Queen's Roger Taylor responds to rumours George Michael turned down replacing Freddie Mercury

24 February 2021, 14:26

George Michael performed with Queen at Freddie Mercury's tribute concert in 1992
George Michael performed with Queen at Freddie Mercury's tribute concert in 1992. Picture: Getty/Eagle Rock

By Tom Eames

George Michael famously joined Queen for Freddie Mercury's tribute concert in 1992, but was his appearance so good that he almost replaced the late frontman in the band?

Queen drummer Roger Taylor has now spoken about the longtime rumours that George Michael had turned down the offer to become the band’s new frontman after Freddie Mercury‘s death in 1991.

George joined the group for three songs during 1992’s Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert at Wembley Stadium, including a powerful performance of 'Somebody to Love', leading to rumours that he would sign up full time.

Read more: Queen, David Bowie and Annie Lennox's powerful 'Under Pressure' performance in tribute to Freddie Mercury

However, Roger Taylor has now said that George was never offered the job, and that he wouldn’t have suited the group.

George Michael with Queen
George Michael with Queen. Picture: Getty

“I remember hearing the rumours but it wouldn’t have suited us,” he told Classic Rock.

“George wasn’t really used to working with a live band. When he heard the power he had behind him in rehearsal, he couldn’t believe it. He thought he was on Concorde or something."

Queen & George Michael - Somebody to Love (The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert)

Queen were later joined by Bad Company and Free singer Paul Rodgers from 2004 to 2009, and briefly had Robbie Williams as their frontman for a version of 'We Are the Champions'.

Read more: Watch George Michael's last ever concert, where his final words were heartbreakingly poignant

The group then picked American Idol singer Adam Lambert in 2011, who is still their current vocalist as Queen + Adam Lambert.