In a recent newspaper interview, out singer-songwriter Adam Lambert credited American Idol for his success.

Speaking with The Irish Times, Lambert, 37, said that much has changed for queer artists since he competed on American Idol ten years ago.

“I think so much has changed since then,” Lambert said. “Even though the US is in a very weird place socially and politically, the climate is still very much one of progress; especially in the arts community, especially in music. I see all these queer artists now, who are commercially viable artists, and I think: finally! It’s a really nice thing to see.”

He added that without Idol, he doubted he would have the successful musical career he has.

“Every time I go back [to Idol] a lot of the same people are still there so it’s kind of like going back for a reunion,” he said. “It opened so many doors 10 years ago when being a queer artist in mainstream pop music in the US, it was unheard of. Without Idol I highly doubt I would have been given the opportunities that I have been given.”

Lambert recently announced that his fourth studio album, Velvet, would arrive in two parts, with Side A slated for a September release.