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Live from Abu Dhabi Connect the World takes you on a journey across continents, investigating the stories that are changing our world.

Monday's Connector: Brian May

September 9th, 2010
09:18 PM ET

With a musical career spanning four decades, Queen founding member Brian May is a world-renowned guitarist and songwriter, with production and performance credits on recordings, which have sold in excess of 100 million copies worldwide.

[cnn-photo-caption image=http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2010/images/09/10/may.art.gettyimages.jpg
caption="Brian May is your Connector of the Day."]

Brian has penned 22 worldwide hits for Queen, among them the anthems “We Will Rock You”, “The Show Must Go On” and “I Want It All”. As a successful and respected solo artist, Brian’s recordings include albums Back To The Light, featuring “Too Much Love Will Kill You” and “Driven By You”.

His songs continue to influence new generations of performers and have inspired recordings by artists as diverse as Elton John, Def Leppard, The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Shirley Bassey and Eminem.

Perhaps the most memorable display of Brian’s unique style and musicianship was his performance of his own arrangement of “God Save the Queen”, live from the roof of Buckingham Palace, to open the Queen’s 2002 Golden Jubilee celebrations in front of an audience of more than 200 million people around the world.

After the death of Queen’s lead singer, Freddie Mercury, the surviving members set up a charity to support AIDS relief, the Mercury Phoenix Trust. To date it has channeled more than eight million pounds to over 1,000 AIDS projects around the world.

An ongoing commitment to AIDS awareness led Queen to become a driving force in the 46664 campaign for the Nelson Mandela Foundation.  The first of a series of 46664 concerts, held in Cape Town in November 2003, was broadcast worldwide via TV, Internet and Radio, becoming the most widely distributed media event in history, with an audience of over 2 billion in 166 countries.

Brian May is teaming up with musical theatre star Kerry Ellis for a new album.

Here's your chance to quiz them both.

Please leave your questions for them below and be sure to include where you're writing from.

soundoff (73 Responses)
  1. George Koulakis

    From Australia
    Dear Brian, ACDC proudly states " Its a long way to the top if you wanna Rock N Roll" From your experience, has this in fact been the case for you and the journey of Queen, and why?

    September 9, 2010 at 9:49 pm | Reply
  2. Abdulhameed Sabban

    Hi Brian, Im a big Queen fan from Saudi Arabia and love all your work. I had the chance to see the Queen Musical "We Will Rock You" and
    I wanted to know if there is a planned movie adaptation of the musical We Will Rock You?
    Also are you planning any new releases under Queen?

    September 9, 2010 at 9:50 pm | Reply
  3. Elias

    To Brian: where did you get the idea for the song '39?

    September 9, 2010 at 9:58 pm | Reply
  4. Pedro Navarro

    I know it's imposible to be certain, but, have you ever thought about how long Queen's band would have stayed together if Freddy's death hadn't happened? If the group would remain, what kind of music do you think you would be doing now?
    Thanks. My son is a guitarrist and he (and I) really admire you.
    Pedro Navarro

    September 9, 2010 at 10:16 pm | Reply
  5. rebecca from devon

    hey kerry you have a huge army of fans and i wanted to know what is the most unique gift they have given you?

    September 9, 2010 at 10:25 pm | Reply
  6. Elle

    If/When you tour with Anthem will you PLEASE come to Cumbria?... Scrap that will you just come to my house and perfodm there?! lol. And did you take a class in awsomness!?! Elle in Haverigg, Cumbria

    September 9, 2010 at 10:49 pm | Reply
  7. Anton Forsander

    Dear Brian,
    26 year old guy (birthday today) from Sweden here, Queen is and always will be my favorite band.

    What are your oddest/not-overly mainstream favorite albums/songs? Something of Nine Inch Nails, Opeth, Brian Eno, Movie Soundtrack/Score, or some instrumental Downtempo/Lounge/Jazz/Chillout album perhaps?


    Anton Forsander – Sweden.

    September 9, 2010 at 11:01 pm | Reply
  8. Tom McDonnell

    Hey Brian,

    What would you say would be the best "Queen" song that Freddie would be most remembered by. Can't wait to hear your new album.

    September 9, 2010 at 11:46 pm | Reply
  9. Tom McDonnell

    Hey Brian,
    What would you say would be the best Queen song that Freddie would be most remembered by. Can't wait to hear your new album and thanks for keeping "Queen" alive.
    Tom McDonnell
    Pennsylvania USA

    September 9, 2010 at 11:48 pm | Reply
  10. Laura Davies

    Hiya Kerry and Brian!
    Just wanted to say how amazing I think you both are, I am a huge fan! I am so super excited for the album, I literally cannot wait!

    I was just going to ask you both what track on the album are you most proud of ?
    Kerry, for your next album would you continue to record a rocky sound or would you fancy experimenting with other styles of music?

    I really hope you tour with this album because I would love to witness the songs live. Good luck with the album (not like you need it!) and keep rocking it up!!!

    Manchester, England

    September 9, 2010 at 11:50 pm | Reply
  11. Jon Wilhelm

    Hey Brian, what was it like to work with the guys from Soundgarden when you played guitar on their song 'New Damage'? Also, can you send me the tab for the solo you played in it? Thanks.

    September 9, 2010 at 11:58 pm | Reply
  12. Mel

    What was like working with Freddie? Do you miss him as much as all of his fans?


    September 10, 2010 at 12:02 am | Reply
  13. Stewart


    Over the years, you have inspired generations with your talent and music, your stance on animal cruelty and blood sport, and your dedication to such diseases as AIDS and leukemia.

    If you have one message for the next generation, what will it be?

    Vancouver, BC

    September 10, 2010 at 1:01 am | Reply
  14. Wasted1

    I was wondering what other pursuits Brian May has outside of Queen and astrophysics?

    September 10, 2010 at 1:27 am | Reply
  15. Stephen Wilson

    Any plans, or chance, of another collaboration with Paul Rogers? That DVD concert of a few years ago was the best ever!

    Stephen Wilson

    September 10, 2010 at 1:28 am | Reply
  16. Ben Wick

    Brian-At what point did you (Queen) realize "Damn, we are getting to be quite the big deal" ?

    Adel, Iowa

    September 10, 2010 at 3:43 am | Reply
  17. Kelly Flynn

    Do you make your own guitars?And how do you get that almost "Metalevial" sound I love so much?....keep rockin...Kelly

    September 10, 2010 at 4:02 am | Reply
  18. Cameron


    Which guitarists influenced you?

    Name the guitarists that you admire.

    Thanks! (A fan since seeing Queen at the Kennedy Center with Kansas and Mahogany Rush)


    September 10, 2010 at 5:17 am | Reply
  19. Steven Hartman

    Who are your main musical influences?

    September 10, 2010 at 6:16 am | Reply
  20. Christine

    Hi Brian,
    Which was more of a personal challenge for you – achieving success with Queen or completing your PhD?

    September 10, 2010 at 6:19 am | Reply
  21. waytallwhitey

    Brian, saw you twice back in the 70's and 80's at the Montreal Forum, great shows both of them!

    If Freddy hadn't come along, do you think your life would have taken a different path and do you still dabble in astrophysics today?

    Frank Ames
    Changwon, South Korea
    Looking forward to my next Queen show!

    September 10, 2010 at 8:59 am | Reply
  22. Mark Vingerhoets

    Dear Brian,

    When do the anthologies come out? I'm really looking forward to hearing the out takes and demo versions. I loved hearing the progress by which Freddies solo songs came into being and ever since I've been dying to hear what the anthologies might bring.

    Also, love the work you've done with Q+PR and with Kerry!
    It's been said many times but she is an amazing woman.

    September 10, 2010 at 9:10 am | Reply
  23. Luke Hawkins

    For Kerry – Is there a musical theatre role that you would love to play in future, that you haven't already?

    From Swindon, UK

    September 10, 2010 at 9:20 am | Reply
  24. Jurgen Brul

    Hello Brain and CNN friends,

    – How will you Improve the music entertaintment industry, because all we hear is radio ga- GA ?

    – How will improve AIDS/HIV awareness under gays and libians living under the proverty line?

    I am looking forward to Brain's replies.

    Jurgen R.Brul

    September 10, 2010 at 9:40 am | Reply
  25. Michael Everett

    how would you feel about another artist re-working "bohemain rhapsody" into a fully orchestrated classical fusillade?

    September 10, 2010 at 10:19 am | Reply
  26. Gabriel

    Hi Kerry & Brian,

    Pre-ordered Anthems! Kerry, you are THE best singer I have ever heard in my life. I've seen you in WICKED twice and you touch me every time. I live in Cornwall so it's hard for me to come to your performances. I'm gutted that I couldn't make it to the Great British Song Book. I NEED to see you in Oliver! though. If you go on a tour I will definitely come. You absolutely deserve all your success!

    Gabriel xxx

    P.S: Did you receive that wand I sent you a few years ago?

    September 10, 2010 at 3:19 pm | Reply
  27. Charlotte Winstone-Cooper

    Kerry(: what is the favourite role that you've played? is there one you're most proud of? 🙂 and is there another role out there that you're dying to get you're hands on?(:


    September 10, 2010 at 3:29 pm | Reply
  28. Annie Adams

    Dear Kerry you are such a good role modle so if you could give advice for people who want to get into the westend what would it be?

    September 10, 2010 at 8:23 pm | Reply
  29. Donna Hughes

    I believe many people think of Freddie when they think of Queen, but I have come to realize that you and the Red Special are really the signature sound of Queen. Now that I've seen and heard performances from you and Kerry together on Anthems, you complement each other so well that it is like you and Freddie again in many respects. It is a great pairing and Brian you were so right when you chose Kerry to work with. Do you know if you and Kerry will do more albums? I haven't heard the whole Anthem album yet, but what I have heard tells me that I will want to hear more.

    September 10, 2010 at 8:42 pm | Reply
  30. Kate Lesher

    Hey Brian!!

    I'm trying to think up of a good question for you that already wasn't asked. 😉

    Ok, other than Live Aid, what was your favorite concert/gig that you performed and took part in? Why was that particular concert/gig your favorite?

    Thanks for everything you do!!

    Easton Pennsylvania USA

    September 10, 2010 at 9:30 pm | Reply
  31. Linda Zimny

    Hi Brian and Kerry,

    I cannot wait for the album and have been following the you tube teasers avidly.

    My question is who would you most like to work with either presently or from history.

    Keep up the good work -x-

    Linda (Fife, Scotland.)

    September 10, 2010 at 10:21 pm | Reply
  32. Diana - London

    Hi Kerry, How would you describe yourself in 3 words ?
    What has been your most proud moment in your career?
    What has been the most embarrassing thing you've ever done?
    What are you scared of?
    What is your plan for the future?
    Any chance of there being Mini Ellis' ?

    September 11, 2010 at 9:29 am | Reply
  33. Kimberly MacLellan

    Brian: When are the anthologies going to be released? Please answer this as I was promised a cookie if you do. Thx!! 🙂

    September 11, 2010 at 1:49 pm | Reply
  34. Kimberly MacLellan

    Almost forgot ... what are your plans for the Red Special after you (heaven forbid) pass on?

    September 11, 2010 at 1:51 pm | Reply
  35. Lauren Rees

    Hi Kerry, you were so amazing at Hyde Park last night, I loved every minute of your performance! Dangerland live was...there's just no words to describe it, incredible! My question is what was it like to perform at Proms In the Park infront of 40,000 people? It certainly felt like a massive rock concert from where I was standing!

    Lots of love Lauren Rees, Kettering, UK

    September 12, 2010 at 3:40 pm | Reply
  36. Jo & Alyssa

    Will "Anthems" be available to us folks in the US?

    I'm an artist (of the the visual sort), and I often find when listening to musicians talk about their creative process, it sounds a lot like mine for making art. Have you ever noticed this? How important do you think it is for your audience to know about these "behind the scenes" things? Not at all?

    Thanks! For everything. 🙂

    September 13, 2010 at 3:22 pm | Reply
  37. Keira


    I'd like to ask his thoughts on Sacha Baron Cohen being tagged to play Freddy Mercury?

    I'd also like to ask Kerry if she's had a chance to get involved in the Broadway Cares: Equity Fights AIDS organization while on Broadway.



    September 18, 2010 at 5:52 am | Reply
  38. Rich Hall, Cheshire

    Hello Brian & Kerry.

    Many congratulations on the album, you must be very pleased with the fruits of your labour!

    I was born just as Queen released Bohemian Rhapsody and so your music has been in many ways a soundtrack to my life. I've enjoyed everything you've ever made and released (and much more that you, erm, haven't released !).

    My question is all about the future for Queen. There must be tremendous pressure from your new record label Universal to release new material and there is much speculation as to what that might be. There have been quotes in the past of "studio, live and computer work" and I'd like to ask if there is anything more you can tell us or hint at that could calm the cynics and excite the loyal fans ?

    Thank you for delighting me with your craft over the years, may there be much more to come!

    Much respect,
    Rich Hall, Cheshire, UK

    September 20, 2010 at 3:18 pm | Reply
  39. Martin

    Hi Brian, the best guitarist in the Universe!
    I'd have this question – what was the real reason that the chapter Queen + Paul Rodgers finished? Somewhere I read there were some arguments between you and Paul, is that true? If there weren't, why did you make decision to end it? You had great success – sold-out world tours, new album and before The Cosmos Rocks Tour you (the band) said there will be US Tour in 2009, but it won't...
    Thank You and take care!
    Martin 🙂

    September 20, 2010 at 3:20 pm | Reply
  40. Melissa


    As a big fan of your solo career, I always wonedred about a few things. What was it like to work with Cozy Powell? And what was your insperation for the song Nothin But Blue?


    September 20, 2010 at 3:34 pm | Reply
  41. Robin Whitmore

    Hi Brian

    I've been a member of OIQFC for 32 years now and am hopelessly addictaed to your muisc.

    Please can you explain to me the lyrics to Sail Away Sweet Sister.

    They mean so much to me and I was wondering what they meant to you?

    keep yourself alive

    see you soon


    September 20, 2010 at 3:36 pm | Reply
  42. Kath

    Hello, Brian!
    Wether You are going to write autobigraphy or Queen biography? It would be great! I`m sure all Queen fans will be happy to read it! But now what publications about Freddie and Queen You like and would recomend for reading?
    And wether it terminal decision to make film about Freddie? If so, will You, and Rodger, and John take part in it`s creation and control it?
    And the final question: wether Freddie come to You in Your dreams?
    Thank You! Admire with You! Good luck!

    September 20, 2010 at 3:55 pm | Reply
  43. Ivaylo Grancharov

    Dear Mr. May,

    Do you have any idea who is going to play Brian May in the recently announced Freddie Mercury biopic produced by Robert De Niro's Tribeca?
    Thank you!

    September 20, 2010 at 3:57 pm | Reply
  44. Antonio

    Hi, Brian, it´s Antonio from Spain.
    Queen is my absolute top band, higher than Supertramp, Genesis, Who or Led Zep.
    I was only nine year old in 1986 and i couldn´t see you then. My dreams came partially true in 2005 and 2008 with Paul Rodgers, in two concerts in Madrid that blew me away. I still consider these shows as the most emotional and exciting gigs i´ve ever been, and i´ve been in a few! I remember I cried during Days Of Our Lives... You played a little bit of spanish classical music in your solo... Las Palabras De Amor sounded better live than ever!
    My question is: when are you going to come to Spain and play for us?

    September 20, 2010 at 4:04 pm | Reply
  45. Peter Williams

    Hi Brian / Kerry,

    I'm loving Anthems at the moment. Its constantly on repeat on my Ipod. Congratulations on getting to No.15 in the charts. a great achievement especially given the other album releases last week.

    A question to both of you. Do you record any other tracks that missed the final cut for the album? If so are we going to get to hear them soon? Also any plans to release I'm A Woman. Pink October is approaching again.

    Hope to see you both on tour soon,

    September 20, 2010 at 4:08 pm | Reply
  46. Atli Thor Matthiasson

    Dear Brian May

    You Rock, Queen have been and still is my favorite rock n roll band.
    Is the change for get We Will Rock You to Iceland ? and i like also to tell that october 9 will be special John Lennon Tribute gig here in Iceland with Yoko Ono Plastic Ono Band with special guests, it will be awesome if you will be one of the these special guest 🙂 The concert will on John Lennon birthday.
    Have a nice and thanks for everything 🙂

    Cheers from Iceland Reykjavik


    September 20, 2010 at 4:09 pm | Reply
  47. warren

    brian when are you planning on releasing any of queens concerts from the 70's

    September 20, 2010 at 4:25 pm | Reply
  48. Yuriy from Sevastopol

    I am your fanaticism already 22 years, and your arrival and concert in Kharkov produced the enormous impressions, whether you plan yet to arrive with a concert on territory of Ukrainе. With kind regards Yuriy from Sevastopol

    September 20, 2010 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  49. Emanuella Gomes

    Hi Brian, how are you???
    I'm from Brazil and I have a question : how did your interest in astrophysics?
    I want to learn , but I'm studying something related to computers.
    I hope you answer my question.


    September 20, 2010 at 4:39 pm | Reply
  50. Anne

    Would Sacha Baron Cohen in the movie about Queen sing self or not?

    September 20, 2010 at 4:46 pm | Reply
  51. Mai

    I was wondering if We Will Rock You will be made into a movie? I read about a year ago that a script had been written. Any new developments? (BTW, Adam Lambert should totally be cast as Galileo...)

    September 20, 2010 at 5:02 pm | Reply
  52. Mai

    Hi Brian! I really wish I can see you perform live again one day!

    I was wondering if We Will Rock You will be made into a movie? I read about a year ago that a script had been written. Any new developments? (BTW, Adam Lambert should totally be cast as Galileo...)


    September 20, 2010 at 5:08 pm | Reply
  53. Johan Veenstra

    Hi Kerry & Brian,

    I've already heard a number of tracks from the album Anthems. (The special edition is still not delivered by our postman), (suspence ha ha) but here's my Question. A lot of trademarks of you are on the album and I think I heard some stuff that sounded like you reinvented yourself. Brian is Kerry your new MUSE??


    Johan Veenstra and family

    September 20, 2010 at 5:12 pm | Reply
  54. Darek "Qbik" Kubik

    Hi Brian!
    I`m from Poland and I have been fan Queen since 1988. You, Roger, Freddie and John fill my life up.
    I was very sad when concert in Poland cancelled but with my mates we were in Berlin, Prague i Wiena. I was also at your concert in Warsaw during Another World Tour in 1998. I saw you there first time. You had there huge problems with guitar...
    Okey:-)My question is:
    Can you and how you imagine gigs Queen with Freddie these days?
    Ps. Regards to Roger

    September 20, 2010 at 5:58 pm | Reply
  55. Gene Babinski

    Hello from Everett, Washington, U.S.A., Earth, Milky Way Galaxy. I heard Pat Benetar say on stage she hated her hit song "Hit Me With Your Best Shot ". Do you have one of those songs you dread playing for the zillionth time, and if so which one?

    September 20, 2010 at 6:03 pm | Reply
  56. Mr. Jesper Hartnack

    From Denmark
    Hey Brian

    I love your new album with Kerry, but will you and Roger team up as Queen + again say with Adam Lambert or Paul Rodgers?

    Saw you first time in Stockholm 1986

    I hope to see you again live soon you are a terrific live act.

    Kind regards and Thanks for all your wonderful music

    September 20, 2010 at 6:07 pm | Reply
  57. Christina Lohr

    Hi, Brian!

    My question is: if you could write a letter to your younger self (around the age of 18), what advice/warnings would you give him?

    Hope you're well,


    September 20, 2010 at 6:16 pm | Reply
  58. Heather N.

    Hi Brian and Kerry!
    First of all, I think "Anthems" is brilliant... bravo!!
    And as a HUGE Queen fan, and am wondering if Queen Productions is planning on releasing any concert DVDs soon? Thank you soooo much and I hope to see you one day!
    xoxo, Heather N.
    Nashville, TN U.S.A

    September 20, 2010 at 6:38 pm | Reply
  59. Amadeu

    Hello Brian,
    I'm a a queen fan from Barcelona, and Im 20 years old. I've 2 questions.

    First is that the next year will be the 20th Freddy death celebration. Are you preparing something especial to remember him?

    The last one what is your opinion of the rock group, MUSE?? I think that it's faboulus like queen, because combined a lot of diferent styles coming from diferent groups like: Queen, ELO ( Simphonic rock)....

    September 20, 2010 at 6:41 pm | Reply
  60. miguelmartins

    Miguel Martins, Brazil

    Dear Brian, of all the versions that have already been made of songs from QUEEN, what was that you said "WOW, THIS IS REALLY DIVINE?

    I ask this because I attended this presentation of WHO WANTS TO LIVE FOREVER, and I thought divine.


    September 20, 2010 at 7:24 pm | Reply
  61. Aaron

    What are your expectations about the new film?

    September 20, 2010 at 8:07 pm | Reply
  62. Steve J

    HI ,
    Dr May will you be doing anymore solo tours,also is there a timescale on we will rock you in london

    Thanks ,

    Steve J

    September 20, 2010 at 8:21 pm | Reply
  63. Maurizio

    Hi Brian,
    I'm an Italian Queen fan since 1980 and attende every gig played in Milan, both with Queen (1984), solo and together with Paul Rodgers (last in 2008!).
    Every time was a massive rock'n'roll show!

    So, my question is quite simple: when will you (and friends) come back in Italy?


    Milan, Italy

    September 20, 2010 at 8:28 pm | Reply
  64. Johan Hartnack

    From Denmark
    Hey Brian
    Excellent record with Kerry Ellis. Are you gonna tour with Roger and maybe Adam Lambert or Paul Rodgers again? You are a terrible good live act. Please keep the music coming we love it 😉


    September 20, 2010 at 8:38 pm | Reply
  65. Robert Schmuck

    Dear Brian,

    First of all i would like to congratulate you and Kerry on a truly outstanding album!!!!!

    Secondly, it is Queens 40th anniversary next year. Do you have anything special planned to celebrate the 40 years that Queen have been together, and have continued to produce truly amazing pieces of music?


    Robert 🙂

    September 20, 2010 at 8:48 pm | Reply
  66. JJ

    Dear Brian, I'm a great fan of your music in Queen and solo work. I'm from Spain.
    What we can expect from Queen for the next year? I know that the discography it will be re-released, but there's anything more? (the albums will have rare tracks or dvd's?)

    September 20, 2010 at 8:59 pm | Reply
  67. Iris Melissa

    Hi Brian, greetings from mexico.
    i'm 14 years old and and I am a big fan of your music.
    I hope you keep rocking and the edge of Queen still.

    Kerry Ellis is a great singer, and don't lose the essence that makes you so special

    Thanks for all!!!
    Iris Melissa

    September 20, 2010 at 9:19 pm | Reply
  68. Monika Ringl

    to Brian:

    Did you see the solar eclipse in 1999 then? :'D

    (and I don't really dare to ask this question atm but, is there any chance of you two (Kerry and Bri) comming to Austria for a concert? :'P)

    Vienna, Austria

    September 20, 2010 at 9:53 pm | Reply
  69. Daniela Marquez

    Hi Brian, I'm a huge Queen fan, I'm 14 years old, and I live in Colombia. It makes me so proud that you keep on rocking! when I hear your guitar is like something out of this world! I sent you before some messages to your e-mail, but no answer 🙁 I made you some questions, because I like astrology, and music (paying guitar and singing) and I love the projects you've done through your life. My question is.. when are you going to answer? 🙁 its a little sad, I've heard that you respond to people, but not to me. 🙁 and you're one of my role models to make a path in my life... I still love you even though you don't ask my e-mails 🙂

    September 20, 2010 at 9:54 pm | Reply
  70. perhaden

    Hi Dr May: Are there any trout in the anthologies rumor on the net ore is it just a fantsy. Sincerly from a Long time friend to your music over the years (the begining)

    September 20, 2010 at 11:56 pm | Reply
  71. perhaden

    Sorry.... Sweden:
    Hi Dr May: Are there any trout in the anthologies rumor on the net ore is it just a fantsy. Sincerly from a Long time friend to your music over the years (the begining)

    September 21, 2010 at 12:04 am | Reply
  72. isaac

    Hey Brian
    Do you like sonic youth?

    September 21, 2010 at 1:11 am | Reply
  73. Vangelis Boutzegias

    From Greece

    Any plans for touring under (Queen or Brian May band name) any time soon? We miss u!!!

    Don't forget to to visit Greece next time!!!!

    September 21, 2010 at 10:34 am | Reply

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