The world was shocked when singer, songwriter and openly gay “American Idol” hopeful Keith London dared to be courageous enough to sing “If I Were a Boy” by Beyoncé, defying middle America by not changing the words. 

Several years later, London is set to go on tour and will be releasing his debut album. On February 15, he will hit New York City, where he will showcase an intimate performance.

I had the pleasure of speaking with London in the midst of his softball tournament in Las Vegas. I found him very gentle and sweet. This boy is filled with talent and humility. I strongly suggest that you check him out!

So Keith, you’re in Vegas playing softball?
Yeah, it’s a big gay sports event: kickball, softball, soccer, baseball, everything.

What is this called?
Sin City Shootout.

Softball, huh? What position do you play?

What have you been doing with life after “Idol”?
Just trying to take it to the next step. I’m working on some original stuff, putting together a tour and an album, which will hopefully come out later this year.

You have a really beautiful, magical voice. I they should not have cut you.
It was tough. I felt like I was a saver to be honest. Once I came out I think it kind of messed up my chance, because it’s all typecasting of you. I was a boy from the street, the boy next door.

And then you weren’t.
My whole point in doing what I did was to show that there are all different types of gays in the world. I wanted to give the stereotype a different look. I’m just an ordinary guy, I’m a singer, and I just happen to be gay.

But Adam Lambert was on there, right?
He came out after, and didn’t really do any stuff on the show. He came out after the voting, so that middle America wouldn’t not vote for him because he was gay. I should have waited a little bit longer.

The difference was everyone knew Adam Lambert was gay, and they didn’t know you were.
Yeah, I guess that’s kind of true.

So let’s talk about your tour. I know you’re playing in New York.
I will be going to five or six cities. Things are still getting finalized, but I’ll be in New York February 15 at The Rockwood Music Hall at 10 p.m. (

You’re doing some original stuff?
Yeah, but mostly my favorite covers, then I’m going to do a couple of originals. This is for the Instagram followers and the fans that I have throughout the country, to get in front of them so they could see me. Then I have a couple of friends who were not televised, but they also tried out for “Idol” with me and made it past a couple of rounds. They will also be performing with me. Sixty tickets are being sold, and it’s going to be a lot of fun.

The judges on “Idol” said that they were distracted when you did Beyoncé. What were your feelings? Were you pissed?
I had three months to prepare beforehand. I tried out in Boston in September, and Hollywood week was in December. My friends all told me that that song was the one I had the most passion behind. When I was singing it, I didn’t know they were talking throughout the whole song, because I was so focused on giving it the best I can, and focusing on me to sing it right, to sing it good. Last year the winner sang “When I Was Your Man,” and she was a girl. You can’t really change the lyrics like that, because of copyright and all. It gets technical. If I changed up the words, they couldn’t air it. The whole thing about being on a TV show is so that you could be televised. I didn’t think people would make such a big deal about it, but it was a bigger deal. I was just singing the song, and it kind of got looked at like, “Well, this is crazy. Why is he singing that?” It’s a song. Listen to my voice, listen to the performance. Don’t get caught up in he/she things.

You had to have a little courage to do that though.

Keith, are you shy?
It’s been two years since the show, so Ive definitely gotten more out of my shell. It’s scary being there in Hollywood. I’ve stepped it up. I’m a little less shy; I’m humble, I don’t want to be “that guy,” “I’m the best out there.” I’m just me. I’m humble and quiet, but I know how to have fun.

Do you have a favorite artist?
David Archuleta really inspired me. I love Adele of course, Katy Perry. Those are my favorite artists.

What do you do when you’re not singing?
I’m living in San Diego, trying to network. I love to travel. So I’m just doing that.

You’re a new addition to a crayon box. What color are you?
I love red. I’ll go with crimson.

If you could perform anywhere in the world, where would you choose?
I would love to go to Italy.

Why did you decide that you wanted to sing?
Music touches me emotionally. People really connect with music. It’s a universal language, and you don’t have to understand it to feel the passion behind it.

Looking back, would you have tried out for “Idol” again?
Yeah, yeah. It was such a good start for a career. It’s the fast, easy way, but it’s a phenomenon. When you’re seen on TV you get a big fan base, and people buying your music. It’s a good way to go.

Where do you see yourself being in 10 years?
Hopefully selling out shows around the country. I’m not here to be super famous, I just want to be comfortable, and I want to be able to live life happily.

Do you have a boyfriend?
I do not.

Do you want one? I mean, I’ll put it out there.
Yeah, I want a husbear. I like the bears.


instagram: keith_london
Twitter: @keithlondon_


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Eileen Shapiro
Best selling author of "The Star Trek Medical Reference Manual", and feature celebrity correspondent for Get Out Magazine, Louder Than War, and Huffington Post contributor, I've interviewed artists from Adam Ant, Cyndi Lauper, and Annie Lennox to Jennifer Hudson, Rick Springfield, LeAnn Rimes, and thousands in between. My interviews challenge the threat of imagination....