As most Queen fans already know, former “American Idol” contestant, Adam Lambert has toured and been working with the band, Queen for several years. Lambert and Queen fist performed together over 10 years ago in 2009 when band members, Brian May and Roger Taylor joined Lambert for a performance on “American Idol” when he was a contestant. The group sang “We Are the Champions” together, according to Smooth Radio.
The pairing of Lambert with Queen worked so well together, the 38-year-old singer began touring with Roger Taylor and Brian May of Queen in 2014. Fast forward to 2018, when Lambert, May, and Taylor performed a special version of Queen’s “The Show Must Go On,” a song that the late lead singer Freddie Mercury recorded 30 years ago, according to People.
Queen fans were in for a special treat this week when the three men debuted that 2018 performance of the meaningful song on Thursday. The 1990 song was recorded not too long before Mercury passed away. At the time, Mercury was already diagnosed with HIV/AIDS, according to Spin.
May said in a statement, “Even though we were all aware of Freddie‘s impending tragedy, we had some inspired and joyful times in the studio, making the Innuendo album. We didn’t speak much about Freddie’s illness — he just wanted to get on with ’business as usual’ as far as possible. But already there was only a day or two per week when Freddie was well enough to come in and work with us. We grabbed those precious moments and made the most of them.”
“I‘d been working on ’The Show Must Go On’ as an idea, but I was uncertain whether the title was too obvious. Freddie heard it and loved it and dismissed any thoughts that there was a problem with the chorus or the title. He wanted to work on it. We didn’t discuss what the meaning of the song was, but it was of course evident in the background that it was an attempt to give a voice to the feelings that Freddie’s valiant fight against AIDS created in all of us, and even in Freddie,” the 73-year-old musician continued in the statement.
“I finished mapping out the song, sang the whole thing as a demo, including the added ‘Wings of Butterflies’ section, which somehow appeared in my head very late one night, and I played it to him when he was next in the studio. The melody called for some very demanding top notes, and I’d only been able to ’demo’ them in falsetto,” May explained.
“I said to Freddie … ‘I don’t want you to strain yourself - this stuff isn’t going to be easy in full voice, even for you!’ He said, ’Don’t worry — I’ll f---ing nail it, Darling!’ He then downed a couple of his favorite shots of vodka, propped himself up against the mixing desk, and… delivered one of the most extraordinary performances of his life. In the final mix of ’TSMGO,’ when you get to ’On with the Show’ you are listening to a man who conquered everything to deliver his finest work.”
Lambert also said some touching words about the song in a statement. “‘The Show Must Go On’ is a song with a very deeply resonating message. I think we all have moments in life where we feel the odds are against us and the climb is a steep one,”the 38-year-old said.
“I always sense a great cathartic release throughout the audience during this song. I think we all recognize that it was a big statement for Freddie at that point in his journey as well; he was fighting for his life.”
Here is Queen and Adam Lambert performing The Show Must Go On Live At The O2, London, UK, 04/07/2018.