First Led Zeppelin Cover In American Idol History

Until American Idol Season 8 Top 4 round on May 5, 2009, no permission had been given to a contestant to cover a Led Zeppelin song. In fact, Adam had prepared an Aerosmith cover for the Rock-themed round. But then he received a last-minute permission to perform "Whole Lotta Love" instead. He went first.


Everyone at the judges table loved it. Simon Cowell: "...It was, actually, one of my favorite performances you've ever done. The only problem is... nobody can top that now."


Not only did Adam perform "Whole Lotta Love" as the opening number of his "American Idol Live" tour set, he ended up reimagining it for one of his first live concerts - the now legendary "Fantasy Springs" show on February 27, 2010. According to his speech at the end of the song, he came up with the new arrangement while driving to the concert venue, and the band basically did it live without rehearsals. Watch the multi-camera fan edit below:

Spike Edney, QUEEN's keyboard player since 1984, revealed in the documentary "The Show Must Go On - The QUEEN + Adam Lambert Story" that he saw the AI performance of the song on TV. He called the band to inform them of what he had witnessed, arguably setting the wheels in motion for the QUEEN + Adam Lambert collaboration. We now track a related Full Circle Moment as the song made its way into a QAL show on February 10, 2020 in Dunedin, New Zealand.