Published October 14, 2010
American rocker Adam Lambert, who faces protests by Islamic hardliners at his show in Malaysia on Thursday, has vowed not to do any on-stage kissing, but says he will not tone down the rest of his flamboyant act.
Lambert, who shot to fame in the "American Idol" contest, is openly gay and has created controversy with his performances, including at the American Music Awards where he simulated a sex act on stage and kissed a male keyboard player.
"I think some people have a problem with me kissing a guy on stage!" he told a press conference in the capital Kuala Lumpur, as the opposition Islamic party prepared to demonstrate outside his evening performance.
"But, you know as much as I hate to compromise any time, it's more important for me to bring the people of Malaysia to my show," he said, referring to rules set out by authorities before they would let the show go ahead.
He added, "My performance will still have a lot of vibe about it. That's not something I can really control. I'm just refraining from making one little kiss -- I don't think it's that big a deal."
He said his choice of songs will remain unchanged, as will his costumes, which will feature "lots of leather and some sequins, and spikes and studs and fur -- it's exciting!"
Malaysian authorities have given the green light to the performance despite objections from the conservative Pan-Malaysia Islamic Party (PAS), who has said Lambert is "morally unfit."
"His gay lifestyle will harm our society. He is of bad, bad character and poses a danger to young Malaysians," PAS youth chief Nasrudin Hassan said this week.
Lambert said that even with his high profile, his open homosexuality made him the target of harassment.
"My message to the youth of the U.S. and the world is that you should be proud of who you are. I know it's hard for someone like me who is supposedly successful, I'm still bullied by certain groups," he said.
Homosexual sex is a criminal offence in Malaysia, a conservative and predominantly Muslim country, carrying penalties of up to 20 years imprisonment.
Performances by foreign artists frequently come under fire, forcing events to be canceled or modified.