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Adam Lambert’s Moving Performance of “Believe” Elicits Tears from Cher

Adam Lambert, famed for his journey on “American Idol” and his role as the lead vocalist for Queen, delivered an unforgettable rendition of Cher’s 1998 anthem “Believe” at the 41st Kennedy Center Honors in 2019, bringing the legendary Cher to tears. 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 tribute to Cher, one of the evening’s honorees, showcased his unique take on her classic song.

Transforming “Believe” into a poignant ballad, Lambert’s performance was a departure from the original’s dynamic rhythm, capturing the audience and an emotional Cher, who was seen shedding tears during his performance. Cher’s reaction lingered, as evidenced by her tweet three weeks later, proclaiming the rendition was “BEYOND COMPREHENSION.”

The surprises continued at the Kennedy Center Honors with Cyndi Lauper, who had previously claimed to be unavailable, delivering a rendition of “If I Could Turn Back Time” for Cher. The evening concluded with Lauper and Lambert joining forces for a duet of “I Got You Babe.”

Reflecting on his memorable “Believe” performance in an Attitude magazine interview, Lambert shared his initial nerves and the honor he felt performing for such an iconic figure. Cher’s 1998 “Believe” album holds a special place for Lambert, marking a significant period during his high school years.

Lambert’s tribute at the Kennedy Center Honors was not his first time honoring a musical great; in 2016, he paid homage to George Michael on the “Greatest Hits” TV show with a rendition of “Faith,” further solidifying his reputation as a standout vocalist of his generation.

The Kennedy Center Honors stands as a prestigious recognition for American artists, celebrating 44 years of honoring artistic legacies. The 2018 ceremony also paid tribute to other luminaries, including Reba McEntire, Wayne Shorter, Philip Glass, and the creative team behind “Hamilton,” including Lin-Manuel Miranda.

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