol" runner-up Adam Lambert: "I'm gay"
Updated: 2009-06-10 08:50

American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert poses at the Hollywood Life's 11th Annual Young Hollywood Awards at the Eli and Edythe Broad Stage in Santa Monica, California June 7, 2009. [Agencies]

LOS ANGELES  – "American Idol" runner-up Adam Lambert has told Rolling Stone magazine he is gay, answering a question that followed the singer for months since he gained millions of fans on the No. 1 U.S. TV talent show.

"I don't think it should be a surprise for anyone to hear that I'm gay," Lambert told the music magazine in excerpts from an interview that were released on Tuesday.

"I'm proud of my sexuality," he said. "I embrace it. It's just another part of me."

The issue with Lambert on the cover hits newsstands this Friday, with the full interview inside.

During his "American Idol" run Lambert was known for his falsetto singing, outlandish costumes, eyeliner and fingernail polish. He was nicknamed "Glambert" and Entertainment Weekly magazine called him "the most exciting 'American Idol' contestant in years."

When he lost in May's finale to the more buttoned-down Kris Allen, some fan websites and the media buzzed with speculation that being gay cost him votes from viewers who pick a winner.

Lambert, who was widely considered the front-runner going into the finale, had never publicly said he was gay. In March, when photos appeared on the Internet of him kissing another man and dressed in drag, he said only: "I have nothing to hide. I am who I am."

His sexuality became an issue widely covered in the media because "Idol," seen by an average of about 26 million viewers a week in 2009, had never crowned an openly gay winner.

The runner-up in 2003, Clay Aiken, hid his sexuality for years after his run on the show, coming out as gay in 2008.

The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation, a group that advocates for homosexual rights, said it hopes Lambert's "decision to live openly and honestly inspires gay people and opens the hearts and minds of his fans."

Also on Tuesday, producer 19 Recordings said it had signed Lambert to a record contract and that his debut album will likely be released in the fall through RCA Records.

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