Adam Lambert’s Advice to ‘American Idol’ Contestants: ‘Maintain Your Own Integrity as an Artist’ (EXCLUSIVE)

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Less than 24 hours after Adam Lambert released his new sophomore album Trespassing, it has already taken the No. 1 spot on iTunes. To say the American Idol alum is ecstatic is an understatement.

“I already saw some pretty important reviews, and everything was kosher. That was a very validating… At the end of the day, being a mainstream artist obviously there is pressure to sell. I can’t control that, but I can control the quality of the songs,” Lambert, 30, told Celebuzz at the MLB Fan Cave in New York City.

Although he’s enjoying the success, he’ll be the first to admit it didn’t come easily. Now with Season 11 contestants Joshua Ledet, Jessica Sanchez and Phillip Phillips all vying for the coveted Idol title, Lambert is offering some advice to the wide-eyed singers.

Find out what tough love Adam is serving to the graduating Idol hopefuls — and much more below.

“The transition from a TV talent contest to mainstream radio is really tricky. It is a whole other industry. The rules are different. Your music is based on a lot more than just popularity. The hardest thing about the show is maintaining your own integrity as an artist. You have to work hard. Nothing happens instantly after the show,” he advises.

On Thursday (May 17), Lambert will be returning to his old stomping grounds, performing his new hit “Never Close Our Eyes” on the Idol stage. While he promises an “off the charts” stage show, he’s hoping to pull a few antics of his own backstage — like possibly raiding judge Steven Tyler’s wardrobe closet!

“I love [Aerosmith frontman] Steven Tyler — and his wardrobe. Every time he comes on screen, I’m like, ‘What the hell is he wearing?!’  I love it… I should ask him if I can raid his closet,” the Grammy-nominated singer joked.

Up next, Lambert will be filling in for one of his primary influences, the late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, during five European concerts with Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen.

“I’m excited and honored. There is a lot of work to be done. It has been a while since I covered someone else’s music. It’s a different type of challenge. I’ve done research… I want to pay respect to Freddie. I don’t want to just copy him and do an impression. I’m trying the best I can, working together with Brian and Roger. It’s going to be beautiful,” Lambert gushed.

The former Idol alum has no plans to tour in promotion of his own album, Trespessing, but hopes to have “something lined up by the end of the year.”

In the meantime, his fans can expect to see his new music video for “Never Close Your Eyes” within a few weeks. Trying not to give the whole concept away, Lambert revealed, “It’s a little sci-fi. It challenges and reinterprets the lyrics. It’s not obvious. I mean, with me I’m not into the obvious. I like to twist things.”

In case you missed it, check out Part 1 of our interview with Adam — and watch his music video below.