Queen‘s Roger Taylor has been made an OBE in the New Year Honours list.
The list, which was drawn up and approved during Theresa May’s premiership, rewards a lineup of well-known figures from the worlds of art and sport. But the vast majority (72%) of the 1,097 to be recognised were people who work in their communities.
Taylor, best known as the drummer of Queen, has campaigned for the awareness of Aids, launched a musical featuring Queen’s greatest hits and is one of the few living people to appear on a Royal Mail stamp.
The 70-year-old multi-instrumentalist, born in King’s Lynn, Norfolk, played drums in Smile, the precursor to Queen founded by Brian May, and helped write Queen’s number one songs ‘These Are The Days Of Our Lives’, ‘Innuendo’ and ‘Under Pressure’, as well as contributing to major hits such as ‘Radio Ga Ga’ and ‘A Kind Of Magic’.
In 1970, the same year Smile revamped as Queen, Taylor turned down the chance to become drummer for Genesis, allowing Phil Collins to join instead.
He was the first Queen member to go solo with his 1977 song ‘I Wanna Testify’, before releasing a string of albums.
Causing controversy in 1999, Taylor is also one of the few living people to appear on a Royal Mail stamp. He was visible playing drums behind frontman Freddie Mercury in an image of the pair on stage, which was issued as part of a Great Britons series.
At that point it was understood that only members of the Royal Family were allowed to appear on stamps while still living.
Following Mercury’s death in 1991 of bronchial pneumonia resulting from Aids, at the age of 45, Taylor began to promote awareness of the disease worldwide.
In 2019 it was announced that he would help oversee the newly established Music Walk Of Fame in London’s Camden Town.
Queen were famously depicted in last year’s Bohemian Rhapsody biopic, which set cinema box office records.
Meanwhile, Queen have launched a new app which allows fans to sing like Freddie Mercury.
The app entitled FreddieMeter, shows users how closely their voice matches the late singer’s legendary range by analysing pitch, timbre, and melody to assign them a score of 0 to 100.
Fans can pick one of four songs on the app – ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, ‘Somebody to Love’ or ‘We Are the Champions’ – and challenge friends.