Ambiguously Gay Idols

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Michael Becker, American Idol 2009 / Getty Images for Fox

Michael Becker, American Idol 2009 / Getty Images for Fox

Adam Lambert

Teenyboppers are wild for the all-glammed-out Lambert, whose performance of "Mad World" was a highlight of the American Idol season-if not the entire series. When, earlier this season, photos surfaced of him kissing other men, Lambert replied, "I have nothing to hide. I am who I am."

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Elton John

In 1976, the piano man announced he was bisexual (très scandalous for the time!) and then married a woman in 1984. They divorced just four years later and the Grammy Award winner later announced he was gay. He and his longtime partner, David Furnish, had a civil ceremony in 2005 when same-sex unions were allowed in England.

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The diva famously showed off her Sapphic side in her aptly titled book of photographs, Sex, in 1992. More recently, Jenny Shimizu, a lesbian model, said in a tell-all book that she had a torrid affair with the material girl while she was also sleeping with Angelina Jolie.

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David Bowie

The master of sexual ambiguity posed in a dress for the cover of his 1970 album The Man Who Sold the World and announced he was gay in 1972. He's now married to former supermodel Iman, with whom he has a daughter.

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Robbie Williams

The former boy band member has always been coy about his sexual orientation-perhaps because so many of his fans are gay. But in 2005, the pants-averse Williams won libel damages from several newspapers and magazines that claimed he was secretly gay and had trysts with men in club bathrooms. "Mr. Williams is not and never has been homosexual," his lawyer wrote. So that's settled.

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Katy Perry

Perry's hit song "I Kissed a Girl" glamorized casual high school experimentation-in an effort to tantalize a boyfriend, she ends up revealing her interest in becoming a "switch hitter." Her other hit, "Ur So Gay" was not praised as much for its less-accepting tone.

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Ricky Martin

The Puerto Rican star who gifted "Livin' La Vida Loca" to the world always had rumors swirling about his sexuality, but ducked the question while in the public eye. In late 2007 the tabloids were atwitter when his Swedish skin care specialist said in an interview that Martin was gay. Sadly, his pleather pants have now been hung up, as he takes on a new role as father to twin boys, born via a surrogate mother.

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George Michael

Early in his career, George Michael teamed up with fellow pop singer Andrew Ridgeley to form Wham! and create such '80s hits as "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" and "Careless Whisper." He had a high-profile relationship with Brooke Shields during this era. It wasn't until after his solo career was in decline in the late '90s that he was forced to come out after being busted for soliciting sex from an undercover police officer in an L.A. bathroom.

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The notoriously flamboyant singer and pianist long denied he was homosexual and even won two libel suits against newspapers alleging he was gay.

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Joan Jett

The "I Love Rock N' Roll" singer has always projected a tough-girl image that set the rumor mill churning. Though she has never addressed her sexuality publicly, she has been an outspoken advocate of gay rights.

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Michael Jackson

The King of Pop's bizarre personal life goes way beyond sexual ambiguity. However, in the grand scheme of his career, Jackson's sexuality is but one question on the long list of mysteries surrounding the mega-star.

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The Black Eyed Peas singer is famous for talking up her "humps" and has been very open about her past sexual experiences. Although she's married to actor Josh Duhamel-and is frequently seen cavorting around L.A. with him-she told The Sun, "Put it this way, I've experimented definitely, but I have never had a steady girlfriend."

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Clay Aiken

Before Adam, Clay was the original American Idol alum dogged by rumors about his sexuality. The second season runner-up told Rolling Stone in 2003, "One thing I've found of people in the public eye, either you're a womanizer or you've got to be gay. Since I'm neither one of those, people are completely concerned about me." Five years later, after announcing he fathered a child with his female friend and producer, Aiken announced he was gay on the cover of People magazine, saying he had "no more secrets."