In 2014, May recorded the soundtrack for the British independent film 51 Degrees,directed by German film director Grigorij Richters.The film will premiere at the 2014 Starmus Festival.At the end of 2004, May and Taylor announced that they would reunite and return to touring in 2005, with Paul Rodgers (founder and former lead singer of Free and Bad Company). Brian May’s website also stated that Rodgers would be „featured with” Queen as Queen + Paul Rodgers, not replacing the late Freddie Mercury. The retired John Deacon would not be participating.
In January 2012, May featured on N-Dubz frontman Dappy’s solo single „Rockstar”,providing „rumbling guitar riffs which culminate in an electrifying solo”. The pair also collaborated on a performance of „We Will Rock You” for BBC Radio One’s Live Lounge.On 12 August 2012, Queen performed at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.May performed part of the „Brighton Rock” solo before being joined by Taylor and solo artist Jessie J for a performance of „We Will Rock You”.On 16 September 2012, May appeared at the Sunflower Jam charity concert at the Royal Albert Hall, performing alongside bassist John Paul Jones (of Led Zeppelin), drummer Ian Paice (of Deep Purple), and vocalists Bruce Dickinson (of Iron Maiden) and Alice Cooper.On 20 September 2013, Queen + Lambert performed at the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas.
At the 2011 MTV Europe Music Awards on 6 November, Queen received the Global Icon Award, which Katy Perry presented to Brian May.Queen closed the awards ceremony, with Adam Lambert on vocals, performing „The Show Must Go On”, „We Will Rock You” and „We Are the Champions”.The collaboration garnered a positive response from both fans and critics, resulting in speculation about future projects together.Queen + Adam Lambert played two shows at the Hammersmith Apollo, London on 11 and 12 July 2012.Both shows sold out within 24 hours of tickets going on open sale.A third London date was added for 14 July.On 30 June, Queen + Lambert performed in Kiev, Ukraine at a joint concert with Elton John for the Elena Pinchuk ANTIAIDS Foundation. Queen also performed with Lambert on 3 July 2012 at Moscow’sOlympic Stadium, and on 7 July 2012 at the Municipal Stadium in Wroclaw, Poland.
On 18 April 2011 Lady Gaga confirmed that May would play guitar on her track „You and I” from her latest album Born This Way, released on 23 May 2011.In June 2011, May performed with Tangerine Dream at the Starmus Festival on Tenerife, celebrating the 50th anniversary of Yuri Gagarin’s first spaceflight.
On 26 August, May performed „We Will Rock You” and „Welcome to the Black Parade” with American rock band My Chemical Romance at the Reading Festival.On 28 August, May performed „You and I” live with Lady Gaga at the 2011 MTV Video Music Awards at the Nokia Theatre, Los Angeles.On 10 October, May made an appearance to celebrate the reunion of British rock band The Darkness at an „intimate” 100 Club show with support from Dark Stares.A long-time fan of the group, May performed three songs onstage with The Darkness, including Queen’s „Tie Your Mother Down”, at the Hammersmith Apollo on their subsequent „comeback” tour.
On 20 May 2009, May and Queen band mate Roger Taylor performed „We Are the Champions” live on the season finale of American Idol with winner Kris Allen and runner-up Adam Lambert providing a vocal duet. In November 2009, May appeared with Taylor on The X Factor, with Queen mentoring the contestants, then later performing „Bohemian Rhapsody”. In April 2010, May founded the „Save Me” 2010 project to work against any proposed repeal of the British fox-hunting ban, and also to promote animal rights in Britain.In February 2011 it was announced that May would tour with Kerry Ellis, playing 12 dates across the UK in May 2011On 1 March 2013 May and Ellis played a free thirty minute acoustic set at St Pancras railway station to launch Tiger Track, a three-week tiger conservation event. Their set list included Queen’s „Crazy Little Thing Called Love”.
May worked extensively with stage actress and singer Kerry Ellis after he cast her in the musical We Will Rock You. He produced and arranged her debut studio album Anthems (2010), a follow-up to her extended play Wicked in Rock (2008), as well as appearing with Ellis at many public performances – playing guitar alongside her. He also contributed a guitar solo to Meat Loaf’s Hang Cool, Teddy Bear album in exchange for the use of drummer John Miceli. Along with Elena Vidal, Brian May released a historical book in 2009 entitled A Village Lost and Found: Scenes in Our Village. The book is an annotated collection of stereoscopic photographs taken by the Victorian era photographer T. R. Williams and it is sold with a focussing stereoscope. May became an enthusiast of stereoscope photographs as a child, and first encountered the work of Williams during the late 1960s. In 2003 May announced a search to identify the actual location of the Scenes in Our Village images. In 2004 May reported that he had identified the location as the village of Hinton Waldrist in Oxfordshire.
From his last solo release in 1998 May has been performing as a solo artist, as part of an ensemble, and infrequently as Queen with Roger Taylor. On 22 October 2000, Brian May made a guest appearance at the Motörhead 25th Anniversary show at Brixton Academy along withEddie Clarke (former Motörhead guitarist) for the encore song „Overkill”. In the Queen’s birthday honours list of 2005, he was made a Commander of the Order of the British Empire „for services to the music industry”.May is a friend of singer and musician Phil Collins and was a special guest at the Genesis reunion concert at Twickenham Stadium in 2007. The two had worked together at the Prince’s Trust Rock Gala in 1988.
In 1995, May began working towards a new solo album of covers tentatively named Heroes, in addition to working on various film and television projects and other collaborations. May subsequently changed the approach from covers to focus on those collaborations and on new material. The songs included Another World, and featured mainly Spike Edney, Cozy Powell, Neil Murray and Jamie Moses. On 5 April 1998, Cozy Powell was killed in a car accident on the M4 motorway near Bristol, England. This caused a huge, unexpected disruption to the upcoming tour for The Brian May Band, with a new drummer being needed at short notice. Steve Ferrone was brought on to help May finish recording drums and to join the band for the early stage promotional tour of five dates in Europe before the world tour. Following the early promotional tour, Eric Singer replaced Steve Ferrone for the full 1998 world tour.
Afterwards, May made significant changes, feeling the group never quite gelled. May brought guitarist Jamie Moses on board to replace Mike Caswell. The other change made was in the backing vocals department, when Ryder, Stockley and Thompson were replaced with Catherine Porter and Shelley Preston. On 23 February 1993, this new line-up of The Brian May Band began its world tour in the US, both supporting Guns N’ Roses and headlining a few dates.The tour would take them through North America, Europe (support act: Valentine) and Japan. After the tour ended on 18 December 1993, May returned to the studio with fellow surviving Queen band members Roger Taylor and John Deacon to work on tracks that became Made in Heaven, the final Queen studio album.The band took Mercury’s solo album demos and last recordings, which he managed to perform in the studio after the album Innuendo was finished, and completed them with their additions both musically and vocally.Work on the album after Mercury’s death originally began in 1992 by Deacon and May, but was left until a later date due to other commitments.
In late 1992, the Brian May Band was officially formed. An early version of the band was loosely formed for 19 October 1991, the date of the band’s last concert of reunion.October 1991, when May took part in the Guitar Legends guitar festival in Seville, Spain. The line-up for his performance was May on vocals and lead guitar, Cozy Powellon drums and percussion, Mike Moran and Rick Wakeman on keyboards, and Maggie Ryder, Miriam Stockley and Chris Thompson on backing vocals. The original line-up was May on vocals and lead guitar, Powell on drums and percussion, Michael Casswell on guitar, Neil Murray on bass, and Ryder, Stockley and Thompson on backing vocals. This version of the band lasted only during the South American support tour (supporting The B-52’s and Joe Cocker) on only five dates.