KUALA LUMPUR, MALAYSIA (AP) - Glam rocker Adam Lambert kept his promise to Malaysia’s government, steering clear of sexually provocative moves at a concert protested by Islamic activists Thursday.
The openly gay “American Idol” runner-up thrilled thousands of fans with his impeccable vocals and humorous showmanship for more than an hour at a stadium in Kuala Lumpur, the largest city in Muslim-majority Malaysia.
But outside the stadium Thursday night, dozens of members of the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party, the nation’s biggest opposition group, waved banners that read, “Muslim students protest gay icon in our country” and “Not our culture” with pictures of Lambert kissing another man.
The demonstration did not disrupt the show, which Lambert had pledged earlier this week to tone down slightly in accordance to Malaysian government guidelines.
Footage of Lambert locking lips with a male musician at many of his shows are widely available on the Internet. But in Malaysia, the only kiss the audience saw was one that Lambert blew to them in between songs.
“Ladies and gentlemen, tonight’s show is about love,” Lambert said, midway through energetic performances of his U.S. Top 10 hit “Whataya Want From Me,” “If I Had You” and “For Your Entertainment.”
“I think some people have a problem with me kissing a guy on stage,” Lambert, 28, told reporters hours before the concert. “But you know, as much as I hate to compromise any time, it’s more important for me to bring to the people of Malaysia my show.”
Several Malaysian government officials were at the stadium to monitor Lambert’s performance.
Nurhazwani Hifni, a 25-year-old accountant at the concert, said she was grateful that Lambert respected Malaysia’s regulations, but added that Lambert’s flamboyance and sexuality did not bother her.
“As for me, personally I don’t mind,” Nurhazwani said. “All the fans are here for the music.”
In recent years, several female Western pop stars, including Gwen Stefani and Fergie, revamped their wardrobe and avoided skimpy costumes to perform in Malaysia following criticism by the Islamic opposition party that they were negative influences for Muslim youngsters.
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