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Adam Lambert’s Stirring Rendition of “Believe” Moves Cher to Tears

Adam Lambert, known for his journey on “American Idol” and his role as the lead vocalist for Queen, delivered a rendition of Cher’s 1998 anthem “Believe” during the 41st Annual Kennedy Center Honors in 2019, evoking tears from the music icon herself. The event, celebrated on December 26, 2018, at the Kennedy Center Opera House in Washington, D.C., recognizes lifetime contributions to the arts. Lambert’s performance was a homage to Cher, one of the night’s celebrated artists.

His interpretation of “Believe” transformed the song into a poignant ballad, a departure from its original dance-pop energy. Cher was seen emotionally touched, shedding tears as Lambert’s voice filled the room. She later expressed on Twitter that the performance was “BEYOND COMPREHENSION,” still feeling its impact weeks after.

The evening held more surprises, with Cyndi Lauper, defying her prior claim of being unavailable, delighting Cher with “If I Could Turn Back Time.” The event culminated in a duet between Lauper and Lambert, performing “I Got You Babe.”

Reflecting on this momentous occasion in an interview with Attitude magazine, Lambert shared the mix of nervousness and honor he felt performing for such a revered figure in music. Cher’s 1998 album “Believe” holds a special place in his heart, dating back to his high school days.

Lambert’s tribute to Cher at the Kennedy Center Honors adds to his history of memorable performances honoring music legends, including a 2016 tribute to George Michael with “Faith” on the “Greatest Hits” TV show. His consistent ability to deliver powerful tributes has solidified his reputation as one of his generation’s most remarkable vocal talents.

The Kennedy Center Honors, a prestigious recognition in the American performing arts community, has been celebrating artistic lifetime achievements for 44 years. The 2018 ceremony also paid tribute to other luminaries such as country music star Reba McEntire, jazz composer Wayne Shorter, composer Philip Glass, and Lin-Manuel Miranda along with the “Hamilton” creative team.

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