As lead guitarist for the British band Queen, Brian May, OBE, helped to establish their penchant for highly theatrical but always hard-driving rock that made them one of the most popular groups of the 1970s and 1980s. In addition to providing Queen with an astonishing sonic array of styles and sounds with his one-of-a-kind, handmade "Red Special" guitar, May also wrote many of their most enduring anthems, including "We Will Rock You," "I Want It All" and "Tie Your Mother Down," while also creating ornate arrangements and orchestrations that bridged the gap between rock-n-roll, classical composition and opera. When Queen called it quits after the tragic death of lead singer Freddie Mercury in 1992, May released two modestly received solo albums in 1993 and 1998, while also recording music for television and film. But Queen remained his best-loved progeny, and he returned to the group with bassist and close friend Roger Taylor and new singer Paul Rodgers in 2004, which drew huge audiences to their world tour. After bringing that edition of the group to a close in 2009, May focused his attention on collaborations with newer performers like Lady Gaga and Adam Lambert, while also completing a doctorate in astrophysics he began in 1972 before rock stardom beckoned. Throughout his four-decade career in music, May remained a hugely influential figure on generations of performers, including Foo Fighters and Smashing Pumpkins' Billy Corgan, while his body of work with Queen remained one of the highlights of '70s-era arena rock.