Adam Lambert has ''always'' been open about his sexuality.

The 36-year-old musician rose to fame after finishing as runner-up on 'American Idol' in 2009, and whilst didn't publicly come out as gay until after the talent show had finished, he has insisted he has been ''very loudly'' open about his sexuality from the age of 18.

He said: ''I have been gay and out of the closet - very loudly so - since I was 18 and I wasn't in the closet on ['American Idol'] or around anyone. It wasn't until the show was wrapping up that I realised everyone wanted me to come out, but I was already out! I've always been out. It was just never talked about because it had no baring of what I was doing on stage. It's not like it was a big surprise with my outfits or my looks or my song choices, you know?

''I always think to myself that if I had been in a serious relationship at the time and my partner had been in the audience then it probably would have come up. Or if Ryan Seacrest had asked me about my dream man I probably would have answered his question, but it just never came up!''

The singer - who joined rock band Queen to form Queen + Adam Lambert in 2011 - admits he only chose to come out after the show because he realised that ''publicly declaring'' his sexuality would help give his fans the courage to come out themselves.

He added: ''By the time the show ended, I had all these interviews lined up and I was an open book, but it was interesting because people said 'Oh, but you didn't come out' and I was like 'But I was out'.

''I was just learning the responsibility of celebrity at that point and hadn't quite wrapped my head around the idea that if not publicly declared, it couldn't help others!''

Adam also notes that he has been fairly lucky to have avoided ''homophobia'' in the music industry, and praised the direction that ''proud'' new artists are taking.

Speaking to Wonderland magazine, he said: ''I think there definitely was more of an element in the business [back in 2009]. I didn't find that the people I was dealing with were actually homophobic, but I definitely think they were a little bit worried about 'how are we going to sell this artist to the masses?'

''A lot of things were taboo and I got some backlash. It was interesting. But now it's nine years later and I'm seeing different pop acts come up that are so proud about their sexuality and it doesn't even seem like it's a big thing anymore! We're moving to the other side of it, where it's the way it always should have been.''