International singer-songwriter Adam Lambert has praised the Governor of California and Mayor of Los Angeles for their responses to Covid-19, but told CNBC that on a federal level, U.S. leadership is “a little bit chaotic.”
The star, who lives in Los Angeles, said there were cases of “really wonderful leadership” in California, but when asked what more he would like President Trump to do, he replied: “I think it’s more that I want him to do less.”
“It seems to me that when he has a press conference and he speaks, it just makes things worse. So if he would just maybe let the professionals, the medical professionals, step in, I think if he delegated a little bit more responsibly, that might be good,” he told CNBC’s Tania Bryer.
The White House was not immediately available for comment when contacted by CNBC.
Lambert, who has collaborated with rock band Queen as lead vocalist since 2012, described how he and band mates Brian May and Roger Taylor decided to release a lockdown version of one of Queen’s iconic tracks. They have renamed it “You are the Champions,” and it’s being released in aid of the World Health Organization’s Covid-19 Solidarity Response Fund for frontline healthcare workers.
“Brian had been on a great streak of recording covers for his Instagram, and that’s where the idea sparked. He got in touch with us and said let’s do ‘We Are The Champions’,” he said.
“Then we started thinking about who we would dedicate it to, and then we have this idea of why don’t we go as far as to change the title of the song. I think this situation warrants that type of iconic shift and so that’s what we did. We recorded it separately in our houses on cell phones.”
The global artist, who launched his career after being runner-up on American Idol in 2009, told CNBC how he thinks the music industry will be impacted by Covid-19.
“I do think that we’re going to see a lot of alternatives to the live performance space. Everyone’s sort of scrambling and finding new technology which is incredible. And it’s exciting in a way, because I think it’s a new challenge,” he said.
“Now that music is being consumed in this digital format and streaming is sort of the main way that people get to hear things, I almost think in some ways it may be a great time for us to be releasing music that way.”
The celebrated singer/songwriter was due to perform live with Queen in the summer for their 27-date U.K. and European Rhapsody tour, which has been postponed until 2021. He has also rescheduled concerts planned after the release of his latest album “Velvet” in March.
Lambert told CNBC he had experienced moments of anxiety during the lockdown response to the crisis, and had started talking to a therapist once a week “just to get it all out.”
“I encourage anybody out there that’s feeling a bit uneasy or unsure, either talk to a friend or family member openly. You’d be surprised about how many people probably feel the same way you do and if you want to take it to the next level, talk to a professional they’re here to help,” he said.
The singer and philanthropist set up his Feel Something Foundation in 2019 to help tackle issues in the LGBTQ+ community, including mental health.
It recently raised over $46,000 in its first big fundraiser, auctioning some of Lambert’s stage and red-carpet outfits in aid of leading LGBTQ media advocacy organization GLAAD’s response to Covid-19.
“I wanted to focus on LGBTQ issues, predominantly youth homelessness which is a big issue, mental health and suicide prevention which is also a big issue. I wanted to get proactive as well and start going into the space of arts education and outreach to do something that’s not just crisis based. I’m really excited,” he added.
Lambert told CNBC he would like to perform live again later this year.
“That’s my lifeblood, you know, I love performing,” he said.
“We’ve currently postponed my Vegas mini residency to October. We’re still waiting to find out if that’s going to happen or not, and if it doesn’t you know I say everyone needs to be safe, that’s the most important thing and I’ll take the free time and I’ll create more music.”
Author: Tania Bryer