Happy Birthday, Adam Lambert: Wake-Up Video

They say second place is the first loser (“they” being thick-necked high school lacrosse players), but coming up short has worked out pretty well for Adam Lambert, who celebrates his birthday today. The 28-year-old singer from San Diego, California stormed the eighth season of “American Idol” and wowed fans with his combination of Broadway belting and glam rock sensibilities.

Since falling just shy of an “Idol” victory to the deserving Kris Allen, Lambert has kept his profile high. He released his debut album For Your Entertainment, came out on the cover of Rolling Stone, dropped at least one amazing video (for the “2012″ soundtrack song “Time for Miracles”) and delivered a performance at the American Music Awards that got censors (and the ABC network) all hot and bothered.

As MTV News “American Idol” expert Jim Cantiello has pointed out in the past, the “Idol”-related albums from the show’s season eight contestants were remarkably solid (including those by Allen and Allison Iraheta), and Lambert’s For Your Entertainment may be the best of all of them. It’s full of rock riffs, futuristic pop, nods to glam and some top-shelf collaborators, including Lady Gaga, Justin Hawkins of the Darkness, Weezer’s Rivers Cuomo, Linda Perry and Pink. The latter provided Lambert with his current single “Whataya Want from Me,” a bouncy, melody-heavy tune that shows off the dynamic range of Lambert’s voice while also straddling his pure pop and heavy rock sensibilities. The video, which was directed by Diane Martel (Britney Spears’ “3,” the White Stripes’ “Conquest,” Justin Timberlake’s “Like I Love You”), also happens to be one of the best clips ever produced by a former “Idol” contestant.

show|null|video|471100

What would you get Adam Lambert for his birthday? Leave your ideas in the comments!