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Queen + Paul Rodgers was a collaboration between Brian May & Roger Taylor of Queen and Paul Rodgers (formerly of Bad Company, Free, The Firm and The Law). Guitarist Brian May had previously performed with Paul Rodgers on several occasions, including a performance at the Royal Albert Hallmarker.

It was made clear that Paul Rodgers would not be replacing Queen's former lead singer, Freddie Mercury, who died in 1991, he would simply be "featured with" former Queen members. Former Queen bassist John Deacon declined to participate in the collaboration due to his retirement at the end of the 1990s. The group's three principal members Brian May, Roger Taylor and Paul Rodgers were supplemented on tour by Queen's former touring keyboard player Spike Edney, rhythm guitarist Jamie Moses, and bassist Danny Miranda who had previously worked with Blue Öyster Cult.

Paul Rodgers announced in May 2009 that the Queen + Paul Rodgers collaboration had come to an end, saying "It was never meant to be a permanent arrangement". He did, however, leave open the possibility for future collaborations.

Beginnings (2004)

The origins of the collaboration came when Brian May played at the Fender Strat Pack concert in 2004. As he had done so many times before (but beforehand nothing really happened as far as Queen were concerned), he joined Paul Rodgers for a rendition of Free's classic, "All Right Now". After this Brian spoke of a chemistry between the two of them. Following this, Brian invited Paul to play with Queen at their induction to the UK Music Hall of Fame where they played "We Will Rock You", "We Are The Champions" and "All Right Now". Again citing a new excitement with Rodgers, the three announced their world tour in 2005.

Return of the Champions Tour (2005-2006)

The group's first public performance was at a concert in South Africa in March 2005 in support of Nelson Mandela's 46664 AIDS awareness campaign. The tour began properly with a concert at the Brixton Academymarker venue in London, with tickets sold primarily to members of the official Queen fan club. An arena tour of Europe followed in the spring of 2005, with dates at venues such as Wembley Pavilion, Cardiff International Arena and Le Zenith in France. Four outdoor stadium dates were scheduled for the first time in Portugalmarker at Estadio do Restelomarker (Att: 30.000), at Rhein-Energie Stadionmarker in Cologne, Germanymarker (Att:27.500), Gelredomemarker in Arnhemmarker, the Netherlandsmarker (Att:25.000) and at Hyde Parkmarker in the UKmarker (Att:65.000) in the summer of 2005.

The Estadio do Restelomarker concert took place on the 2 July 2005. The Queen + Paul Rodgers concert was planned to be one of the stages for Live 8 but only a message was sent before "'39". Two songs were dedicated to Live 8 – "Say It's Not True", a song by Roger Taylor for Nelson Mandela's fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa and was introduced by Roger in Lisbon: "This is a song from Nelson Mandela and for HIV/AIDS Africa, especially today on Live 8 day. This is a song to Lisbon." After this song Brian May dedicated "'39" to Bob Geldof and introduced the song "Olá Lisboa! I would like to make a salute to all our comrades and friends who are doing such a wonderful job and trying that children through out the world are no longer hungry, let's make a big noise for Bob Geldof and Live 8".The Hyde Parkmarker concert took place on the 15 July 2005. The band and management gave away thousands of free tickets to emergency services people for helping in the aftermath of the July 7th London bombings which caused the concert to be postponed by a week. British comedian Peter Kay, who had also appeared during the encore at their Manchester gig in May of that year, warmed the crowd up, with the band Razorlight serving as the support act. The concert was attended by some 65,000 people and Queen + Paul Rodgers performed for over 2 hours.

typical set list mainly focused on Queen's best-known hits, with songs such as "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", "We Will Rock You", "We Are the Champions" and "Bohemian Rhapsody". In an interview that was published in the San Jose Mercury News, Paul Rodgers stated that the one song they would not be able play while on tour is "Killer Queen" due to the fact that: "the melodies are just too on the spot." The typical set also included some songs from the back catalogues of Free and Bad Company, such as "All Right Now", "Wishing Well", "Feel Like Making Love", and "Bad Company". Brian May and Roger Taylor sang lead on some songs. May: "Hammer to Fall" (the first part only), "Love of My Life", "'39" (which he sang lead on the studio version originally). Taylor: "Radio Ga Ga" (Both verses and first two choruses), "These Are the Days of Our Lives", "Say It's Not True" (a new song) and "I'm in Love with My Car" (which he sang lead on the studio version originally as well). He would often leave the drum kit (the exception being "I'm in Love with My Car") while a drum machine played on "Radio Ga Ga" and "These Are the Days of Our Lives". For "Say It's Not True", he would be accompanied by auxiliary band members Danny Miranda and Jamie Moses who both played acoustic guitars (except for the 46664 concert, in which Roger was accompanied by Brian and Jamie – which was the only time Brian played guitar on this song during the tour).

In addition to well known favourites and hits, there were a number of occasional 'surprise' additions to the setlist, including: "I Was Born to Love You" (Japanmarker only), "Imagine" (John Lennon cover, Hyde Park only), "Teo Torriatte" (Japan only), "Too Much Love Will Kill You" (feat. Katie Melua, South Africa only), '"Long Away" (selected shows only), "Tavaszi Szel" (Budapestmarker only) and "Let There Be Drums" (Sandy Nelson cover performed at most gigs). "Sunshine of Your Love" was played in Newcastle as testament to the Cream reunion gig in London going on at the same time (3 May). Brian May was present at that show the night before, which possibly inspired him to do it (2 May). The band also added "Dragon Attack" to a number of shows on the 2006 North American tour.

Queen + Paul Rodgers followed the European tour with a series of performances in the fall of 2005, in such diverse locations as Aruba, Japan and the United Statesmarker of America. Slash, former lead guitarist of the band Guns N' Roses and currently of Velvet Revolver, joined the band onstage for "Can't Get Enough" during their show at the legendary Hollywood Bowlmarker, the second of their two-show trial run in North America (22 October 2005).

In the winter/spring of 2006, Queen + Paul Rodgers played a 23-date tour of North America. The tour started at the American Airlines Arenamarker in Miamimarker (first Floridamarker date since 1978, first USA shows since 1982) and ended with a sold-out performance in Vancouvermarker, Canadamarker (where they also, among other surprises that occurred during the show, covered the Jimi Hendrix song "Red House" – the only performance of this song on the tour).

The Cosmos Rocks (2006-2008)

On 15 August 2006, Brian May confirmed through his website and fan club that Queen + Paul Rodgers would begin producing their first studio album beginning in October, to be recorded at a "secret location".[38] The album, titled The Cosmos Rocks, was released in the European Union on 12 September 2008 and in the United States on 28 October 2008. This was to be Queens 16th studio album and the first since 1995's Made in Heaven.

Rock the Cosmos Tour (2008)

On June 27, 2008, Queen + Paul Rodgers performed at Hyde Park in Londonmarker for Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday celebration. The performance included a portion of "One Vision", "Tie Your Mother Down", "Show Must Go On", "We Will Rock You", "We Are the Champions", and "All Right Now". Following this, the group embarked on the Rock The Cosmos Tour,[39] opening on 12 September with an AIDS-benefit concert to an audience of over 350,000 people in Kharkiv, Ukraine. The Tour then Moved to Russia, Before continuing around europe. The Concert in Ukraine was later made into a film for world AIDS day and subsequently DVD Live in Ukraine. This tour did include a rare performance of Las Palabras de Amor and the first ever live performance of Bijou.

Split (2009)

With a summer reunion tour with Bad Company looming, the singer told Billboard.com that the Queen + Paul Rodgers collaboration is, in effect, over, and without animosity. "At this point we're gonna sit back from this," Rodgers says. "My arrangement with (Queen's Brian May and Roger Taylor) was similar to my arrangement with Jimmy (Page) in The Firm in that it was never meant to be a permanent arrangement.

"I think we made a huge success of it, actually. We did two world tours and a couple of live recordings, and...made a studio album which was pretty historical for (Brian May and Roger Taylor) because they hadn't really gone in the studio with anybody and recorded something like that for a very long time. So it was quite an achievement, I think."

Rodgers does not rule out the possibility of working together again, however. "It's kind of an open book, really. If they approach me to do something for charity, for instance, or something like that...I'd be very much into doing that, for sure."

Other performances

Queen + Paul Rodgers appeared on Al Murray's Happy Hour in April (2008) performing "C-lebrity" for the first time from their debut album The Cosmos Rocks.

Queen + Paul Rodgers appear on Eminem's 2009 album Relapse. The song "Beautiful" samples "Reaching Out" which was used as Q+PR's live show opener on the 2005-06 tour. "Reaching Out" was originally released as a charity single by Rock Therapy, a band which contained both Paul Rodgers and Brian May.

Media releases

Queen + Paul Rodgers released a single for World AIDS Day (December 1) in 2007. The track, "Say It's Not True", written by Roger Taylor became first available for free download on November 30, and was subsequently released as a proper CD single on December 31.

Previously, Queen + Paul Rodgers have released a live CD called Return of the Champions and a DVD of the same name. Both featured recordings from their Sheffieldmarker Hallam FM Arenamarker concert on 9 May 2005. The DVD also features a cover of John Lennon's "Imagine" from Hyde Park. A single featuring "Reaching Out"/"Tie Your Mother Down"/"Fat Bottomed Girls" was also released. In addition, an American promo featuring two tracks taken from the Italian leg of the European tour was available with some copies of Return of the Champions.

Soundboard recordings exist of all European shows, except those in Ireland and Sweden. Sheffield, Lisbonmarker, Hyde Parkmarker and possibly Budapestmarker concerts were professionally filmed. The Tokyo show on October 26, 2005 was also professionally filmed and televised, and later released on DVD exclusively in Japan in April 2006, entitled "Super Live in Japan". Many soundboard recordings of tracks were released for download on the Queen official website, with blank Q+PR CD-Rs to burn these tracks available for purchase.

Also there are many bootlegs from nearly every show of the 2005/2006 tour in audio, and some video.

Discography

Studio albums



Live albums



DVDs



Singles

*"Reaching Out" (live)/"Tie Your Mother Down" (live)/"Fat Bottomed Girls" (live)(Queen + Paul Rodgers) 2005 - Single-#UK12'

Produced by NCM Fathom and Disney’s Hollywood Records. A concert movie captured live September 12 from Ukrainemarker in Kharkivmarker's Freedom Squaremarker before 350,000 fans. It was shown in U.S. movie theatres one night only - Thursday, November 6, 2008.

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