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Adam Lambert's Mom: "He's Still a Winner"

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In what's been called one of the biggest TV upsets ever, front-runner Adam Lambert lost out on the "Idol" crown. Momlogic spoke with Adam's mom, Leila, about her son's loss, his talent, and the advice she has for moms of aspiring singers.

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momlogic: As Adam's mother, what was going through your mind before and during the finale?

Leila Lambert: It was probably the night I was most nervous, excited, and emotional. I knew if he were to win it would be an amazing opportunity, and I knew if Kris won, it would be the same for him. Our families have become very good friends. Kris's mom, Kim, and I looked to each other for support and I knew either way, either of the kids would be okay. Kim and I had a lot of talks and we knew they were both strong kids and they'd both be given wonderful opportunities, whatever the outcome. I was nervous, felt a lot of anticipation, but I was also excited because it was all good.

ml: What was going through your mind when they announced Kris Allen as the winner?

Leila: I think everyone wants to be a winner, no matter what you're doing. Whether you're playing cards or in this competition, whatever you're doing in life, you want to win. Adam is a winner. He's still a winner even though his name wasn't called -- as much as it's wonderful to say, "I did win 'American Idol.'" I felt great because I knew Adam was still a winner. I didn't know how I was going to react but when it happened, the pressure was gone and I was very happy for Adam.

ml: At what age did you know there was something special or unique about your son? When did you discover his talent?

Leila: I would say as early as 3 years old, when I realized Adam could recite books verbatim and could make character voices even before he could read. He loved Halloween and taking on different characters. Then, I started putting him in theater groups. He thrived and loved the interaction with the other kids. At age 10, Adam sang for the first time. We knew there was something very unique for such a young boy to sing the notes he was reaching, so he began taking lessons.

ml: When he first told you he wanted to audition for "American Idol," what was your reaction? 

Leila: His friends from "Wicked" encouraged him to audition. He called me and said, "I know it's a long shot..." Adam was down in Los Angeles and the audition was up by me in San Francisco, where I live. I said he should go. He's always successful when he does something, so I thought he should go for it. It sounded great. Everything in life is an adventure and it's a new journey, so why not?

ml: When he first auditioned, did you ever think he'd make it this far?

Leila: Never! You know what the odds are, and to me, you have to be in the right place at the right time. You have to be there at that moment when someone is actually listening really closely. I never thought it would go this far. Not that I didn't believe he was talented, but there is such a process, with so many people trying to get there as well. When he got home, I remember him telling me he was standing in line for hours. He and two friends left the house so early in the morning and didn't get home until so late at night. They just stood there in line -- and then they were heard after such a tiring day -- I remember Adam was just hoping he sounded okay because he hardly got any sleep the night before. He was in the right place at the right time and it worked.

ml: As a mother, how has your life changed? And how has your son Adam's life changed?

Leila: I would always say to people when he was younger, "I have a son who's very talented ... he's a singer." A parent is always proud of their child and I knew Adam was unique. But this opportunity has changed both of our lives. I came to Los Angeles every single week because I didn't want to miss any of the competition. I liked being there. I took a backseat and watched. It's the most amazing gift. It wasn't easy working 50 hours a week and then traveling to Los Angeles on my days off, but it changed my life. Now I see what the opportunities are for Adam and it's like a whole new life. A new life for him and me. I am just so excited to be part of this. My life is very different now, in fact I am going to be moving to Los Angeles from San Francisco. I am doing it because it's a new life for all of us. I am very excited about it. His life is different because he was struggling to get by. Adam had a job in "Wicked," but it was a paycheck and paid bills. He was working hard, but it wasn't what he always wanted. Again, he was in the right place at the right time. But now, this is what he always wanted. His life will never be the same and it's great because it's his dream. To perform like this and be creative -- it's an amazing opportunity.

ml: Have you spent time with the other "Idol" moms? Was there ever a sense of competition or rivalry?

Leila: I didn't get to know many of the "Idol" moms except for Kris's mom. I can't even remember when we started becoming friends, but we both knew our kids were very talented and very different in their styles. Even though it was a competition, they were so different. The ability to have someone who's going through the exact same thing you're going through (and it goes for Kris and Adam, as well as the Allens and us) was so great. We just kept saying, "Whatever happens, it's all going to be great and right for them." Having that bond and bouncing off each other like that really helped us all. We took a limo to the show together Tuesday. We all had dinner together last night. The Allens, myself, my son. It was my birthday yesterday and we wanted the Allens to be there. We told stories of our sons from when they were little and we have so much in common, it's mind-boggling. We will be friends for a very long time. You do want your kid to win, but just like in the theater, your kid is a shining star, but you can't make that happen without everyone else around them. I feel this connection with everyone else and never felt a competitive edge. It sounds crazy, but it's because we have a friendship. Maybe if we were different -- if we were more to ourselves and standoffish, maybe we would have had that competitive feeling. But we are open as people and it's refreshing. I was so genuinely happy for the Allens when Kris won. We went right over and I gave Kim the biggest hug. We stood there hugging and looking onstage at our kids. It changes competition when you have that kind of support.

ml: What advice would you give to moms whose children want to audition for AI or who have a gift and aspire to be famous?

Leila: That's easy ... What I did as a mom and what I would tell other people is that if your child wants to take guitar lessons, ballet, singing lessons, or play a sport, you should do whatever it takes to get them there and help nurture it. Whether or not they become a soccer player or ballerina, they will take that confidence with them. They will learn they can do it, and they can do anything. Allow your kids to dream and provide them with whatever they need to fulfill their dream. If it's a sacrifice and you have to drive them two hours away to a competition, you just do it. That's what it takes to build confident children who then become confident adults.

Dying to get up close and personal with Adam? You can catch him -- in concert! Tickets for the "American Idols Live!" Tour are on sale now. This season's American Idol top 10 contestants Adam Lambert, Allison Iraheta, Anoop Desai, Danny Gokey, Kris Allen, Lil Rounds, Matt Giraud, Megan Joy, Michael Sarver, and Scott MacIntyre will launch their tour in Portland, OR, on July 5th, 2009. Click here for all the details.

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94 comments so far | Post a comment now
Anonymous May 22, 2009, 8:33 PM

Everyone is a winner. Yeah right.

Kristin May 22, 2009, 9:29 PM

This article is a fake.

Dixie May 22, 2009, 9:37 PM

Leila, I admire you so much for raising an adorable, well mannered young man. He is a wonderful son and you’ve done an outstanding job. I admire you both. I’d love to talk to you in person!

Sunny Case May 22, 2009, 10:21 PM

Obviously, Adam was “The Best Singer”. Unfortunately, Adam was so “out of the box” for the rest of the country, they could not appreciate his brilliantly genious talent. Adam….you are the Bomb…and I wish nothing but happiness & success. I look forward to buying your first album/CD. You are incredibly talented…your future is bright. I have never ever enjoyed watching AI until you became a contestant. Rock On……Sunny

titi May 22, 2009, 11:41 PM

Great woman! no wonder adam is such a nice guy.

jackie May 23, 2009, 2:37 AM

Adam is amazing and he is the Wold Idol already. He is an amazing person as well and his family can be proud of him.

ashley May 23, 2009, 9:08 AM

Kristin-Why would you think the article is fake??
She sounds like a wonderful mother. I like that she became friends with Kris’ mom. All of them sound like very good people.
I am glad Kris won because Adam will have a bright career regardless but Kris might not have if he had not won. I always pull for the underdog.

SCat May 23, 2009, 11:35 AM

what a refreshing article this and the other one with Kim Allen was. I think America can learn a lot from the Allen’s and the Lambert’s. They show love and compassion for each other regardless of their differences. Congratulations to you all. May you message of peace overpower all the online hate. Xoxo

Kelly May 23, 2009, 2:32 PM

Whether or not it is fake, Adam did deserve this win, Leila is a terrific mom and raised such a wonderful boy and he blossomed into an amazing man. I believe in my heart that Adam will far surpass anyone from this season, maybe any season of Idol.

Joy May 23, 2009, 9:50 PM

Mother’s make such a difference. All that driving to practices and lessons. Leila, thank you for sharing your son with the world. He is incredible. I watched AI only because of Adam and was deeply disappointed he didn’t win. Please encourage him to continue to be as genuine as we feel he has been on AI even though he is destined to be a SuperStar

Caitlin May 24, 2009, 1:00 AM

I know this is cheesy, but the friendships between Kris and Adam and the Allens and the Lamberts give me hope for the future. They seriously do.

Glenna May 24, 2009, 5:13 AM

This is a great article giving insight into Adam’s personal life and background.
What a great mother Adam appears to have, she’s understanding, supportive and articulate.
I really enjoyed reading this. I wish there were more articles like this one..I’m reading everything I can find that involves Mr. Lambert. He is so fascinating.
Thanks for sharing.

Anonymous May 24, 2009, 5:17 PM

Both Adam and Kris have shown themselves to be first class gentlemen, and no wonder, with each of them having such fantastic parents. Congratulations to both sets of families. I am the mother of a son, and I know exactly what it takes to raise fine young men, especially in this day and age.

Laurie June 6, 2009, 8:47 PM

I am a mother also and I am a real fan of Adam’s. But I am worried and I want to tell Adam’s mother something. Adam has been harassed by papparazzi and by vicious rumors posted on the internet (e.g. being a “diva” which we all know is not true). Is Adam’s family doing all they can to protect him? They should first hire security guards, who should also give Adam advice on how to avoid these dangers (I’ve seen car chases after Adam on you tube). Second, have they hired a lawyer and a team to watch that slanderous comments about Adam are pursued and eradicated? I would like to know if they are taking steps to protect Adam. He is wonderful and needs
management and legal professionals who take care of him.

Carol January 9, 2010, 4:33 PM

Leila,
You have an AMAZINGLY talented son and I’m really sorry he didn’t win. I honestly didn’t see any sex appeal with Kris Allen even if he and Adam are good friends. Adam has an absolutely awesome voice and I got his debut DVD for ‘xmas’. I love him and his style.
Talent doesn’t have a gender.
When I first came across an article that said that Adam performed at Jewish venues, I didn’t know that he was Jewish. No offense meant but I’m merely curious if you are Jewish because Lambert doesn’t sound like it would be of the Jewish faith.
I’d just like to say that I subscribed to the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. because I DON’T understand anti-semitism. I was asked why I subscribe and I answered the questionnaire telling them that same reason and…to learn more.

Carol January 9, 2010, 4:40 PM

Like Ashley says, Kristin, WHY would this article between Leila Lambert and ml….be fake? I didn’t see ANYTHING fake about it at all. Could it be that you don’t like Adam? This article is the real deal, there’s nothing disingenous about it. She’s his mother, she supports him as a human being and his talent and it doesn’t matter that he didn’t win…he’s a winner in my eyes. He’s one very charismatic, sexy man and he knows how to move on stage when in the right venue.

Theresa September 24, 2010, 1:01 PM

I just want to say what a great mother you are Leila! You are so supportive of Adam! Your son is a great guy and very talented! I enjoy his music and my daughter just loves Adam! If it isn’t Adam she is talking about, then she is talking about Robert Pattinson! I wish I had the opportunity to meet you and your family! It would sure make my daughter’s day! I heard about the paparrazzi giving Adam a hard time! Sorry to hear that! I guess they will never learn when to back off!

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