Queen’s Brian May comes to Adam Lambert’s defense: ‘He’s not an imitator’

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As Queen prepares to perform 25 shows in 10 countries across the UK and Europe in early 2015, Brian May continues to frame Adam Lambert’s contributions as a stand in for the late Freddie Mercury.

“Adam is beautifully confident,” May tells Nik Carter, “but he’s never arrogant. He’s always respectful. He’s always looking for the right way to do things. He brings himself to it, that’s all I can say. He’s not an imitator. He doesn’t need to pretend to be Freddie, in any sense whatsoever.”

Lambert first performed with May and Roger Taylor, the remaining members of Queen, in 2009 as part of the finale for American Idol. They regrouped for a short tour in 2012, then began a lengthier run through the U.S. and into Asia after performing at the iHeart Radio Festival in September 2013.

By the time Queen takes the stage for the 2015 concerts, the group’s association with Lambert will have outlasted his predecessor Paul Rodgers — who took over for Mercury between 2004-09. Founding bassist John Deacon has retired. Mercury died in 1991 from complications related a battle with AIDS.

“I don’t know if it’s a marriage,” May adds, “but it’s a very good affair.”

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