Adam Lambert makes a splash, but risks losing fans

Wed Nov 25, 2009 11:39am EST
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By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Adam Lambert's racy public outing as a solo artist at Sunday's American Music Awards has grabbed headlines and helped send downloads of his debut album soaring worldwide.

The "American Idol" runner-up won publicity with his sexually charged performance for his first CD "For Your Entertainment." But he risked hurting his career by alienating fans, and did little to show newcomers his biggest selling point -- his voice, music industry watchers said.

"On a night when some of the biggest names in music performed -- Lady GaGa, Jennifer Lopez, Jay-Z -- the only person anyone is talking about is Adam Lambert," Entertainment Weekly music reporter Michael Slezak said.

"But for me, the real risk is that in his first appearance to the world, Adam runs the risk of being dismissed as a one-note, shock-tactic artist, as opposed to being known for the music," Slezak told Reuters.

More than 14 million people watched the gay, glam rocker close the live AMA telecast on Sunday with a performance that included dancers in bondage, Lambert kissing a male keyboard player, and pushing the head of a male dancer into his crotch.

The telecast drew more than 1,500 complaints to ABC and caused the network to cancel Lambert's planned Wednesday appearance on its news and chat show "Good Morning America."

Lambert, appearing instead on "The Early Show" on CBS, defended his performance and said he had not intended to cause controversy.

'I DID GET CARRIED AWAY'   Continued...