The surviving members of Queen nearly invited pop superstar Robbie Williams to replace the late Freddie Mercury as the band's frontman - until they decided he wasn't the best man for the job.

Drummer Roger Taylor and guitarist Brian May claim Williams developed a desire to front the popular rock outfit after recording a version of WE ARE THE CHAMPIONS for 2001 film A KNIGHT'S TALE, and deemed touring with Queen an ideal way of achieving fame in America.

Although the prospect appealed to May and Taylor at first, they ultimately decided Williams would be the wrong choice to succeed Mercury, who died from an AIDS-related illness in 1991.

Taylor says, "I think America appealed to him and he... I think he was sort of quite keen on the idea at one point, and it did seem like a good idea.

"And then I think we all sort of drew back a little - thought about it a little harder, and then thought, 'Maybe not,' you know."

May adds, "We got close with Robbie... yeah. Absolutely. Yeah, we talked to him, but not in an auditioning kinda way. We just thought, 'Wouldn't it be fun if we did something.'

"We kind of talked about it and talked about it and came close but..."

Former Free and Bad Company vocalist Paul Rodgers has been recruited to sing for Queen on their forthcoming tour.

16/03/2005 02:58