Queen star Brian May has paid tribute to the band's first manager following his death at the age of 74.

Norman Sheffield, who managed the rockers during the early days of their career, passed away in Cornwall, England on 20 June (14) after a battle with cancer.

He began his career as a musician with his band The Hunters, performing with Sir Cliff Richard in the late 1950s, and he later opened the Trident recording studios in London where hits including David Bowie's Space Oddity and The Beatles' Hey Jude were brought to life.

Sheffield took on management duties for Queen in 1972 and remained with the band until 1975, but later reunited with them when one of his companies was asked to produce their iconic Bohemian Rhapsody video.

The band's guitarist May has now offered up a tribute in memory of the man who helped shape Queen's music career.

In a post on his website, May writes, "Sad to report the passing of Queen's first manager, Norman Sheffield. We had our differences of course, but, in the Grand Scheme of Things, all the water had long since flowed under the bridge. Our sincere condolences to his family. RIP Norman."