As of 2005, according to the Guinness Book of World Records, Queen albums have spent a total of 1,322 weeks (twenty-six years) on the UK Album Charts, more time than any other musical act.Also in 2005, with the release of their live album with Paul Rodgers, Queen moved into third place on the list of acts with the most aggregate time spent on the British record charts.
In 2006, the Greatest Hits album was the all-time best-selling album in UK Chart history, with sales of 5,407,587 copies, over 604,295 more copies than its nearest competitor, the Beatles’ Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band. Their Greatest Hits II album is the seventh best seller, with sales of 3,746,404 copies.
The band have released a total of eighteen number one albums, eighteen number one singles, and ten number one DVDs worldwide, making them one of the world’s best-selling music artists. Queen have sold over 150 million records, with some estimates in excess of 300 million records worldwide,including 34.5 million albums in the United States alone as of 2004.Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, the band is also the only group in which every member has composed more than one chart-topping single, and all four members of Queen were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003.In 2009, „We Will Rock You” and „We Are the Champions” were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame, and the latter was voted the world’s favourite song in a global music poll.
Queen have been cited as a major influence on the „neo-classical metal” genre by Swedish guitarist Yngwie Malmsteen.Metallica recorded a cover version of „Stone Cold Crazy”, which first appeared on the Rubáiyát: Elektra’s 40th Anniversary album in 1990, and won their first Grammy Award for Best Metal Performance in 1991. In the early 1970s, Queen helped spur the heavy metal genre’s evolution by discarding much of its blues influence;the New Wave of British Heavy Metal in addition, they fused the music genre with a punk rock sensibility and an increasing emphasis on speed.In 2002, Queen’s „Bohemian Rhapsody” was voted „the UK’s favourite hit of all time” in a poll conducted by the Guinness World Records British Hit Singles Book, and in 2004 the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Acclaimed for their stadium rock, in 2005 an industry poll ranked Queen’s performance at Live Aid in 1985 as the best live act in history.In 2007, they were also voted the greatest British band in history by BBC Radio 2 listeners.
Queen have been recognised as having made significant contributions to such genres as hard rock,and heavy metal,amongst others. Hence, the band have been cited as an influence by many other musicians. Moreover, like their music, the bands and artists that have claimed to be influenced by Queen are diverse and span different generations, countries, and genres, some of which include, heavy metal; Iron MaidenMetallica,Dream Theater,and Anthrax, hard rock; Guns N’ Roses,Def Leppard,Van Halen,and Foo Fighters,glam rock; Mötley Crüe,and The Darkness,alternative rock; Nirvana,Radiohead,Trent Reznor,Muse, and The Smashing Pumpkins, pop rock; My Chemical Romance,[ pop; George Michael,Lady Gaga,and Katy Perry.
The band drew artistic influence from other British rock acts at the time, such as the Beatles, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, the Who, Black Sabbath, Slade, Deep Purple and David Bowie.Queen composed music that drew inspiration from many different genres of music, often with a tongue-in-cheek attitude.The genres they have been associated with include progressive rock, glam rock, hard rock,heavy metal, pop rock,psychedelic rock,blues rock and dance/disco. Queen also wrote songs that were inspired by genres that are not typically associated with rock, such as ragtime, opera, gospel, vaudeville, and folk.
In 1963, the teenage Brian May and his father custom-built his signature guitar Red Special, which was purposely designed to feedback.Sonic experimentation figured heavily in Queen’s songs. A distinctive characteristic of Queen’s music are the vocal harmonies which are usually composed of the voices of May, Mercury, and Taylor best heard on the studio albums A Night at the Opera and A Day at the Races. Some of the ground work for the development of this sound can be attributed to their former producer Roy Thomas Baker, and their engineer Mike Stone.Besides vocal harmonies, Queen were also known for multi-tracking voices to imitate the sound of a large choir through overdubs. For instance, according to Brian May, there are over 180 vocal overdubs in „Bohemian Rhapsody”.Many Queen songs were also written with audience participation in mind, such as „We Will Rock You” and „We Are the Champions”.
In October 2011, it was announced that Queen will be recording a new album featuring lost demos of Mercury on vocals.May confirmed that he and Taylor are working their way through the band’s old material to compile a selection of unreleased songs for the forthcoming album. May also revealed that a series of duets that Mercury recorded with Michael Jackson was to be released in 2012. In 2014, May announced the title of the album to be Queen Forever, to be released later in the year.
On 12 August 2012, Queen performed at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The performance at London’s Olympic Stadium opened with a special remastered video clip of Mercury on stage performing his call and response routine during their 1986 concert at Wembley Stadium. Following this, 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 20 September 2013, Queen + Adam Lambert performed at the iHeartRadio Music Festival at the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas. On 6 March 2014, the band announced on Good Morning America that Queen + Adam Lambert will tour North America in Summer 2014. The band will also tour Australia and New Zealand in August/September 2014. In an interview with Rolling Stone, May and Taylor said that although the tour with Lambert is a limited thing, they are open to him becoming an official member, and cutting new material with him.
On 25 and 26 April, May and Taylor appeared on the eleventh series of American Idol at the Nokia Theatre, Los Angeles, performing a Queen medley with the six finalists on the first show, and the following day performed „Somebody to Love” with the ‘Queen Extravaganza’ band. Queen were scheduled to headline Sonisphere at Knebworth on 7 July 2012 with Adam Lambert before the festival was cancelled. Queen’s final concert with Freddie Mercury was in Knebworth in 1986. Brian May commented, „It’s a worthy challenge for us, and I’m sure Adam would meet with Freddie’s approval.” Queen expressed disappointment at the cancellation and released a statement to the effect that they were looking to find another venue. It was later announced that Queen + Adam Lambert would play 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 scheduled 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.
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.
On 14 March 2011, which marked the band’s 40th anniversary, Queen’s first five albums were re-released in the UK and some other territories as remastered deluxe editions (the US versions were released on 17 May). The second five albums of Queen’s back catalogue were released worldwide on 27 June, with the exception of the US and Canada (27 September). The final five were released in the UK on 5 September.
In May 2011, Jane’s Addiction vocalist Perry Farrell noted that Queen are currently scouting their once former and current live bassist Chris Chaney to join the band. Farrell stated: „I have to keep Chris away from Queen, who want him and they’re not gonna get him unless we’re not doing anything. Then they can have him.” In the same month, Paul Rodgers stated he may tour with Queen again in the near future. At the 2011 Broadcast Music, Incorporated (BMI) Awards held in London on 4 October, Queen received the BMI Icon Award in recognition for their airplay success in the US
On 7 May 2010, May and Taylor announced that they were quitting their record label, EMI, after almost 40 years. On 20 August 2010, Queen’s manager Jim Beach put out a Newsletter stating that the band had signed a new contract with Universal Music.During an interview for Hardtalk on the BBC on 22 September, May confirmed that the band’s new deal was with Island Records, a subsidiary of Universal Music Group. For the first time since the late 1980s, Queen’s catalogue will have the same distributor worldwide, as their current North American label—Hollywood Records—is currently distributed by Universal (for a time in the late 1980s, Queen was on EMI-owned Capitol Records in the US).