Freddie Mercury sounded like a ''bleating sheep'' when he first started singing.

Roger Taylor - who drummed in Queen alongside the late vocalist - admits he and guitarist Brian May had reservations about allowing the flamboyant star to join their band Smile, a nascent version of Queen, because his vocal abilities were limited.

Describing Freddie's singing, he said: ''Like a sheep. Like a powerful bleating sheep. Not great. But he was a product of his own enormous energy, a tribute to the idea that if you believe in something hard enough you can make it happen. Freddie was besotted with Hendrix, and wanted to be a similar kind of figure. He believed in himself and he believed in us.''

However, the 'Another One Bites the Dust' singer grew into ''perfect frontman'' as the band developed and had a unique way of interacting with his audience.

Brian added: ''As well as being the perfect frontman, he was the perfect catalyst to channel the band to the audience.''