Brian May Defends Yungblud’s Cover of Queen Classic “We Are the Champions”

Videos by American Songwriter

Videos by American Songwriter

Brian May recently defended Yungblud’s performance of Queen’s 1977 classic “We Are the Champions” after negative comments began flooding in about the young artist’s rendition.

“Every now and then, while idly scrolling in the park, you come upon something that makes you go ‘wow,'” the Queen co-founder and guitarist wrote in an Instagram post, sharing a clip of Yungblud’s performance. “And you just have to press that ‘follow’ button. Very classy.”

People were quick to share their honest opinions of the 25-year-old rocker’s cover of the Queen hit, which he recorded for Apple Music.

May, 75, compared the negative comments against Yungblud, whose real name is Dominic Harrison, to how late Queen vocalist Freddie Mercury was received when he first joined the band.

“Well, this has been an eye-opener for me,” said May in response to the comments. “I’m smiling quietly at all the ‘no’ comments. I remember so clearly the same kind of derision being poured on Freddie when we started out as Queen. As soon as I see someone who can inspire such strong reactions, positive and negative, I’m sure this person is a star performer.”

He added, “But just carry on kicking if you need to. Perhaps it will make you feel better. I think the rest of us will keep an open mind.”

The legendary guitarist is not the only rock icon who’s a fan of Yungblud. The Rolling Stones’ Mick Jagger said Yungblud, who released his self-titled third album in 2022, was bringing “life” back to rock music and gifted him a guitar inspired by Buddy Holly’s Gibson J-45.

“In rock music you need energy, and there have not been a lot of new rock singers around,” said Jagger. “That kind of post-punk vibe makes me think there is still a bit of life in rock and roll.”

“To meet Mick and talk about rock and roll … he said it was his son who turned him on to me,” said Yungblud of meeting Jagger. “He loves the message [and said] ‘I love the energy.'”

He added, “It was wild. He’s someone I’ve watched forever. I really relate to the Rolling Stones, because they had that outcast mentality. They were a bit naughty, a bit too loud, too sexy, too provocative.”

Photo: Brian May (Noam Galai/Getty Images for Global Citizen); Yungblud (Yungblud, 2022)

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