Not surprisingly, Lambert proved himself to be a capable frontman, leading original Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor through rollicking versions of “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions.”
Released last fall, “Bohemian Rhapsody” overcame mixed reviews to emerge as an awards season favorite. Rami Malek’s performance as Queen’s eccentric frontman, Freddie Mercury, has already received a Golden Globe and is considered an Oscars front-runner for Best Actor.
Speculation as to how producers would handle the host-less 2019 ceremony has been rampant in the weeks since actor-comedian Kevin Hart announced he was stepping down as the evening’s host. Hart’s resignation came amid controversy over his previous use of homophobic jokes on Twitter and in his comedy routines.
Meanwhile, Sunday’s performance signaled the start of a new era for Lambert. The “American Idol” veteran, who has been collaborating with Queen since 2011, released “Feel Something,” his first new single in nearly two years, last week.
He credited his work with Queen as giving him “positive energy” during a “dark period” of self-doubt that preceded his fourth album, slated for release later this year.
“The fans we perform for are so full of love, and Brian May and Roger Taylor are a joy to play music with and always remind me of my value,” he wrote on Twitter and Instagram. “Together we have collaborated creatively on our tours and this has helped me to reaffirm my confidence in my artistry.”