made his name in the theater world, where he performed alongside Val Kilmer in the debut production of
. The California native then parlayed his theater background into a multi-month run on
's flair for neo-goth clothing and eclectic arrangements made him a critical favorite, as did his dramatic tenor vocals. Following performances of
found himself pitted against Kris Allen in the grand finale, which he ultimately lost by a slim margin.
judges, however, who all but guaranteed him a successful recording career following the show's conclusion.
didn't win the Idol
competition, he received far more attention than his castmates during the following months, during which he appeared on the cover of Rolling Stone in June ("I don't think it should be a surprise for anyone to hear that I'm gay," he stated in the accompanying article, thus putting an end to the public's speculation) and elicited standing ovations during the summer-long American Idol
tour. He also signed with RCA and began recording his debut album, working alongside producer Rob Cavallo
while soliciting material from the likes of Lady Gaga
, Linda Perry
, Justin Hawkins
, and RedOne
One month before For Your Entertainment's release, Lambert
unveiled his first single, a track from the 2012
soundtrack titled "Time for Miracles." His debut album followed in late November (arriving one week after the release of Kris Allen's own debut) and sold close to 200,000 copies during its first week, outdoing new releases by Rihanna
and Lady Gaga
in the process. Meanwhile, a risqué performance at the American Music Awards -- during which Lambert
kissed his male keyboardist and danced suggestively with both sexes -- helped gather additional headlines, not to mention a fair amount of controversy. Lambert
's five-song EP Acoustic Live!, featuring stripped-down versions of songs from For Your Entertainment as well as the Tears for Fears
cover "Mad World," was released in December of 2010. The following year, Lambert
delivered the concert album/DVD Glam Nation Live, featuring performances recorded during the Indianapolis, Indiana stop of his 2010 Glam Nation tour. Lambert
's full-length sophomore effort, Trespassing, was released in 2012, with the album featuring a bevy of big-name collaborators including Bruno Mars, Nikka Costa, Sam Sparro, and Pharrell Williams.