Music lovers best describe Queen's unique sound as a combination between heavy metal and glam rock. While the studio albums featured heavy overdubbed guitars and multiple vocal tracks, the band did not disappoint with its spectacular live shows, and these talented artists filled stadiums everywhere. Some of Queen's biggest performances took place in 1981 in Sao Paulo and in 1985 in Rio de Janeiro to audiences of approximately a quarter of a million people.
Queen was formed in 1971 when drummer Roger Taylor and guitarist Brian May teamed up with vocalist Freddie Mercury in London. They eventually added bassist John Deacon. At first, Queen only played a handful of gigs because all four band members focused on college, each adding degrees to their personal biography. The band members avoided the usual club circuit and instead spent two years rehearsing and preparing a theatrical show.
Queen started the first tour in 1973 when the band's first album was released and quickly acquired a reputation for putting on an exceptional show with flash pots and smoke bombs. Part of their stage props included a huge 5,000-pound lighting rig in the shape of a crown. Also, Freddie Mercury's onstage pseudo-dramatic antics helped propel the band to fame.
After the release of their second album, Queen performed in the United States when they opened for Mott the Hoople. Queen's third album achieved gold status in the USA, but the band's big breakthrough came with "A Night at the Opera" in 1975.
By the time Freddie Mercury died from AIDS in 1991, Queen's discography spanned 15 albums, including six platinum and eight gold records. All four members were talented songwriters, and each was credited with chart-topping singles. Mercury and Taylor were especially inspired by The Who, Led Zeppelin, Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie.
In 2001, the band was added to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.