How does one replace the irreplaceable? As one of the most unique, charismatic and gifted lead singers in rock history, Freddie Mercury is not someone that you could just insert a new face as lead vocalist for Queen and go on like nothing happened. This has been a challenge to the surviving members of Queen, guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor (bassist John Deacon has been retired from the business since 1997) as they attempt to keep the band’s name and legacy alive and kicking in the 20+ years since Mercury’s death. There have been tours, one off singles and TV performances to be sure but no permanent solution which of course might be their plan all along, find a singer to fill a certain gap for a limited amount of time then move on when it has run it’s course. The band has come to use the name “Queen+” to indicate that whomever they are working with is NOT a member of the band but rather an equal collaborator.

However as May and Taylor are getting on in years, perhaps they would like to make one last real go of it and bring in someone to the band proper instead of a fill-in. A balanced partnership where they challenge each other’s ideas and have equal footing in the studio as well as on stage, a collaboration where they play to each other’s strengths instead of stepping back and letting the other lead the way.

So with the following list I’d like to present five singers that I believe could provide such a partnership. True, Queen have worked with them in some capacity in the past but not in the way I have described. Some are likely to happen, others have a snowball’s chance in hell of occuring but never the less makes one salivate over the musical possibilities.

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This article was first posted on May 26, 2013