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Queen announces US tour with Adam Lambert taking lead honors

Think Adam Lambert is "under pressure" to rise to the expectations of Queen fans? Filling the shoes of the late Freddie Mercury, even for limited engagements in the past, has brought out the haters each time. And now that legendary rock band Queen has announced that they will tour the United States this summer with Lambert at the helm, they're sure to cry sacrilege. But he's not overly concerned...

"You just can't focus on that crap, especially in today's day and age, the Internet, and everybody has an opinion and a comment. That's not why we do this," Lambert told The Associated Press (via Yahoo News) March 6.

Of course, there are the Glamberts, the Adam Lambert fans that see the "American Idol" alum as doing no wrong, to offset the haters. Then there are the millions of regular fans that enjoy the California glam rocker for the entertaining guy he is. And if being the frontman for Queen is the new gig, well… have at it.

Besides, if Lambert performs with Queen as well as he did for the Freddie Mercury Tribute at the 2011 MTV European Video Music Awards, it is difficult to see how anyone could have a problem with the singer putting his spin on the classic rock tunes. That performance may have been one of the best performances without an original lead singer ever. Even if one is a Queen purist, what's to hate?

"At first it was a little daunting when we did our first incarnation of this. I definitely felt apprehensive. Freddie Mercury is one of the greatest singers that ever lived," Lambert said. That "first incarnation" occurred on the Season 8 finale of "American Idol," where Lambert would ultimately place second. He added, "It's such a treat for me to get on stage and pay my respects, and pay tribute to one of my favorite singers ever, and to sing some of the greatest music ever written."

Adam Lambert will be joined by the two remaining members of Queen, Brian May on guitar and Roger Taylor on drums.

The tour kicks off in Chicago, Ill., on June 19 and concludes on July 20 in Washington, D.C. Tickets go on sale Friday, March 14.

Besides, singing another artist's music is a tribute. There will be a direct tribute to the late Freddie Mercury during the show, Brian May noted. "The mere fact that we're playing songs that Freddie wrote is a tribute," he pointed out.

And as for Lambert taking on the frontman duties? Roger Taylor defended Lambert as their choice: "Good is good, and quality is quality."

Freddie Mercury passed away in 1991 and Queen has performed and recorded with several lead singers in their "Queen +" incarnations, including George Michael, Robbie Williams, Wyclef Jean, and others. The band recorded with legendary frontman Paul Rodgers (Bad Company, Free, The Firm) and even went on a world tour. But this is Adam Lambert's third go-round with the band, a couple of guest appearances post-"Idolo" and then a European tour with the band in 2011 after the 2011 MTV European Video Music Awards tribute to Freddie Mercury.

Queen is recognized as one of the most influential bands in rock history, having sold over 150 million albums worldwide (with some estimates reaching 300 million). They are the most charted band in United Kingdom (even when one includes the Beatles and the Rolling Stones). And they're considered the most bootlegged artist in history. The band, which was formed in London in 1970, inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. While Rolling Stone ranked them at No. 52 on their list of "Greatest Artists of All Time" and VH1 put them at No. 17 on their comparable list, readers' polls can be found across the Internet that place them in the top position.

Adam Lambert reached fame through the reality singing competition "American Idol," finishing as the runner-up to the Season 8 winner Kris Allen. He would go on to head a world tour to promote his first album, For Your Entertainment, which has sold nearly a million copies in the U. S. (and over a million worldwide). He was nominated for a Grammy for "Whataya Want From Me?", the second single from the album, in 2011. And his follow-up album, Trespassing, scored the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 albums chart in May 2012.

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