Adam Lambert performed the live debut of “Mad About the Boy” on BBC’s celebrity dance competition, Strictly Come Dancing on Sunday (Oct 9). The American Idol alum performed a mesmerizing jazz standard version of the Noel Coward song. Pro dancers Nikita Kuzmin and Carlos Gu performed a steamy Argentine Tango as Adam performed.
The singer was dressed to the nines, in a ravishing tuxedo, his makeup–and especially eye makeup–beautifully done. Speaking of beautiful, Adam delivered an exquisitely phrased version of the song, expressing all the longing of an unrequited love that dare not speak its name.
Traditionally, female jazz singers like Dinah Washington have performed the song, But Coward, who was closeted like every other gay person of his generation, wrote a piece full of queer longing. Adam is able to bring it the stage as it couldn’t have been during Coward’s lifetime.
The song is the theme of an upcoming Noel Coward biopic coming out next year to mark the 50th anniversary of the legendary artist’s death.
Watch Adam Lambert perform “Mad About the Boy” on Strictly Come Dancing
In an interview with ABC Audio Adam said about recording the classic:
“He wrote it about a man and he was never really able to record it because that would have been too taboo for that time,” Adam said about Coward’s creative intent. “So it’s always been a torch song sung by amazing female vocalists. And when they realized, ‘It’s 2022, we’re going to put this film out,’ they came up with the idea of having a guy sing it as it was really intended.”
“When they asked me to do it, I thought, ‘What a cool opportunity…I haven’t really recorded anything that was sort of jazz-leaning before, but it’s something that I always kind of been interested in,” he noted.
“Mad About the Boy” is the first song Adam released on EastWest Records. The singer recently signed a record deal with the Warner Brothers UK imprint.
Next, Adam will play a Halloween themed residency in Las Vegas and a handful of dates on the West coast later this month.
Adam will return to the judges panel for a second season of the UK singing competition, Starstruck.