Photo: Steve Jennings/WireImage
Freddie Mercury on stage in 1982
Queen Stream Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert From 1992 Featuring David Bowie, Axl Rose, Robert Plant & More
The show will be available for 48 hours with Google pledging $2 for every dollar donated during the stream in support of the WHO's COVID-19 relief efforts
Queen have unearthed the1992 Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness and are streaming the show for a limited a limited 48-hour window this weekend to raise money for the World Health Organization and its COVID-19 relief efforts.
The tribute featured Queen’s surviving members Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon along with a stunning array of guest artists such as David Bowie, Robert Plant, Roger Daltrey, Tony Iommi, James Hetfield, Seal, George Michael, Elton John, Axl Rose and Liza Minnelli. The tribute event took place on Apr. 20, 1992 at London's Wembley Stadium several months after Mercury's death from complications from AIDS.
Google, YouTube's parent company, has pledged to match each every dollar donated during the stream with a $2 donation as part of its ongoing Google/YouTube UN Foundation fundraiser.
Recently, Queen and current lead singer Adam Lambert, in light of the postponement of their Rhapsody tour to 2021 due to coronavirus, remotely recorded a new version of “We Are the Champions” called “You Are the Champions” to raise money for the WHO’s COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.
Photo: Slaven Vlasic/Getty Images for BAM
11 Iconic Concert Films To Watch After 'Taylor Swift: The Eras Tour'
The concert film seems to be having a moment. From the Talking Heads to Queen, read on for 11 concert film experiences that will help keep the party going.
A lavender haze has descended upon movie theaters across America.
Taylor Swift’s filmed version of her historic Eras tour is the movie-music event of the year, dominating the box office becoming highest grossing dometic concert film in Hollywood history after a single weekend. Byt the time the Eras credits roll, you know all too well that you’re going to want to keep the party going.
Luckily, there are a breadth of artists whose musical singularity is reflected on the silver screen. Swift's major influence notwithstanding, the concert film seems to be having a moment in recent years: Pop stars such as Lizzo (Live in Concert), Selena Gomez (My Mind and Me) and Lewis Capaldi have released popular concert films.
Homecoming: A Film by Beyonce (2019)
When Beyoncé headlined the Coachella Music and Arts Festival — the first Black woman to do so — in 2018, she didn’t just perform; she delivered a tour de force extravaganza that spurred a whole new moniker: Beychella.
Shot over two nights, the Netflix film Homecoming includes a discography-spanning retrospective and memorable performances of "Run the World," "Single Ladies" and "Formation." Layered in ware nods to the Historically Black College and University experience, legends like Nina Simone and dazzling array of choreography, wardrobe and vocal chops.
The New Yorker later hailed it a "triumphant self portrait" and "a spectacle of soul." Directed by Queen Bey herself, Homecoming took home the golden gramophone for Best Music Film at hte 62nd GRAMMYs.
Stop Making Sense (1984)
The filmmaker Jonathan Demme is known for classics like Silence of the Lambs and Philadelphia, but he was also a major force in concert films. Among his achievements in this field is Stop Making Sense, his 1984 portrait of David Byrne and his Talking Heads.
Filmed at the peak of the band's popularity and following the release of Speaking in Tongues (which featured "This Must Be The Place" and "Burning Down the House,"), Stop Making Sense is a cult classic, from its array of hits to the band’s massive suits which became their calling card.
The film was re-released in theaters last month. "I'm kind of looking at it and thinking, who is that guy?," said David Byrne in a recent interview with NPR about watching his younger self. "I'm impressed with the film and impressed with our performance. But I'm also having this really jarring experience of thinking, ‘He's so serious.’"
BTS: Yet to Come in Cinemas (2023)
While the GRAMMY-nominated South Korean superstars BTS may be on a break — Jung Kook recently announced that he will release his debut solo full-length- bask in the glow of the K-pop and their rollicking concert film earlier this year. In the film, Jung Kook alongside Jin, RM, Jimin, V, J-Hope as they smoothly perform their calvadace of hits, including "Butter" and"Dynamite" in a 2022 performance for Busan, South Korea’s rally to host the 2030 World Expo.
The boys are actually no stranger to the genre, with Yet To Come marking their fifth concert film in addition to BTS Permission to Dance on Stage — Seoul: Live Viewing and 2020’s Break the Silence: The Movie among others.
Madonna: Truth or Dare (1991)
With off-stage footage shot in black and white and performances in vivid color, this early '90s classic depicts Queen Madge at the height of her power. Taken from an actual game Madonna and friends play towards the end of the film (to scandalous results), Truth or Dare showcases the breadth of Madonna’s superstardom up until that point with performances of classics like "Holiday" and "Like a Virgin" with its artfully-shot juxtaposition of performance and documentary footage a trailblazer in the concert film genre.
"The surprise of Truth or Dare is just what a blast Madonna is," wrote the Guardian on the occasion of the film’s 30th anniversary. "Nastily funny, openly horny, undisguised in her contempt for anyone she deems less fabulous than herself and her blessed collaborators."
Justin Bieber: Never Say Never (2011)
Way before Swiftmania, there was Bieber Fever. In the wake of Justin Bieber’s explosive rise, Never Say Never interspersed performances with snapshots of his journey from humble Canadian roots to global pop force to be reckoned with.
Helmed by Jon M. Chu (who’d go onto direct blockbusters like Crazy Rich Asians and In the Heights), Never Say Never is a time capsule of a younger, more innocent Bieber and his early earworm bubblegum hits. Until Swift's Eras is tallied it’s the top-grossing concert movie ever released in the USA.
Prince: Sign o’ the Times (1987)
This iconic concert film was once hard to come by; after its theatrical run, Sign o’ the Times was only issued on VHS and eventually went out of print. But thanks to the magic of streaming, one can now easily transport oneself back to the '80s and enjoy the magic that is Prince.
Directed by the artist and using his acclaimed 1987 album Sign o’ the Times as a jumping off point (the album itself was a 2017 inductee into the GRAMMY Hall of Fame), the film reminds viewers of the Purple One's magnetism. Under an array of colorful lights and performing to a raucous crowd, the icon may have died in 2016, but Sign o’ the Times serves as a deft time capsule of his royal talent.
Katy Perry: Part of Me (2012)
As Katy Perry was in the midst of releasing her acclaimed album Teenage Dream, the pop singer had the foresight to chronicle the ensuing pandemonium.
"I feel like it was, like, a big wave coming," she told ABC upon the release of Katy Perry: Part of Me, the 2012 concert film that documented her blockbuster California Dreams tour. "I thought to myself, 'Well, I think this is going to be a moment. Maybe I should catch it on tape. I'm either going to go completely mental, completely bankrupt, or have the best success of my life."
Fortunately the later wound up occurring, with the subsequent film a celebrity-packed (featuring everyone from Lady Gaga to Adele) hit-filled ("Teenage Dream" and "California Girls") look into the life, times and music of the star.
Queen: Live at Wembley ‘86 (1986)
Songs like "We Will Rock You" and "We Are the Champions" fit right in on Wembley's massive stage, with the concert film depicting the thundering live versions of those classics. Relive those heady days with this film which showcases just what made Mercury and his band rock icons, and huge ones at that.
"Mercury was indeed a born ringmaster," wrote CNN in a piece about their status as stadium savants. "There was no alienating affectation, no wallowing in sentiment... Queen consciously wrote their songs as vehicles for theatrics."
Summer of Soul (2021)
Back in 1969, Stevie Wonder, Gladys Knight, Nina Simone and B.B. King joined forces for the Harlem Cultural Festival, a mostly forgotten multi-week legendary summit. That all changed when Roots frontman Ahmir "Questlove" Thompson obtained a treasure trove worth of footage and directed this stunning film, aptly dubbed Summer of Soul, which brought the event back to vivid life and subsequent acclaim including a GRAMMY Award for Best Music Film.
"It was gold," Thompson told Pitchfork of his process of sifting through the footage to create what would become a passion project. "If anything, it was an embarrassment of riches. It was too much. I kept this on a 24-hour loop for about six months straight. Slept to it. Traveled to it. It was the only thing I consumed."
Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids (2016)
Also directed by Jonathan Demme and released before his 2017 death, Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids showcases Timberlake's popular 20/20 Experience World Tour and litany of solo hits including "Sexyback" and "Suit & Tie."
"I don’t think anything can compete with live performance," admitted Demme to Rolling Stone before his death in 2017. "You can’t beat it. But we strive to provide the most exciting interpretation of that feeling, as filmmakers. We can provide a roving best seat in the house. We can linger on closeups. We can follow the dynamics of the music. I love shooting music."
The Last Waltz (1978)
One of the earliest projects of director Martin Scorsese’s career was helping edit the monumental film version of Woodstock in 1970. But as that decade progressed and the auteur became known for narrative features including Mean Streets, he revisited his roots by directing The Last Waltz. A trailblazer in the genre, the film captures the last performance of The Band featuring frontman Robbie Robertson alongside a range of guests including Bob Dylan, Ringo Starr and Eric Clapton. Filmed on Thanksgiving Day in 1976, it’s a time capsule of the day’s biggest acts at the height of their artistry.
"It's a picture that kind of saved my life at the time," Scorsese told an audience at the Toronto International Film Festival during a 2019 screening. "It's very special to me. Forty years on, it's very special to a great number of us."
Photo: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic
GRAMMY Rewind: Kendrick Lamar Honors Hip-Hop's Greats While Accepting Best Rap Album GRAMMY For 'To Pimp a Butterfly' In 2016
Upon winning the GRAMMY for Best Rap Album for 'To Pimp a Butterfly,' Kendrick Lamar thanked those that helped him get to the stage, and the artists that blazed the trail for him.
Updated Friday Oct. 13, 2023 to include info about Kendrick Lamar's most recent GRAMMY wins, as of the 2023 GRAMMYs.
A GRAMMY veteran these days, Kendrick Lamar has won 17 GRAMMYs and has received 47 GRAMMY nominations overall. A sizable chunk of his trophies came from the 58th annual GRAMMY Awards in 2016, when he walked away with five — including his first-ever win in the Best Rap Album category.
This installment of GRAMMY Rewind turns back the clock to 2016, revisiting Lamar's acceptance speech upon winning Best Rap Album for To Pimp A Butterfly. Though Lamar was alone on stage, he made it clear that he wouldn't be at the top of his game without the help of a broad support system.
"First off, all glory to God, that's for sure," he said, kicking off a speech that went on to thank his parents, who he described as his "those who gave me the responsibility of knowing, of accepting the good with the bad."
He also extended his love and gratitude to his fiancée, Whitney Alford, and shouted out his Top Dawg Entertainment labelmates. Lamar specifically praised Top Dawg's CEO, Anthony Tiffith, for finding and developing raw talent that might not otherwise get the chance to pursue their musical dreams.
"We'd never forget that: Taking these kids out of the projects, out of Compton, and putting them right here on this stage, to be the best that they can be," Lamar — a Compton native himself — continued, leading into an impassioned conclusion spotlighting some of the cornerstone rap albums that came before To Pimp a Butterfly.
To Pimp a Butterfly singles "Alright" and "These Walls" earned Lamar three more GRAMMYs that night, the former winning Best Rap Performance and Best Rap Song and the latter taking Best Rap/Sung Collaboration (the song features Bilal, Anna Wise and Thundercat). He also won Best Music Video for the remix of Taylor Swift's "Bad Blood."
Watch Lamar's full acceptance speech above, and check back at GRAMMY.com every Friday for more GRAMMY Rewind episodes.
Photo: Michael Putland/Getty Images
Queen's Debut Album Turns 50: How The Self-Titled LP Signaled A New Rock Dawn
A half-century after introducing the world to Queen — and perhaps even more notably, their mercurial frontman — GRAMMY.com looks back on the eponymous first album that took rock music to new theatrical heights.
Much of Queen's 1973 self-titled debut appears to have been erased from the rock giants' remarkable history. It's conspicuous by its absence on Greatest Hits, the 1981 compilation that remains the U.K.'s best-selling album ever. The Adam Lambert incarnation has only ever played two of its songs. And in one of many, many examples of revisionism, the Bohemian Rhapsody film would have you believe their first recorded effort was their second album's closer "Seven Seas of Rhye." And yet, it's a vital first chapter of Queen's story — one which laid the groundwork for all of the genius, and indeed chaos, that was to follow.
Celebrating its 50th anniversary on July 13, Queen derived from a five-song demo frontman Freddie Mercury, guitarist Brian May, bassist John Deacon and drummer Roger Taylor had shipped around numerous labels the year previously. Charisma Records was the only one to bite. But as the home of the already-established prog rockers Genesis, the band reportedly believed they wouldn't get the attention they required and turned the offer down.
Queen did, however, forge a connection with John Anthony, the producer of Genesis' second LP Trespass, and his Neptune Productions co-founder Roy Thomas Baker. The pair subsequently guided sessions at the same Trident Studios whereThe Beatles, a particular favorite of May's, had laid down "Hey Jude." But unlike the Fab Four, Queen were only allowed to record out-of-hours, an arrangement that Taylor laterrevealed in 2011 documentary Days of Our Lives wasn't always conducive to full concentration: "You could see the working girls at night through their laced curtains, so while we were mixing, we would have a little bit of diversion."
Like any young band, Queen took a while to nail things. Opener "Keep Yourself Alive," one of the album's few songs to enjoy a healthy shelf life, had to be re-recorded eight times before a mix by longtime engineer Mike Stone finally achieved the band's approval. "Mad the Swine" was discarded completely due to conflicting opinions over its rhythm, only later showing up as a 1991 B-side. And the atmosphere between the group and Baker was continually fraught, with May later remarking, "We were fighting the whole time to find a place where we had the perfection, but also the reality of performance and sound."
Queen's teething problems didn't subside once they waved goodbye to the studio. Once again, the group struggled to attract any major label interest. In fact, it took eight months for their debut to find a home: it was eventually issued by Trident Studios via a licensing deal with Elektra Records in the States and EMI in the U.K. The former's founder, Jac Holman, certainly made up for the lack of enthusiasm elsewhere, though, declaring in a 1972 memo to his staff, "I have seen the future of pop music, and it is a band called Queen."
Unfortunately, by the time the record eventually hit stores the next year, the band themselves believed that, far from forward-thinking, it was already something of a relic. Speaking to Guitar magazine just weeks later, a disillusioned May remarked, "Most of the songs were written about three years ago. We just feel that, as a band, we've gone past what's on the album. We put it down in order to progress to different things." Within a month, Queen had returned to Trident Studios to start work on its follow-up.
Luckily, the reaction outside the band was less fatigued. Although it hardly set the charts alight, peaking at No. 83 on the Billboard 200 and No. 32 on the UK album chart, Queen sold steadily enough to achieve gold status. A headlining national tour which began, rather appropriately, at Basingstoke's Queen Mary's College and a support slot with Mott the Hoople also helped to spread the word.
And the press instantly latched onto a band whose mission statement, as Mercury told Melody Maker, was to instantly shock: "We don't want people to have to think of [whether] they like us or not, but to formulate an opinion the moment they see us." In one of the album's more rhapsodic reviews, Rolling Stone declared "this funky, energetic English quartet has all the tools they'll need to lay claim to the Zep's abdicated heavy-metal throne, and beyond that to become a truly influential force in the rock world."
Those only familiar with the group's crowd-pleasing stadium anthems may be surprised to hear of comparisons with Led Zeppelin and talk of heavy metal. But the Queen of 1973 was a different beast to the Queen that conquered Live Aid. Their eponymous debut is indeed a place where the riffs are thunderous, tempos are forever shifting and lyrical themes are grounded in the mystical and medieval. There's little here to inspire mass singalongs a la "We Will Rock You" or "Don't Stop Me Now."
For a band in their infancy, the sense of ambition is remarkable — yet as they'd prove throughout their career, hardly an outlier. Plucked from May and Taylor's former band, Smile, "Doing All Right" lurches from prog and folk to proto-metal with aplomb. With galloping rhythms, acoustic breaks and an interpolation of nursery rhyme "Old King Cole," the baroque and bizarre "Great King Rat" contains more ideas in its near-six minutes than many of their peers managed in their entire discographies; "Jesus" celebrates Christ's power to cure the sick over a marching beat and swirling guitars that border on the psychedelic.
As signified by the album's artwork — a purple-tinted spotlight glaring solely on their arms-outstretched frontman — Mercury is undoubtedly the star of the show. Not only does he co-write half the 10 tracks, he takes nearly all the main vocal duties, too, and even gets to debut his piano skills on "My Fairy King." This Tolkien-esque saga ("Ah, then came man to savage in the night/ To run like thieves and to kill like knives") also introduced the fantastical world of Rhye that would be explored further in Queen's commercial breakthrough.
However, Mercury's bandmates still get the chance to shine. You're never more than 30 seconds away from May attempting to emulate the overdubbed theatrics of his guitar hero Jimi Hendrix, like on "Son and Daughter. " He was so keen to prove his six-string wizardry was the real thing, he insisted in Queen's liner notes that "nobody played synthesizer."
It's May's solo compositions that are the album's most accessible. The propulsive opener "Keep Yourself Alive" hints at the band's excessive tastes ("Well I've loved a million women/In a belladonic haze/And I ate a million dinners/Brought to me on silver trays," Mercury sings on the second verse); "Night Comes Down" is an introspective coming-of-age tale with a lyrical nod to the Beatles' "Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds."
Setting the template for every future Queen album, Taylor grabs a lead vocal on "Modern Times Rock 'N' Roll," a short but fast burst of pre-punk that takes aim at the state of the early '70s music industry. And while Deacon's basslines are generally buried a little deeper into the mix, they come to life on "Liar," a full-throttle confessional where Mercury tries to atone for some undisclosed sins.
Although Queen were keen to move on from their debut, its follow-up still had several ties. Despite their previous creative differences, Baker returned to the production fold, as he would for the band's subsequent two releases. And it also closed with "Seven Seas of Rhye," the original brief instrumental in Queen that was expanded to a full vocal-led version — and wound up becoming the band's first notable hit in 1974.
And over time, the group appeared to recognize Queen's merits. "Keep Yourself Alive," "Seven Seas of Rhye" and "Liar" all returned to setlists during their stadium tour phase. And in 2011's 40 Years of Queen book, May acknowledged that the LP possessed two qualities lacking elsewhere in their oeuvre. "That album had the youth and freshness which was never regained, because you're only young once," he wrote. "I would never think of going back and redoing it, or anything like that, because I think it has a freshness we won't have again."
Indeed, Queen might not have the same stature as A Night at the Opera, News of the World or any of the other four studio efforts that positioned Mercury and Co. as the true champions of '70s rock. But in allowing the band to explore and develop their love of the grandiose, it was an undeniably pivotal stepping stone for one of rock's game-changing groups.
Photo: Kristy Sparow/Getty Images, Kevin Winter/Getty Images for LARAS, Kevin Winter/Getty Images for The Recording Academy, Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images for The Recording Academy, Stephen J. Cohen/Getty Images, Gustavo Garcia Villa
Listen To GRAMMY.com's LGBTQIA+ Pride Month 2023 Playlist Featuring Demi Lovato, Sam Smith, Kim Petras, Frank Ocean, Omar Apollo & More
Celebrate LGBTQIA+ Pride Month 2023 with a 50-song playlist that spans genres and generations, honoring trailblazing artists and allies including George Michael, Miley Cyrus, Orville Peck, Lady Gaga and Ariana Grande and many more.
In the past year, artists in the LGBTQIA+ community have continued to create change and make history — specifically, GRAMMY history. Last November, Liniker became the first trans artist to win a Latin GRAMMY Award when she took home Best MPB Album for Indigo Borboleta Anil; three months later, Sam Smith and Kim Petras became the first nonbinary and trans artists, respectively, to win the GRAMMY Award for Best Pop Duo/Group Performance for their sinful collab "Unholy."
Just those two feats alone prove that the LGBTQIA+ community is making more and more of an impact every year. So this Pride Month, GRAMMY.com celebrates those strides with a playlist of hits and timeless classics that are driving conversations around equality and fairness for the LGBTQIA+ community.