Her name is plain and simple -- not flashy like Lady Gaga or diva-esque like Madonna -- but Mary Lambert will be a household name soon enough.
Best known "as the girl who sings on that Macklemore song," the Seattle-based songstress and spoken word artist has captured the attention of the LGBT community and the nation, with critics buzzing that she's the next Adele. Her voice squeezes the heart until eyes are on the brink of tears, leaving fans yearning for a pint of ice cream and a couch to curl up on.
"I like to think that my music allows people that cathartic cry," Lambert said.
During her sold out show at Hotel Cafe in Hollywood, her first performance in Los Angeles, she even encouraged the audience to cry.
"It cleans your eyes -- at least that's what I tell myself," she said, laughing.
Lambert, a self-proclaimed "femme lesbian," has used her talents to heal from a childhood wrought with rejection and abuse.
"I've always had a little bit of darkness and I've always been someone who was grieving. I had kind of had a tumultuous upbringing living in an abusive home, so for me writing has always been a point of catharsis," she said.
Lambert now hopes her music can help others who were victims of molestation or are struggling with "coming out" to their family and friends.
"I hope people learn the power of vulnerability through my songs," Lambert said. "I think vulnerability can save the word. Empathy helps people connect with each other."
Lambert warned the crowd that her shows are very "bipolar," and Friday night was manic. During her nearly two-hour set, Lambert got people weeping then quickly laughing, prompting fans to want a hug or a cigarette to ease their nerves. At one point, during her rendition of "Teenage Dirtbag," the whiny one hit wonder released by Wheatus, she managed to get people to giggle and tear up with an emotional performance on the piano that provided a haunting tune as she crooned: "I'm just a teenage dirtbag, baby."
At age 24, Lambert is making a name for herself both as a musician and a proponent for equality thanks to her hook on "Same Love" by her fellow Seattleites Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, the fourth single on their 2012 debut studio album "The Heist." The song advocates for same-sex marriage and was recorded during the campaign for Washington Referendum 74, which resulted in legalized gay marriages in Washington state last year.
Lambert later expanded on that chorus to complete the very personal song, "She Keeps Me Warm," about being in love with a woman. The song's video has attracted more than 2 million views on VEVO and YouTube since the single dropped in July.
But even on Friday before her own show, Lambert had to re-park her car to avoid a ticket and then paid for a space in the public garage behind the venue. It's a common story for the up-and-comer.
Just last month, despite having performed with Jennifer Hudson during MTV's Video Music Awards Lambert said she to had to show her ticket to a guard to reclaim her seat at the awards show. She told fans that the cast of "Glee" saved her from getting kicked out.
Maybe an appearance on "Glee" is in her near future?
It's certainly on her wish list, along with hopes to collaborate with Drake, Feist and James Blake, among others.
In the meantime, Lambert has enjoyed performing with other rising artists and on Friday welcomed Los Angeles' own Fay Wolf, whom Lambert admits she kind of stalked.
"I got lost on the Internet and looked up artists for some inspiration and fell in love with her music. I totally followed her like a creeper," Lambert said, laughing.
Wolf was honored to sing backup vocals for Lambert's new song, "Beautiful Bird."
"She's intensely talented," Wolf said. "She has a really long musical life ahead of her."
Lambert continues her solo tour until mid-October and then hits the road with Macklemore & Ryan Lewis on Oct. 22 for a nearly two-month stint around the country with stops in Los Angeles on Dec. 4, San Diego on Dec. 5 and San Francisco on Dec. 7.
"I just feel there's this fire," she said. "I'm just ready to go." ___