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Following the 1991 tragic death of Freddie Mercury, undoubtedly one of the greatest showman of all time, it seemed unthinkable that the remaining members of Queen would even consider trying to find someone capable of filling his massive platform boots. And yet from one-off performances with Elton John and George Michael to a string of dates with American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert to a world tour and album with Paul Rodgers, Brian May and Roger Taylor have continued to showcase the band’s iconic back catalogue with various different replacements. With fun.’s Nate Ruess the latest frontman to appear alongside the rock legends at last weekend’s iHeartRadio Festival, here’s a look at five other potential candidates who embody the spirit of The Great Pretender.
Say what you like about the former Take That star but he sure knows how to work a crowd. Williams has already been in the studio with Queen having recorded a cover of “We Are The Champions” for A Knight’s Tale and reportedly came close to fronting their 2005 reunion tour. But he’s yet to make that giant leap and join them on stage.
Mika even referenced Mercury directly in his 2007 breakthrough hit, “Grace Kelly.” And although his star has diminished considerably since, his natural flamboyance and piercing falsetto still makes him a credible contender.
Another name who was touted in the press before Queen settled on Rodgers, Justin Hawkins channelled the bluster and pomp of the band’s ’70s era perfectly with The Darkness’ debut album, Permission To Land. A virtuoso guitarist, the catsuit-clad rocker could also offer some neat interplay with May.
A leftfield choice which would no doubt enrage Queen’s loyal fan base, the former Mr. Katy Perry may be best-known for his witty dictionary-swallowing way with words. But his roles in Get Me To The Greek and Forgetting Sarah Marshall, not to mention his London Olympics Closing Ceremony performance, proved he’s got what it takes to be a rock star.
The least known but possibly most obvious choice to do their classic hits justice, Marc Martel was personally chosen by Taylor to front the officially-sanctioned covers band for the recent Queen Extravaganza Tour following a YouTube-uploaded audition which displayed a highly impressive uncanny vocal resemblance to his idol.