As a child growing up in San Diego, Adam realized at an early age that performance was his passion. After years of musical theater training and touring with the Broadway musical Wicked, Adam says he realized he wanted more out of life. He decided to take the next step and audition for the most-watched reality TV show in the country, American Idol.
"[I used] positive projection. You know, affirmation. Really imagining what my life could be and what I really want out of it," he says. "I wasn't unhappy, but I was a little like: 'Is this it? Really?' I was thirsty."
Adam made his mark early on during Season 8 of American Idol. Fans and judges first noticed his black eyeliner, outrageous hairstyles and bold fashion statements, but this rocker wasn't all style, no substance. Adam's vocal range and unique take on popular songs made him a favorite. Even Idol's toughest judge, Simon Cowell, called him a star.
To the surprise of many, Adam came in second to contestant Kris Allen during the May 2009 finale...but that hasn't stalled his meteoric rise to fame. After the final vote, People magazine voted Adam the sexiest rocker, and he landed the cover of Rolling Stone, where he officially confirmed rumors that he's gay. He also released his highly anticipated debut album, For Your Entertainment.
Then, in November 2009, Adam's fame turned to notoriety.