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Gospel Soundcheck

American Idol, The Voice and gay contestants, oh my

Adam Levine talks to Out magazine about American Idol, The Voice, and gay contestants.

When I left the Gospel Soundcheck blog for my little hiatus last fall, the hot topic was (besides Katy Perry), homosexuality (which, I suppose, includes the singer who kissed a girl and liked it). I know. What on earth does being gay have to do with singing?

Well, apparently a lot. Ray Boltz, American Idol, Adam Lambert, Jennifer Knapp, Katy Perry. All of the posts about those artists drew huge numbers of viewers along with some … er … lively discussion. Turns out that music fans really do care about their favorite artist’s sexual orientation, even outside of Christian music circles.


Adam Levine, frontman for Maroon 5 and coach/judge on the last spring’s newest competition, “The Voice“, told “Out” magazine recently that it’s “always pissed me off” that Idol hides the fact that some contestants, like Adam Lambert or Clay Aiken, are gay.

Er … just for the record, Idol might have hidden it but I’m pretty sure viewers were clued in. But I digress.

I confess that I don’t give a rat’s arse about who’s gay and who’s not on “American Idol” or “The Voice” or the radio. I pick who I listen to by whether or not I like their music. Same goes for the Jesus fish.


But I also think that the music industry, knowing that it causes controvery, keeps the spin cycle at full speed by speculating on who’s in the closet.  Case in point: Adam Levine’s own interview about gay contestants on singing shows. In a gay style and culture magazine.

When asked about his own sexuality, Levine responded, “There’s no way to hide my straightness … but if people didn’t think there was a small chance I was gay, then I wouldn’t be doing my job very well. Look at the best ones, guys whose sexuality was always questioned. Bowie. Jagger. Freddie Mercury. I wouldn’t be the front man of a band if that question hadn’t come up at some point.”

For the record, Levine, like the other artists he mentioned, is also wildly talented. That he makes both guys and girls feel all swoony inside is just a bonus.


I’d be remiss if I didn’t point out that music fans do support the lifestyles of their artists when they buy their music. Remember back in 2007, when the parents of Amy Winehouse’s husband pleaded with music fans to stop buying her music to force the couple into rehab? Whether it was a good way to address the couples’ drug problems is up for debate, but it does point to the fact that consumers can send a message with their dollars.

So if you really, truly,  honestly do find an artist’s lifestyle at odds with your own values, then by all means don’t listen. This is America. The TV, the radio, your iPod, they all come with an off button.  (Which I was happy to use this last season of “American Idol”.)

Which brings us back to the beginning. “American Idol”, “The Voice’, gay contestants – who cares?  When “The X Factor” hits the air in September, reuniting our beloved Simon Cowell and the delightfully flightly Paula Abdul, no one will be paying attention anyway.

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posted August 16, 2011 at 11:01 pm

I wrestle with this a lot. Let me try to explain why. The Bible calls both pride and homosexuality sins. Pride is my sin. It’s a part of who I am. It’s the way God made me. But He didn’t make me to live and revel in that sin (though I continue to struggle with it and don’t expect to ever not struggle with it). He made me to triumph over it with His help.

I know in the eyes of Almighty God that my sin of pride is no different than any Christian singer’s sin of homosexuality. And my friends, even those who know me best, do not condemn me for my sin because they know, and can see in my life, that I am trying, through the grace of God and the power of the Holy Spirit, to overcome it. I battle my sin. If I didn’t battle it, then they would challenge me.

If all sins are equal, and homosexuality (like pride) is a sin (as the Bible says it is), then why is it OK for an artist to accept, even embrace, their sin of homosexuality? To “give up the fight” so to speak and expect everyone to just go along with it?

As Christians, are we to embrace our sins or, through the power and strength of the Holy Spirit, combat them, “killing the old man,” as it were to give the Spirit and new life sway?

And, as Christians, are we not also to challenge each other to live holier lives not merely act as each other’s enablers? This is where I wrestle.

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posted August 18, 2011 at 11:04 am

Thank you for posting that. I feel the same way as I am a huge Queen fan and Freddie Mercury’s voice can calm me like nothing else. And I don’t know why that subject comes up. He never pushed his lifestyle on others and if people can’t overcome their homophobia fears, then the OFF button is the best thing for them.

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posted August 18, 2011 at 11:07 am

I totally agree with JoAnne about the ‘Off” button.
As far as homosexuality – In God’s eyes “a sin is a sin” – it’s only in human eyes that we separate it.

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posted August 18, 2011 at 12:36 pm

You know this is very difficult, I think media & people who keep talking gossiping both in the media,showbiz etc. are the problem but also, we live in a very biggoted hipocrytical society, with all that going on, if your different you will be singled out. Sad but so true. I think it is great Adam Lambert came out to be who he is, I adore and I love the man, he truly is one of the most amazing singers I have ever heard. Adam lambert doesn’t want to be a poster boy for the gay community he is his OWN person & Like Adam Lambert said, we are all different & he doesn’t always share the same views as others that are also gay. I really don’t care what orientation he is or anyone else is especially if I really like them, it is what they do on stage & that is it but because of our backwoods socieity (and we are outnumbered) it can actually hurt the artist (or whomever)that is of a different sexual orientation that does come out, career. I also think Hollywood is very tainted & hippocritcal as well as the rest of society, with that being said it is really a sad, scary place we live in. I don’t care for Adam Levine or the Voice, I actually had never heard of Maron 5 or adam levine, and I had no clue who was gay except for maybe one person on the voice,I don’t care who is gay & who isn’t. I just didn’t like the show from the beginning I thought it was very cheesy. I didnt’ care for the judges and Adam Levine’s smirky remarks about not knowing who Adam Lambert was.?#$% I mean come on talk about egos,. None of those judges voices compares to Adam lamberts not even Xtina Agulara! she has gone way down hill, & she too made a smirky remark about Adam Lambert, not knowing who he was. she absolutly knows who Adam Lambert is. Xtina is ALL ABOUT Xtina that came through loud & clear & I don’t liek her low class ways. Jealousy! Also, Adam Lambert is the best singer, performer, person etc. I have ever seen on stage the best voice I have ever heard. He is in his own league and way beyond those that are on the radio. He outshines them all. btw I am a straight woman, I say live & let live but problem is our society won’t let that happen, & they come out it always hurts them so sad all around. but I know Adam Lambert is the King of Music!

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posted August 18, 2011 at 12:45 pm

I agree about the off button too, if you don’t like it don’t watch it but there is just too much talk, gossip rumors that always hurt people in show biz. I believe it affects all walks of life. I do not envy that about those who are famous I wouldn’t want my entire life exposed and criticized not matter who/what we are. So sad but true. But I have never heard Adam Lambert ever insult, or put down anyone for the sake of just doing so, he was always a gentelmen handles all situations with a grain of salt and class. If anything people should be learning from him!

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gloria taber

posted August 18, 2011 at 2:17 pm

This is ridiculous!. As was said in the article, what does a singer’s sexual orientation have to do with singing ability??? I like or dislike them according to their voice and singing style. Only someone with a lot of time on their hands is worried abt this. I loved listening to Adam Lambert when he sang softer music on Idol. And yes, it was pretty obvious that he was gay. But I liked his VOICE. We have more serious things than this to be concerned with these days. In other words, to those still concerned with this, “GET A LIFE”.

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posted August 18, 2011 at 4:57 pm

I just love everybody. My son is gay and I love him more than life it’s self. I listen to the words to a song and that’s all I need and it helps if they gave it a great melody. God keep giving us more talented people who share. Gay,not gay, black, white, fat, skinnny, cute ugly…bring it on..
love to all,

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posted August 18, 2011 at 5:22 pm

I disagee about Simon and Paula. It beats the heck out of watching ‘TV like Chew and other crappy shows, At least it might be interesting to watch, How many food shows can be interesting. Anyway you are right about not being clueless about gays and you are also right about the off TV button. I know I will be reading alot this upcoming season

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posted August 18, 2011 at 6:22 pm

PLEASE spell check before posting! Feud is the correct spelling.

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posted August 20, 2011 at 8:55 am

America needs to get back to God,he didn’t make Adam&Steve he made Adam &Eve.Its all about people rights so they don’t get offended but,whath about Christians getting offended.

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