Artists: Brian May


Brian May is a British musician, singer, and songwriter who achieved international renown as guitarist, vocalist, and songwriter with the rock super group Queen. May’s compositions included on Queen albums include “Tie Your Mother Down”, “I Want It All”, “We Will Rock You”, “Fat Bottomed Girls”, and “Who Wants to Live Forever”, “Hammer to Fall”, and many others. On most Queen albums either Brian or Freddie Mercury wrote the largest number of songs.

Early on Brian played with a band named Smile. That band lasted only 2 years. After Freddie Mercury died Brian went on to have quite a solo career as a solo artist and in collaborations with others.

"After the tragic break-up of any band, it feels impossible to continue but I was really glad that Brian did launch a solo career. He had such a lot of music in him and a great deal more to give"—Joe Satriani

2005 saw Brian voted the 7th greatest guitarist of all time by a Planet Rock poll. Rolling Stone Magazine ranked Brian at #26 in their “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time” list. Brian was rated the 2nd greatest guitarist of all time by a Guitar World magazine reader’s poll.

Besides Brian’s amazing guitar playing and songwriting skills he is a consummate rock vocalist who sang lead vocals on many of his own songs as well as all the harmonies he sang with Queen.

In 2005 Brian was appointed a Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (CBE) “for services to the music industry and for his charity work”.

Brian May earned a Ph.D in astrophysics from Imperial College in 2007 and served as the 4th Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University from 2008 until 2013.

Brian has been named a Lifetime Legacy Ambassador for The Buddy Holly Educational Foundation where he does benefit work to further Buddy’s dream of sharing his success with young musicians. TBHEF offers several scholarships, and a yearly singer/ songwriter competition.

After receiving his Roberts Buddy Holly J-45, Brian bonded with the instrument immediately to the degree that “he took it with him on his tour as the spare acoustic guitar”. Brian is known for playing primarily his “Red Special” electric guitar which he and his father built and if Brian doesn’t bond strongly with an instrument it surely won’t accompany him on a tour, as he is very picky. Brian is the permanent owner of his Roberts Buddy Holly J-45.