“Same Love,” different meanings

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First Posted: 9/29/2014

Mary Lambert opened 2014 with a performance for the ages at The 54th Annual GRAMMY Awards. Joined on stage by Macklemore, Ryan Lewis, and Madonna, the singer/songwriter belted out the hook of the anthemic “Same Love.” While 33 couples, straight and gay, were married inside the Staples Center.

“It was one of the most amazing days of my life,” Lambert said in an interview on “Ralphie Tonight,” before recalling rehearsals for the performance that happened the day before the show. “I cried collectively for six hours, because I was feeling the palpable emotion and how much this performance was going to mean to people.”

Lambert woke up on the day of The Grammys with a clear vision of what she needed to do on stage. But unbeknownst to her, the couples were brought out during the group’s last dress rehearsal. As soon as she saw the people that would be exchanging vows during the historic televised performance, the singer lost control of her emotions again.

“But then Madonna comes over and she’s got her cut-off leather gloves on, and she wipes the tears off of my face,” Lambert said. She may have been joking at this point but it’s a story we want to believe anyways. “She was like, ‘Are you ok?’ and I was like, ‘I’m assessing the situation, Miss Donna.’ She’s like, ‘Please stop calling me that.’”

It is moments like that, along with personal experiences such as finding love that shaped the writing process for Lambert’s debut album. Heart On My Sleeve will be released on Capitol Records October 14. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis do not appear on the LP, but the Grammy-winning duo certainly played a role not just in Lambert’s discovery but in her dealings with a major record label.

“We talked at length about me going to a major label,” she recalled. “There were a lot of things that I was going through where Macklemore was like, ‘I don’t know what that experience is like. I don’t know what to tell you.’”

What Lambert did learn came mostly from her time on the road with Macklemore and Lewis.

“The one thing I’ve noticed, the difference between being on a major label and being independent is the amount of work they individually do,” she said. “I remember being like, ‘That’s so great! I don’t think I want to do that much work.’”

So instead, Lambert makes “big picture decisions” while insisting that she hasn’t had to “sell her soul.” “Same Love” broke down walls and stereotypes both in society and on the radio, and it seems that the idea of breaking the norm is a constant theme in the artist’s life.

“My breakout song, being a gay rights anthem, already sets me up for being like, ‘I know exactly what I’m doing. If you want to help me, you can come along on this trip and let me drive my own ship.’ And that’s kind of what it’s been like.”