Queen + Paul Rodgers
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In November 2004, the first annual UK Music Hall Of Fame induction ceremony took place and as "Queen" was inducted, surviving active members Brian May and Roger Taylor (without bassist John Deacon who retired from the music business in 1997) play the band's double A-side hits, "We Will Rock You" and "We Are The Champions", complete with former "Free" and "Bad Company" frontman Paul Rodgers. They closed the show with Free's classic, "All Right Now", with help from the group "the Polyphonic Spree". This performance hinted at the possibility of the return of rock's regal performers after an 18 year hiatus.Read More...
By January of 2005, Roger Taylor admitted to German television that they would be touring Europe in the spring and summer of that year, under the name of "Queen + Paul Rodgers". The full line up included original "Queen" members May (guitar, vocals) and Taylor (drums, vocals) as well as former "The Pretenders" and "Brian May Band" member Jamie Moses (guitar, vocals), former "Blue Oyster Cult" bassist Danny Miranda (bass, vocals), Queen's 1986 tour keyboard player Spike Edney (keyboards, vocals) and Paul Rodgers (vocals, occasional guitar). Over the course of 2005, the band played in over a dozen European countries as well as the Aruba Festival, 4 dates in Japan, 2 shows in the U.S.A., and 1 show in South Africa The band embarked upon a large scale tour of Northern America during Spring 2006, hitting 22 venues in the U.S.A. and 2 in Canada.
Some controversy was caused within the "Queen" fan base over the use of the name. There was concern over the fact that Queen's legendary front man, Freddie Mercury, was seemingly being replaced. However, each band member has said this is not the case: Rodgers could never replace Freddie Mercury but brought his own talents to the band. Furthermore, the fact that retired former "Queen" bassist John Deacon was also missing caused some discontent. Yet despite this, by and large "Queen" fans were won over by the band's blues-tinted renditions of "Queen" classics. Additionally, Paul Rodgers' fans were happy with the inclusion of several Free and Bad Company anthems on the set list, providing super-powered versions of tunes such as "All Right Now" and "Can't Get Enough".
After the end of the Return of the Champions Tour, the band set out to and completed their first and heretofore only album The Cosmos Rocks which debuted to warm reviews by fans in September 2008. Consequently the band toured again in late 2008 throughout Europe, Asia, and South America to promote the album. The Rock the Cosmos Tour in all was seen by nearly 1 million people in almost two dozen nations. The tour was highlighted by its first performance, recorded for DVD and CD, where the band played before over 350,000 fans in Freedom Square, Kharkiv, Ukraine. Said show was in fact put together at the last moment to benefit HIV/AIDS awareness.
On 14th May 2009, Paul Rodgers announced that his collaboration with the surviving active members of "Queen" was at and end, and that the "Queen + Paul Rodgers" project was being placed on indefinite hiatus. While, the band members did not rule out working together again, each sought to pursue solo projects, or in the case of Paul Rodgers, a reunion with Bad Company. The band has not gotten back together since, but Rodgers has stated that he's open to the idea of doing more, specially for charity.