When Queen’s famous frontman Freddie Mercury died in 1991, fans were saddened. While many bands, such as Led Zeppelin and Nirvana, disband after a key member dies, Queen wanted to continue. Nobody could ever replace Mercury, but some admirers had suggestions. Many fans suggested George Michael, but while the singer did perform with Queen, he never became a member of the band. Many people were impressed by George Michael’s performance with Queen. George Michael played three songs during Mercury’s tribute performance in 1992: “These Are the Days of Our Lives,” “39,” and “Somebody to Love.” The concert was a star-studded affair, and Michael’s performance with the renowned band wowed many fans. Rumors at the time stated that Queen might invite Michael to join the band as their permanent frontman. After the show, guitarist Brian May said it was a “thrill” to work with Michael, and it’s no surprise that he nailed it.
“Without any kind of falseness, he was one of the great surprises to most people of the evening, I know,” May told Express. “It didn’t surprise me because I knew he was capable.” I knew he was capable of it. In addition to his incredible delicacy — amazing control, great dynamics — he possesses enormous force. And we were like, ‘Whoa.’ from the time he walked into the practice room and started doing Somebody to Love. In most people’s opinion, he came the closest to Freddie himself.” Michael, according to Roger Taylor, ‘wasn’t acceptable’ for Queen.
While fans would have loved to see George Michael perform with Queen, the band was not keen on the idea. Queen drummer Roger Taylor told Classic Rock magazine that he had heard the stories but didn’t think Michael would have been a suitable fit. “I recall hearing rumors. But it wouldn’t have worked for us. “George wasn’t used to working with a live band,” he admitted. “He couldn’t believe it when he heard the power he had behind him in rehearsal. He mistook himself for a Concorde or something.” Another argument is that Michael would have been foolish to abandon his wildly successful solo career. He had numerous singles with both Wham! and on his own. Songs like “Freedom,” “Faith,” and “Father Figure” catapulted him to the top of the charts in the 1980s and early 1990s. While the relationship between Queen and Michael did not work out, the band did find a suitable replacement in Adam Lambert, who is still with the band today. Michael will be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame alongside Mercury.
While George Michael did not become Queen’s frontman, he has joined Mercury and Queen in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The class of 2023 was recently revealed by the organization, and it includes Michael, Willie Nelson, Sheryl Crow, Missy Elliott, Kate Bush, and Rage Against the Machine. Michael garnered over one million votes in the fan poll to be inducted into the Hall of Fame. The ceremony will take place on November 3, 2023, at the Barclays Center in Brooklyn, New York.