We’ve all heard the track We Are The Champions as that’s one of the most famous Queen songs, which is often used in sporting events around the world. How much do you know about this group? Below, we’re going to test your knowledge with these Queen band facts… do you really know the band?
Freddie Mercury Was Born in East Africa and His Name Was Farrokh
Did you know frontman Freddie Mercury isn’t his real name? His real name is Farrokh Bulsara, and he was born in East Africa on an island called Zanzibar.
Freddie Mercury Moved To the UK And Changed His Name
In 1964, Mercury moved to the UK, and when he did, he changed his name legally to Freddie Mercury.
Queen’s Fan Club Has Gone On The Longest
Queen has had their fan club go on longer than any other band’s fan club in music history, and it’s a record that’s now in the Guinness Book of Records.
Freddie Mercury Came Up With The Name “Queen”
The band name “Queen” was thought of by Mercury, and he wanted the band to be named that because he thought the name sounded powerful and strong. He knew at the time that it would sound “gay” because they are all guys with a band name of Queen, but he wanted to do it anyway.
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Freddie Mercury Loved Cats
Mercury was a huge cat lover, and throughout the years, he had owned multiple cats. It’s widely known how when he was gone on tour, he would call his house and check on the welfare of his kitties. He would even have someone put the phone to the cat’s ear and talk to them.
Queen Easily Got Into The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
It was never a question whether Queen would make it into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. In 2001, the band finally was inducted into the iconic Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, just 10 years after Mercury died. Other musicians inducted that year included Michael Jackson and Aerosmith.
Freddie Mercury Turned Down Broadway
Interestingly, Mercury had a chance to perform at a Broadway show called La Boheme, which also starred Linda Ronstadt. However, he noted that he didn’t think he could sing for a week on one stage because he would be bored.
Queen Has a Walk Of Fame Star
Queen has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, and it was given to the band in 2002, long after Mercury passed away.
One Of Their Famous Songs Was Written In The Bathtub
Crazy Little Thing Called Love was written by Mercury while he was in the bathtub.
Britain Put Freddie Mercury On A Stamp
It was unusual for its time to have someone other than the Queen on the stamps in Britain, but the government decided to put Mercury on a stamp because he was so iconic and loved.
Voted Greatest Band In Music
There was a poll from 1999 that rated Queen the greatest band in music history by the public, which really says something about how much people love them to this day.
They Were Booed in Melbourne
When Queen went to Melbourne, Australia, in 1974, the crowd booed them. It was during the Sunbury Rock Festival and at the time, they weren’t that well known to the crowd. Mercury famously said that when the band came back next time, they would be the greatest band in the world.
Over 300,000 People Were At Their Argentina Show
Queen had more than 300,000 people at their show in Argentina, which set a record for having the biggest crowd in the country out of any band. This just goes to show that they weren’t only popular in Europe or America, but all over the world too. Even more funny was that they couldn’t sing in Spanish either.
Another One Bites The Dust Originally Wasn’t Meant To Be A Single
One of the biggest singles Queen would have was Another One Bites The Dust, but this song wasn’t originally meant to be released as a single. It was Michael Jackson who insisted they release this as a single after he’d heard the performance of the track while backstage at a concert.
Brian May Built His Red Special Guitar
A lot of people don’t know how smart Brian May is and don’t know that he built his own electric guitar. We are talking about Old Lady or Red Special as it’s known. He designed it and built it along with help from his father. When he would tour, he would have a bodyguard for the guitar too.
John Deacon Is An Electronics Engineer
You might know John Deacon as the bass player for Queen, but he’s actually an electronics engineer. He even built a lot of the equipment that the band uses and invented the Deacy Amp.
Brian May Is An Astrophysicist
While Brian May can certainly play guitar and is one of the top guitarists of all time, he actually went to the Imperial College Of London where he obtained his PhD and is an astrophysicist.
Two Famous Queen Videos Were Filmed In The Garden Of Roger Taylor
Roger Taylor had a garden, and it was in this garden that two iconic videos, We Will Rock You and Spread Your Wings were filmed. It was freezing cold at the time of filming, so the red guitar you see Brian May play was a replica as he was too concerned that the cold would damage his actual red guitar.
Queen Stayed On The UK Charts For 26 Years
It’s not a surprise that Queen was a hit in their home country of the UK, but the band managed to do the unthinkable and stay on the UK charts for more than 26 years! There has never been a band or solo musician to pull off such a feat before or after them. When you think of them, their fan base spans generations and new fans are being born every day, and their music is clearly still as loved as the day it was released.
Queen Was Broke While Creating A Night At The Opera
Even though Sheer Heart Attack was a successful album, the band was broke when they were recording A Night At The Opera. In fact, it was so bad that they couldn’t even afford a new drumstick had Roger Taylor broke one. He was told to not bang the drums too hard because of their financial situation.
Queen Named Two Albums After Silent Films
If you’re not a silent movie buff, you might not have noticed that both A Day At The Races and A Night At The Opera are two silent films that were released by the Marx brothers. These movies were released in 1935 and 1937, so their love of film goes way back.
Bohemian Rhapsody Is One Of The Biggest Singles in Britain In Music History
The Brits love Queen as evidenced by the fact that Bohemian Rhapsody is one of the best-selling singles of all time. It is in third place after Do They Know It’s Christmas by Band Aid and Candle In The Wind by Elton John.
Freddie Mercury’s Stand-Free Mic Was an Accident
During one performance in the earlier days of Queen, the microphone stand that Mercury was using broke, and he just used the end of the stand with the microphone to continue the concert. When the show was over, he had an idea to just use that part of the stand, so he could run around the stage, and the stand-free mic was born.
Freddie Mercury Considered Himself To Be Bisexual
While most people think of Mercury as gay, he actually self-identified as a bisexual man. He dated both women and men in his life, although had longer and more relationships with men than women. When he died, he considered himself to be gay at that point in his life.
Freddie Mercury Worried About His Legacy
Before Mercury died on November 24, 1991, he had worried about his legacy and famously told their manager while on his deathbed to do whatever with the music but don’t make him boring. He wanted to make sure that he left a great legacy for his fans and future generations.
Roger Taylor Could Have Joined Genesis
Before Roger Taylor was the drummer for Queen, Genesis wanted him to join their band. Thankfully, he did not accept that offer and would end up the drummer as Queen a short time later.
Freddie Mercury Made Queen’s Emblem
Mercury had a degree in graphic design and art from Ealing Art College, so it made sense that when it came time to design a logo for the band he would be the one to do it. He designed the Queen emblem himself, and we must say, we doubt anyone could have done it any better!
Freddie Mercury Actually Enjoyed Star Wars
In a Queen song titled Bicycle Race, Mercury famously said he didn’t like Star Wars, which is actually not true according to Brian May. He said that the singer did enjoy Star Wars, and instead, wasn’t a fan of bicycling like he claimed in the song.
A Queen Video Was Banned From MTV
One Queen video was too risque for even MTV, which was I Want To Break Free, and it famously had the members of the band wearing drag. The whole video was parodying Coronation Street, a soap opera that aired in Britain, and MTV decided it was all too controversial for its channel.
Over $190 Million Raised Through Queen’s Live Aid Concert
Thanks to Queen putting together the Live Aid concert in 1985, more than $190 million was raised for famine relief. They were one of many bands to perform at that concert, but they stole the show when they performed all of their big hits. It didn’t take long for Live Aid 1985 to be considered the best rock concert ever, and to this day, holds that title.
Roger Taylor Released A Solo Album First
Roger Taylor would be the member of Queen to release a solo album before any of the others, which is surprising to some.
Two Queen Songs Are Global Sports Anthems
You may guess where this is going, when it comes to global sports anthems, Queen’s We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions have reigned as the top sports anthems in the world.
Four Hit Queen Songs Were Written By Roger Taylor
There were four Queen songs that were written by Roger Taylor that were pretty big hits for the band including Radio Ga Ga, The Invisible Man, These Are The Days Of Our Lives, and A Kind of Magic.
Bohemian Rhapsody Is Their Best-Selling Song
It’s not really a shock that Bohemian Rhapsody is their best-selling song of all time, but in second place is We Are The Champions, and then Under Pressure.
Thank God It’s Christmas Wasn’t On An Album
When Queen first released the song Thank God It’s Christmas in 1984, it was not part of an album and was just a standalone single.
Every Band Member Went To College
What’s really cool is that every member of Queen went to college and at least earned an undergraduate degree, which is one of the rarities in the music business.
Brian May Contracted Hepatitis
Early in the days of the band, Brian May contracted hepatitis. It was 1974 when he was diagnosed, and it happened soon after he fell while on tour in America.
They Hated The Interviews Each Other Did
Queen members were not fans of one another doing interviews, and each time one of them would do an interview, the others would say they didn’t like it. Mercury would publicly say he didn’t care for the interviews that the others did, and he knew that they didn’t like his interviews either.
Freddie Mercury Worked At The Airport
We’ve all had odd jobs and monotonous jobs in our lives, and that includes Mercury, who worked at Heathrow Airport in London before Queen as a baggage handler.
Roger Taylor Recorded Sounds Of His Alfa Romeo For a Song
If you’ve listened to the song I’m In Love With My Car, you can hear at the end of the track some revving of a car. Funny enough, he recorded his own Alfa Romeo for this part of the song, which makes sense given he is the one that penned the track.
Freddie Mercury Had Started Bohemian Rhapsody Years Before Finishing It
It was way back in 1968 when Mercury began writing Bohemian Rhapsody, and at the time, he was in school studying art. There wasn’t much he had written at the time and only had the very first line written, and it would be years later before the song would be finished and released as what we know it today.
Brian May’s Wife Inspired a Song
Queen wrote a track called I Want It All, and the inspiration for this song was none other than Brian May’s wife, who was quoted as saying “I want it now.”
Queen’s Last Album With Freddie Mercury Was Made In Heaven
Made In Heaven was the last album to feature Mercury, and this album would not be released until 1995, which is four years after his death.
Freddie Mercury Helped Dress Princess Diana In Drag
Princess Diana and Mercury were together one evening and wanted to go to Vauxhall Tavern, which is a gay bar. So as to not be recognized, she dressed up in sunglasses, a leather cap with her hair in it, and wore an army jacket. No one knew it was her, and she had beer and wine before going back to the palace.
Queen Won Multiple Ivor Novello Awards
The band won multiple Ivor Novello awards, which are incredibly prestigious awards, and won their first one in 1976 for Bohemian Rhapsody for having the Best-Selling British Record. They won again in 1987 as a band for Outstanding Contribution to British Music, while winning for Best-Selling A-Side for These Are The Days Of Our Lives in 1992. The last Ivor Novello award Queen won was in 2005 for Outstanding Song Collection.
Freddie Mercury Only Revealed His AIDS Diagnosis Right Before Death
Mercury kept a lot of his private life private and did not let the public know he was diagnosed with AIDS until the day before he died. He would deny anything was wrong with him before then, even though a lot of people knew something was wrong. His manager, Jim Breach, and Mercury put together a statement on November 22, 1991, and released the next day, which revealed he had AIDS. Just a couple of days later, Mercury died of complications from pneumonia as a result of AIDS.
He Kept His AIDS Diagnosis Quiet To Protect Others
In the statement Mercury released before his death, he said that he did not come forward about his diagnosis sooner in an effort to protect those around him and their privacy. Some people believed if he had gone public sooner, he could have been a spokesman but that isn’t what he was interested in doing.
Elton John Was Not a Fan Of Bohemian Rhapsody
Elton John famously said that Bohemian Rhapsody was not a good tune, and he did not like it because he said it was just weird and way too bizarre for radio play. He shared this tidbit of information in, Me, which is his autobiography.
Paul Rodgers Fronted Queen For a Bit
Years after Mercury died, Paul Rodgers became the frontman of Queen for a little while, although it was primarily for a tour in 2005. During this tour, the band was known as Queen + Paul Rodgers.
Freddie Mercury Had Above Average Vocal Cords
Interestingly, in 2016, a group of scientists studied Mercury’s vocal cords and found that his vibrato was 7.04 Hz, which is above the average of between 5.4 Hz and 6.9 Hz. This meant that his vocal cords were moving quicker than the average person, which is why he could sing as high and loud as he did.
Queen Is In The Songwriters Hall Of Fame
In 2003, Queen was inducted into the Songwriters Hall Of Fame, and they were put in as a whole group instead of one individual person, and this was the first time that had happened.
Queen Was Inducted Into VH1 Rock Honors
The first band to ever be inducted into the VH1 Rock Honors was Queen, which occurred in 2006.
Bohemian Rhapsody Is In The Grammy Hall Of Fame
It shouldn’t come as a surprise that Bohemian Rhapsody won multiple awards and is their signature song, which is why in 2004, it was put into the Grammy Hall Of Fame.
Queen Is In The UK Music Hall Of Fame
Queen is also in the UK Music Hall Of Fame and was inducted in 2004. This makes sense given how popular they were in their home country of Britain.
Freddie Mercury Was In A School Band
When Mercury lived in India where he went to boarding school, he joined a band in school that was named The Hectics.
Sheer Heart Attack Struck Gold
Sheer Heart Attack, which was the third album that Queen had released, would quickly go to Gold in the US.
Queen Won Several Brit Awards
Queen won several Brit Awards through the years while Mercury was alive, and the first time they won was in 1977 for Bohemian Rhapsody in the category British Single Of The Year. They would win again in 1990 for Outstanding Contribution To Music, and These Are The Days Of Our Lives won in 1992 for British Single Of The Year. Also in 1992, Mercury won a Brit Award specifically for his Outstanding Contribution To Music.
Adam Lambert Now Fronts Queen
Adam Lambert is the new lead singer for Queen, and he is famously known as a huge fan of the group and is also a flamboyant man similar to Mercury. While Mercury can never be replaced, Lambert has been amazing in his role as the frontman of the band.
From the time she was little, Florence loved listening to music and quickly learned how music can make you happy and feel fulfilled. One of her favorite memories is being in the garage with her dad working on classic cars with the local rock station blaring in the background. Ever since Florence was 3, she loved grunge music and spent hours listening to bands such as Alice in Chains, Mad Season, Soul Asylum, and Soundgarden.
She also enjoys classic rock, modern rock, nu metal, alternative rock, and old 90’s R&B. Her love of music grew as she got older, and used music to help her get through tough times in her life. More often than not, you’ll see Florence with earbuds in while she’s writing, cooking, cleaning, and doing other tasks. She also loves to debate music with her friends such as which lead singer is the best vocalist, the most iconic guitar solos in music, and what songs are really the best of the decade.