When it comes to legendary guitarists, one name that undoubtedly stands out is Brian May. As the lead guitarist of the iconic rock band Queen, May has mesmerized audiences around the world with his unique playing style and incredible stage presence. But there is so much more to this talented musician than most people realize. In this article, we will dive into 37 fascinating facts about Brian May that will not only give you a deeper insight into his life and career but also highlight his immense contributions to the music industry. From his academic achievements to his love for astrophysics, prepare to be amazed by the untold stories and lesser-known facts about one of the greatest guitarists of all time.
Brian May was born on July 19, 1947.
Brian Harold May, widely known as the lead guitarist of the legendary rock band Queen, was born on July 19, 1947, in Hampton, Middlesex, England.
May co-wrote some of Queen’s greatest hits, including “We Will Rock You” and “Fat Bottomed Girls.”
As a prolific songwriter, Brian May contributed immensely to Queen’s success by co-writing some of their most iconic songs that have become anthems for generations.
He studied astrophysics and earned a PhD.
In addition to his musical talents, May pursued his passion for astrophysics and received his PhD in 2007 from Imperial College London for his thesis on the motion of interplanetary dust.
Brian May is an animal rights activist.
May is a dedicated advocate for animal rights and has actively supported various organizations working towards the welfare and conservation of animals.
He is known for his unique guitar sound.
May developed a distinct guitar sound using his homemade electric guitar, known as the “Red Special,” and his mastery of various techniques such as his signature “delayed echo” effect.
May collaborated with artists from various genres.
Brian May’s musical talents extend beyond the world of rock. He has collaborated with artists from different genres, including opera singer Montserrat Caballé in the iconic song “Barcelona.”
He has a passion for photography.
Photography is one of May’s hobbies, and he often captures moments from his tours and travels, showcasing his keen eye for composition and storytelling through his lens.
May has an asteroid named after him.
In recognition of his contributions to astrophysics and his lifelong passion for astronomy, asteroid 52665 Brianmay was named in his honor.
Brian May has authored several books.
In addition to his musical and scientific endeavors, May has written and published books, including the best-selling “Bang! The Complete History of the Universe.”
He performed at the Closing Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics.
May took to the stage alongside his Queen bandmates to deliver an electrifying performance at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Olympic Games, captivating the world with their timeless music.
May has a PhD in astrophysics.
Brian May’s dedication to astrophysics led him to pursue a PhD, which he obtained in 2007 from Imperial College London.
He designed his own guitar.
As a talented musician and craftsman, May designed and built his iconic guitar, known as the “Red Special,” which has become synonymous with his unique sound.
May was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Queen.
In 2001, Queen, with Brian May as a member, was rightfully inducted into the prestigious Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in recognition of their groundbreaking contributions to music.
He received an honorary doctorate in music.
In 2008, May was awarded an honorary doctorate in music by Exeter University for his significant contributions to the field of music and his exceptional guitar skills.
May released a solo album titled “Back to the Light” in 1992.
Amidst his work with Queen, May embarked on a successful solo career, releasing his debut album “Back to the Light,” which showcased his versatility as a musician and songwriter.
He is an advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.
May has been a staunch supporter of LGBTQ+ rights and has used his platform to promote inclusivity, acceptance, and equality for all.
May received an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music.
In 1990, Brian May was honored with an Ivor Novello Award, recognizing his remarkable contribution to the British music industry.
He has collaborated with various artists on charity projects.
May’s philanthropic spirit has led him to collaborate with numerous artists on charity projects, using his musical talents to raise funds and awareness for important causes.
May served as the Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University.
In 2008, May took on the role of Chancellor at Liverpool John Moores University, supporting and inspiring future generations of students.
He is known for his signature hairstyle.
May is instantly recognizable by his voluminous curly hair, which has become a part of his iconic image as a rock musician.
May is an accomplished astrophotographer.
Combining his love for photography and astronomy, May has captured breathtaking images of celestial objects, showcasing his artistic and scientific talents.
He has performed with numerous orchestras.
May has collaborated with prestigious orchestras worldwide, blending the power of rock music with the grandeur of classical arrangements.
May is a supporter of animal welfare organizations.
Alongside his activism for animal rights, May actively supports various organizations dedicated to animal welfare, working tirelessly to protect and ensure the well-being of animals.
He developed a musical based on the life of Freddie Mercury.
May played an instrumental role in the development of the highly acclaimed musical “We Will Rock You,” which celebrates the music and legacy of Queen and the late Freddie Mercury.
May has collaborated with numerous musicians on his solo projects.
Throughout his solo career, May has collaborated with a wide range of musicians, combining their unique styles with his own to create memorable musical compositions.
He is an avid collector of Victorian stereoscopic photographs.
May has a deep appreciation for art and history and has developed a passion for collecting Victorian stereoscopic photographs, creating a significant collection over the years.
May served as a technical consultant for the film “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Due to his in-depth knowledge and personal connection to the story, May served as a technical consultant for the biographical film “Bohemian Rhapsody,” ensuring its accuracy and authenticity.
He is actively involved in environmental conservation efforts.
May recognizes the importance of environmental conservation and actively engages in initiatives and campaigns aimed at protecting our planet’s ecosystems and natural resources.
May performed at the 2012 Diamond Jubilee Concert.
As part of the celebrations for Queen Elizabeth II’s Diamond Jubilee, Brian May took the stage alongside his bandmates to entertain the masses with their timeless hits.
He collaborated with singer Kerry Ellis on several projects.
May and Kerry Ellis, a talented singer, have collaborated on multiple projects, combining their musical talents to create powerful and emotionally charged performances.
May is an advocate for the preservation of historic landmarks.
May actively supports efforts to preserve historic landmarks and architectural treasures, recognizing their cultural and historical importance.
He is a recipient of the CBE (Commander of the Order of the British Empire).
In 2005, May was awarded the CBE for his services to the music industry, acknowledging his significant contributions as a musician, songwriter, and producer.
May played a pivotal role in the production of the biopic film “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
As a member of Queen and one of Freddie Mercury’s closest friends, May played a crucial role in the production of “Bohemian Rhapsody,” ensuring that the film accurately portrayed the band’s journey and Mercury’s life.
He is an advocate for Indigenous rights.
May stands up for the rights of Indigenous communities worldwide, using his platform to raise awareness about the challenges they face and to promote inclusivity and respect.
May has been honored with numerous awards for his contributions to music.
Throughout his career, May has received numerous awards and accolades, celebrating his exceptional talent, immense influence, and enduring impact on the music industry.
He has been a member of Queen since its inception.
May, along with Freddie Mercury and Roger Taylor, co-founded Queen in 1970, and his significant musical contributions have played a vital role in shaping the band’s iconic sound.
Brian May continues to inspire generations of musicians and fans alike.
With his extraordinary talent, unwavering dedication, and boundless creativity, Brian May remains an influential figure in the world of music, inspiring countless musicians and fans around the globe.
In conclusion, Brian May is a true rock legend who has had a profound impact on the music industry. From his iconic guitar solos to his distinctive hairstyle, he has become an icon for aspiring musicians around the world. With his incredible talent and unwavering passion, Brian May continues to inspire and entertain audiences of all ages.
Q: What is Brian May known for?
A: Brian May is best known as the lead guitarist of the legendary rock band Queen.
Q: How long has Brian May been playing the guitar?
A: Brian May started playing the guitar when he was a teenager and has been playing for over five decades.
Q: How did Brian May meet Freddie Mercury?
A: Brian May and Freddie Mercury met while studying at the Imperial College in London and formed the band Smile, which later evolved into Queen.
Q: Is Brian May an accomplished musician?
A: Yes, Brian May is not only an exceptional guitarist but also a talented songwriter, singer, and producer.
Q: Has Brian May collaborated with other artists?
A: Yes, Brian May has collaborated with various artists throughout his career, including David Bowie, Foo Fighters, and Lady Gaga.
Q: Does Brian May have any other interests besides music?
A: Yes, Brian May is also an astrophysicist and has a passion for astronomy. He even co-authored a book called “Bang! The Complete History of the Universe.”
Q: Did Brian May have a successful solo career?
A: Yes, Brian May released several critically acclaimed solo albums and singles, showcasing his musical versatility.
Q: Has Brian May been recognized for his contributions to music?
A: Absolutely, Brian May has received numerous awards and honors throughout his career, including induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame with Queen.