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Adam Lambert Addresses Lil Nas X’s Same-Sex Kiss at the 2021 BET Awards

Written by on June 30, 2021

At Sunday night’s BET Awards (June 27), Lil Nas X once again made headlines for living his truth. Dressed as an Egyptian pharaoh and paying tribute to Michael Jackson’s “Remember the Time” music video, the rapper powered through his single “Montero (Call Me By Your Name)” before turning to a backup dancer on his left and making out with him in from of a televised audience.

When Adam Lambert saw the performance, the pop singer tells Billboard that he was struck with a sense of awe over the rapper’s confidence. “I thought it was hot,” he says with a laugh. “I mean, he’s really giving it to us. I think he is definitely like the gay pop star that is 2021 — he’s bold, he’s controversial, he’s pushing boundaries. That’s what we want our pop stars to do. It’s just taken this long to have it be a gay one.”

The reactions to the two performances differ significantly. For Lil Nas X, while his stoked some controversy (though not nearly as much as his music video for the song did back in April), the vast majority of the public response has been positive — stars like Sean “Diddy” CombsKevin AbstractTegan and Sara and more have all shouted out the singer and called out critics for their “homophobic” and “hypocritical” responses.

For Lambert, the reaction was much different, and much more immediate. “I was pulled off of ABC for a little while,” he says. “They were freaked out, they had Christian parent groups writing in, the censors were freaked out. The thing I found so funny was like, ‘Censors? It’s a kiss! When was that indecent?'”

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