Woman’s Day interviewed Adam’s mom, Leila. She’s always seemed like such a classy and sweet lady, and this interview only reinforces that impression! Articulate, well-spoken (just like both of her lovely sons), and sharing a bunch of childhood memories with us. (Link: here)
An American Idol Mom
WD talks to Adam Lambert’s #1 fan—his mom, Leila
By Angela Ebron Posted December 29, 2009 from WomansDay.com
What was Adam like as a little boy?
He was very precocious. I took him to a lot of plays and concerts when he was small, and he always found a deeper meaning in them while I always took things literally. One time we went to see Les Miserables when Adam was 8. Afterward, he went into this elaborate discussion about how things were staged. He was so inquisitive, always asking questions. When he was about 5 years old he asked, “If God is in the sky, how does he see through the roof?” I had to tell him, “I’ll get back to you on that.”
What was your reaction the first time you realized Adam had such an incredible voice?
I remember he was in a children’s production of Fiddler on the Roof when he was about 10 years old. I’d never watched the rehearsals. So during the show when he got on top of a table and let out this note, I just looked at his dad and said, “Where’d that come from?”
Did you always believe that your son would make it in the music business one day?
Adam has always said that you don’t get discovered, you have to work for it. I thought his hard work would be what would pay off for him—and it has.
How has life changed since American Idol?
It’s very surreal. I have a hard time realizing that my son is now a household name to many people. The beauty is he’s still living in the same town he’s lived in for the last nine years and he still has the same friends. But the amount of work he’s doing has changed. Although he can’t always go places and he has to try to be more inconspicuous, he really appreciates the love and support of his fans. They have touched his life. Once when we were at a restaurant, a woman from another table came up and asked if he’d sing “Happy Birthday” to her daughter. I said, “No, we’re eating,” but Adam said, “It’s OK, Mom,” and told the woman that he’d stop by after we’d finished. He went over in a little bit and sang to her daughter. It was a wakeup call for me.
Many people thought Adam should have won American Idol. Do you think not winning may actually be better, given the success of other Idol alums like Jennifer Hudson and Chris Daughtry?
I really don’t think it matters. Being first, second or third—one isn’t any better than the other. I think Adam would be in the same position if he’d won.
What was your favorite American Idol performance by Adam?
I loved when he performed “Satisfaction.” And “Black or White.” And “One.” I can’t pick a favorite!
What do you think of Simon Cowell?
I never really met him. Paula was the one who’d take the time after every show to come over and talk. She was so supportive. But Simon’s critiques were right a lot of the time. He knows what he’s talking about.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about Adam?
A lot of people think he’s caught up in the business, but when I see him with his friends he doesn’t even talk about his career.
If you had to describe your son in one word, what would it be?
What was your favorite Mother’s Day present from Adam?
A card he made for me when he was 15. There was a flower on the front and each petal was cut out from foil. Inside he’d written a poem about how much he loved and appreciated me. I still have that card.
What do you think of Adam’s For Your Entertainment album cover?
It’s not my favorite. I don’t tend to go outside the box, but Adam is a free spirit. He was just being himself. He liked it and thought it was fun. It’s an expression of his creativity.
Did all the media speculation about Adam’s sexuality (before he confirmed that he is gay) bother you?
It didn’t bother me at all because it’s who Adam is. He didn’t want his being gay to be the focus. He wanted to address it when the time was right.
You moved to Los Angeles from San Francisco to help Adam; what’s your role in his career now?
I’m so happy and thrilled to be a part of what’s going on, but I don’t have a huge role. I’m not managing him. I’ll give you an example of what I do. He called me late one night from rehearsal while he was recording the album. He needed a shirt for an appearance the next morning and asked me to iron one for him. That’s my role. I’m here for him when he needs me. I’m just his mom.
What’s your hope for your son?
To be surrounded by people who love him. That’s what I want for him more than anything—to enjoy life and be surrounded by love.