Roger Taylor quashes rumours that George Michael was slated to replace Freddie Mercury

The Queen Drummer says he wouldn’t have suited the role.

George Michael and Queen

Image: Mick Hutson / Getty

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Queen drummer Roger Taylor has dismissed rumours that George Michael was originally slated to replace Freddie Mercury following his death in 1991.

The rumours began when Michael fronted the Queen for three songs during 1992’s Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert at Wembley Stadium. While the prospect never materialised, Taylor has insisted that Michael was never offered the gig and wouldn’t have suited the group as a long-term replacement.

Speaking to Classic Rock, Taylor said “I remember hearing the rumours but it wouldn’t have suited us. George wasn’t really used to working with a live band. When he heard the power he had behind him in rehearsal, he couldn’t believe it. He thought he was on Concorde or something,” he said.

The band instead joined forces with Bad Company’s Paul Rodgers, who provided vocals for Queen between 2004 to 2009.

The group then selected Adam Lambert in 2011, who remains their current live vocalist.

Brian May and Taylor have also recently said that Queen tried recording new material with Lambert while on tour, but didn’t finish a song. But, the possibility of a new Adam Lambert-fronted Queen record remains open: “It would be nice to do some stuff. I wouldn’t rule it out. Adam has said, ‘Anytime you want me to sing on something…’ If the other two decide, ‘let’s do something’, I’d be there.”

Lambert began singing with Queen in 2011. So far, the Queen and Adam Lambert project has been a live one entirely, aside from a version of We Are The Champions, reworked to You Are The Champions in honour of essential workers and released in aid of the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

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