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Biographic

By Steve McGarry
12,912
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Jul 6, 2014
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Biographic
Steve McGarry

Queen

Queen formed in London in 1970 when Zanzibar-born art student Farrokh Bulsara teamed up with guitarist Brian May, who was studying post-graduate astronomy, and dentistry student Roger Taylor on drums.  Vocalist Bulsara adopted the stage name Freddie Mercury and the lineup was subsequently completed by the addition of science student John Deacon on bass.

By the mid-1970s, thanks to hits such as "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "We are the Champions," Queen was one of the biggest bands in the world.  In 1980, the group topped the U.S. charts twice with the singles "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" and "Another One Bites the Dust" and sold out three straight nights at Madison Square Garden.

A 1984 concert tour to Sun City in South Africa during a cultural and economic boycott to protest apartheid earned the band wide condemnation, including being blacklisted by the U.N.  However, the following year a triumphant appearance at Live Aid was followed by a massive surge in back catalog sales and a hugely successful European tour. 

But as the decade wore on, Freddie's increasingly gaunt appearance in photos and videos fed rumors and media speculation about his health.  On November 24, 1991, the 45-year-old superstar succumbed to complications arising from AIDS and died at his London home.

Yet the music lived on, and has remained a staple of countless movie and TV soundtracks, and many of today's top bands cite Queen as a major influence.

Although John Deacon chose to retire in 1997, Roger Taylor and Brian May have periodically performed together as Queen, collaborating with a number of vocalists.

This summer, with "American Idol" discovery Adam Lambert on vocals, Queen can again be found rocking the arenas of North America.
Jul 20, 2014
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