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Queen now fronted by American Idol also-ran

Queen guitarist Brian May seems to have a hotline to the spirit of the late Freddie Mercury. May insists that Mercury would approve of the decision to hire American Idol runner-up Adam Lambert to sing the Queen classics at some lucrative gigs in the summer.

Notably the band will headline the Sonicsphere festival at Knebworth, on July 6-8, with acts including Kiss, Fath No More, Evanescence and The Darkness. May reports that the reaction from Queen fans has been positive.

"Judging by my incoming mail, this decision will make a lot of people very happy," May said. "It's a worthy challenge for us, and I'm sure Adam would meet with Freddie's approval! And what better place to revisit, and walk those emotional paths than Knebworth? It will be a rush."

Lambert is careful to be respectful towards the legendary frontman. "I'm completely in awe of the Queen phenomenon," he said. "I'm honoured to be able to pay my respects to Freddie's memory. He's a personal hero of mine and I am deeply grateful for the chance to sing such powerful music for fans of this legendary band. I know the evening will be a huge milestone for me, and with the support of Brian, Roger and the rest of the band I know magic will be on display."

Queen’s previous attempts to find a Mercury substitute, in former Free and Bad Company vocalist Paul Rodgers, met with mixed reviews, but it seems that the urge to perform more money-spinning gigs is irresistible.

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