The classic-rock band Queen, whose inimitable lead singer, Freddie Mercury, died in 1991, will be coming to Denver's Pepsi Center. Pop sensation Adam Lambert will be acting as lead singer, which he has done for several years. Westword, which misses Mercury terribly, likes Lambert, but wrote that he is "no Freddie Mercury" in the headline of the concert announcement. Queen fans lined up to defend the band's latest configuration and blasted us for taking a cheap shot.
Kyle, appreciate your writing this piece covering the just-announced Queen + Adam Lambert North American Tour. But just need to clarify one point. You wrote:
"Queen's original lead singer, who died in 1991, will be replaced by pop star Adam Lambert..."
You make it sound as if this is something new. No. Adam has been performing with Queen as their lead singer since 2011, which has included several big tours all over the world since 2014, including a previous North American tour. And, as far as the fact that he "is no Freddie Mercury," he himself agrees:
"There's never going to be another, and I'm not replacing him. That's not what I'm doing. I'm trying to keep the memory alive, and remind people how amazing he was, without imitating him. I'm trying to share with the audience how much he inspired me."
Claude chimed in:
He happens to have a better voice than Freddie who I adored.
Of all the stories that I have read that deliberately gets the idea of "X as Freddie Mercury's replacement" willfully wrong, this short news bit has to be the lamest of all time. Repeat after me: Adam Lambert is not the replacement singer. If he was, he'd not get billing. It would just be "Queen," the same as Journey and Styx and Foreigner and any number of acts that have replacement singers. No, this is billed as Queen + Adam Lambert, the same as back in 2005 when it was Queen + Paul Rodgers. Here's a band attempting truth in advertising as well as admitting their singer is sui generis, and still this piece uses a simple concert announcement as occasion to get all snarky. Methinks you didn't like the band in the first place anyway. But that's just a hunch.
Too bad we can never read new things about Queen without the shots at Lambert.
El took a different position:
It's not Queen without Freddie Mercury, just like The Greatful Dead isn't The Dead without Jerry Garcia. Sure, Lambert is good, but he's no Freddie Mercury! "Under Pressure" requires both Mercury and Bowie to sound right, so I don't want to hear any new versions of it. Even Annie Lennox is a poor substitute.
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Adam Lambert has been Queen's lead singer for years now, chosen and endorsed by Queen, adored by those who have heard him sing, not a stand-in nor an imitation, but a true original without whom no one would be able to hear Queen's catalog live ever again. So stop already with the cheap shots and comparisons. Adam is Adam, and he is absolutely brilliant!
Let us know what you think about Lambert as the storied band's latest frontman. Read our Queen concert announcement here.