Queen was formed in London in 1970 and originally consisted of Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon, and Roger Taylor. Before joining Queen, Brian May and Roger Taylor had been playing together in a band named Smile with bassist Tim Staffell. After Staffell’s departure in 1970, Mercury joined the band and John Deacon was recruited prior to recording their eponymous debut album in 1973. Queen enjoyed success in the U.K. with their debut and its follow-up, Queen II in 1974, but it was the release of Sheer Heart Attack later in 1974 and A Night at the Opera in 1975 that gained the band international success. The latter featured “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which stayed at number one in the U.K. Singles Chart for nine weeks, charted at number one in several other territories, and gave the band their first top ten hit on the U.S. Billboard Hot 100. Their 1977 album, News of the World, contained two of rock’s most recognizable anthems, “We Will Rock You” and “We Are the Champions.” By the early 1980s, Queen were one of the biggest stadium rock bands in the world, with “Another One Bites the Dust” their best selling single, and their performance at 1985’s Live Aid regarded as one of the greatest in rock history. In 1991, Mercury died of bronchopneumonia, a complication of AIDS, and Deacon retired in 1997. Since then, May and Taylor have occasionally performed together, including collaborations with Paul Rodgers (2004–09) and with Adam Lambert (since 2011).
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