Watch Adam Lambert and Melissa Etheridge perform one of Melissa’s most enduring hits, “I’m The Only One.”
The duet took place Saturday night (May 5) at the Hilton Midtown in New York City for the 29th Annual GLAAD Media Awards. The performance celebrated the 25the anniversary of the release of the icon’s album Yes I Am, and used her platform to increase visibility for the LGBTQ community by coming out publicly as lesbian.
The American Idol season 8 alum and Queen front man met Melissa for the first time to rehearse for the performance, which opened the ceremony. After the show, the pair spoke with Billboard about the importance of performing at the GMAs.
“We do most of our work in a straight world. The music industry is mainly straight,” Melissa said. “I’m not afraid of a straight audience, but it’s a freedom to relax [at GLAAD]. It’s family. It’s like home.”
“At one point in time to be a musician in mainstream music, you had to second guess some things or be careful what you said,” Adam said. “It’s changing so rapidly, which is wonderful, and at an event like this we can be reminded that things are shifting night and day in the music industry, even compared to 10 years ago.”
The GLAAD Media awards, celebrating and honoring LGBTQ voices awared the Vito Russo award to actress Samira Wiley, presented by fellow The Handmaid’s Tale cast member, Alexis Bledel; Ava DuVernay received the Excellence in Media Award, presented by Sen. Cory Booker; Good Morning America’s Robin Roberts presented the Special Recognition Award to the mother of JAY-Z, Gloria Carter.
Watch Adam Lambert and Melissa Etheridge’s acoustic performance of “I’m The Only One.”