Adam Lambert and One Republic
Adam Lambert is an American singer born on January 29, 1982, in Indianapolis, Indiana. His childhood stage experience positioned him well to compete in the eighth season of American Idol in 2009. His tremendous vocal range and theatrical flair made his performances memorable, and he finished second. His first post-Idol album, For Your Entertainment, debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart.
Adam Lambert, born on January 29, 1982 in Indianapolis, Indiana, is the eldest of two siblings. He and his family moved to San Diego, California, soon after Lambert was born. Lambert dreamed of being an entertainer at the age of 10—around the time that he was cast in his first role, as Linus in the Lyceum Theater's production of You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown in San Diego.
Thrilled by the stage, Lambert took private voice lessons and later appeared in more musicals at local theatres, including Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Grease and Chess. His voice coach, Lynne Broyles, along with Alex Urban, artistic director of the Children's Theatre Network, were influential mentors for Lambert during this time.
Lambert attended San Diego's Mt. Carmel High School, where he participated in theater, choir and jazz band. After high school, he moved to Orange County to attend college. Shortly after enrolling, however, he had a change of heart, and decided that his real desire was to perform; he left school after only five weeks.
The aspiring singer and performer moved to Los Angeles, California, where he cobbled together a living from odd jobs while trying to make it in the theatre. He also tried his hand at music, performing in a rock band and doing studio session work.
By 2004, Lambert was making a name for himself in the Los Angeles area. He played a small role in The Ten Commandments at the Kodak Theatre, alongside film actor Val Kilmer. He also began regular performances in The Zodiac Show, a touring revue of live music and talent that was co-created by Carmit Bachar of the band Pussycat Dolls. During his time with Zodiac, Lambert wowed fellow performers with his vocal range. He also began writing his own music with the revue; one particular original song, "Crawl Through Fire," was written in collaboration with Madonna's guitarist, Monte Pittman. In 2005, Lambert landed an understudy spot as Fiyero in the play Wicked, first with the touring cast and then with the Los Angeles cast of the production.
Lambert stepped into the national spotlight in 2009, when he became a finalist on the eighth season of the popular vocal competition show American Idol. His performance of Gary Jules's 2001 arrangement of "Mad World" earned a standing ovation from the show's harshest critic, Simon Cowell. Lambert's vocal range, along with his jet-black hair and heavy mascara, earned him comparisons to glam rockers like Freddie Mercury and Gene Simmons.
Lambert and two other contestants, Danny Gokey and Kris Allen, were the only finalists of Season 8 who were never ranked in the bottom three. Lambert was considered a front-runner in the competition, but was later beaten by dark horse candidate Kris Allen. Critics theorized that Lambert lost because of his openly gay lifestyle. Lambert denies this rumor, however, saying that Allen won because of his talent.
Despite his American Idol loss, Lambert's debut album, For Your Entertainment (2009), was a huge success, debuting at No. 3 on the Billboard 200 chart. In 2010, Lambert was nominated for his first Grammy Award, for his hit "Whataya Want From Me."
In May 2012, Lambert released his second studio album, Trespassing, which met with wide acclaim; Trespassing landed at the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200, and more than 100,000 copies of the alnum were sold by June 2012. In a Billboard review of the album, Lambert is noted for demonstrating "the raw energy that would make him a great frontman for a band like, say, Queen."
Speaking of the famous glam-rock band, in early 2012, media reports began to circulate about Lambert teaming up with Queen to perform a summer concert series. The speculation soon proved to be true, and the pop star began performing with Queen—including guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor—in Europe in June, as part of a tour to honor the late Freddie Mercury and raise money for organizations dedicated to AIDS awareness. Following shows in Ukraine and Moscow, Lambert sang with Queen in Wroclaw, Poland, and is slated to give several London performances with the band throughout July 2012.
OneRepublic: To those who do not know the full story on OneRepublic, they may see a talented pop-rock group propelled to “overnight” success after being discovered by one of the world’s most celebrated super-producers. The band’s first single, “Apologize,” which was remixed by Timbaland, has been Top 5 on the Billboard Hot 100 for ten consecutive weeks, rocketing all the way to 1 on the Pop 100. The song has sold "over" 8 million legal downloads-the most singles sold of any song in the digital era- maintained its 1 position on the Top 40 chart for two months, and entered the history books by shattering the record for the most spins at radio in just one week with over 10,600 spins. All of which adds up to one of the most eagerly-anticipated CDs of the year- Dreaming Out Loud – OneRepublic’s Mosley Music Group/Interscope debut.
However, explaining away the success of this band as an overnight sensation would be short-sighted and inaccurate. The story of the band’s road to success, and how that journey is expressed in the inspiring lyrical content of this album, would be lost, as well. Facing opposition and disappointment, OneRepublic has clung to its dreams – and that tenacity is finally paying off.
While OneRepublic might be the first rock band on Mosley Music group, it isn’t the first time that OneRepublic’s frontman, Ryan Tedder, and Timbaland’s paths have crossed. OneRepublic has had a circuitous journey from then to now. That journey began in 2001. Tedder was living in Nashville and nabbed a record deal for winning a singer-songwriter contest; a validation for someone who strove to be a songwriter who could write ”more than just a catchy tune. There’s nothing like a good pop song, but there’s a fine line between accessibility and credibility,” says Tedder.
Thanks to a mutual friend, Tedder got a call from Timbaland, who wanted him to come work with him. Just like in the movies, 21-year-old Tedder quit his day job, sold his car to buy equipment, and enrolled in “Production 101 at the University of Timbaland.” Taken under the A-list producer’s wing, Tedder was given the opportunity to get behind the boards in state-of-the-art studios from Miami to NY to LA; “It was a dream come true.” Despite the invaluable education, it was clear that while Tedder wanted to become an artist, his mentor wanted to develop Tedder as a producer. After two years, and with Timbaland’s blessing, Tedder moved on and soon became that guy. Working under the nom de plume “Alias,” Tedder racked up production/songwriter credits for artists ranging from techno star Paul Oakenfold, pop/R&B singers Leona Lewis and Natasha Bedingfield, and rapper Bubba Sparxxx. In fact, just this past year, Tedder penned and produced three international 1’s, a top 10, and two top 40’s, including Jennifer Lopez’s Top 20 banger, “Do It Well.”
Yet, Tedder’s desire to be the guy in front of the mic was still burning. In 2002, he returned to Colorado Springs, Colorado, and looked up high school friend, guitarist Zach Filkins, who had spent his childhood studying classical guitar in Barcelona, Spain and then moved to Colorado Springs.
In 2003, Tedder and Filkins moved to Los Angeles to put a band together. They soon found out that doing that is not so easy, and had to figure out how to get by. At points, there was not even enough money to buy groceries. Hard times made it difficult to keep a band together and the membership kept changing- until Tedder and Filkins connected with Drew Brown (guitar), Brent Kutzle (bass, cello), and Eddie Fisher (drums).
Now solidified, OneRepublic got a major label deal, but for various reasons it fell through, and they were left in limbo and demoralized. “After all that time trying to get to where we were, getting dropped took the wind out of my sails,” Tedder says. “We weren’t sure if we wanted to go on (with the band).” At that time, however, their MySpace page started getting thousands of hits, making them the biggest band on the site. “Maybe the music climate changed,” Filkins explains. “All of a sudden, we were getting e-mails from kids saying that because of one of our songs, they didn’t commit suicide or they got through their parents’ divorce. We finally connected with the audience. We said to ourselves, ‘we can’t quit now.’”
Soon enough, the labels came knocking, including Timbaland, with his Mosley Music Group label. Timbaland knew first-hand the depth of Tedder’s talent and OneRepublic’s potential. So everything came full circle when Tim brought OneRepublic into the Mosley Music Group family, making them the first rock band on his label, and executive-producing Dreaming Out Loud.
The success OneRepublic has achieved since then might have taken some by surprise, but not the group’s singer/songwriter. The toughest thing to do is write a hit song,“ says Tedder, “but sometimes you just know when you’ve written something special. ‘Apologize’ gave me goose bumps as soon as I finished it.”
The first clue that his instincts were right came early in 2007, when Timbaland’s “Apologize” remix (both that and the original version are featured on Dreaming Out Loud) appeared on his platinum plus Timbaland Presents: Shock Value.
“Ryan is a great person, a great songwriter and just so musically talented,” Timbaland says. “OneRepublic bring something out of each other. They work so well together and it’s a very natural chemistry.”
Largely produced by Greg Wells (Rufus Wainwright, Pink, Mika) and with a couple tracks produced by Tedder, that chemistry is evident in the songs, such as the second single, “Stop And Stare,” a fusion of anthemic guitars and insistent vocals, and the hushed ballad “Come Home” (one of three songs on the album produced by Tedder). Dreaming Out Loud introduces a group committed to the idea that people want real songs, with real truths, not marketing strategies.
Folks talk a lot about fate and timing; two things OneRepublic knows quite well. Having ricocheted back-and-forth between near-success, disappointment, and fruition, OneRepublic has stayed true to their dreams - and seen them come true in ways they could never have imagined. Tedder holds that “there are certain things that are within your control and that’s how hard you work, how determined you are, how much you want it, but you can’t control timing. It’s going to happen when it’s meant to happen, and right now, that’s how it is for OneRepublic. It took a long time but all of this has come at the right time.”