Legendary Queen guitarist Brian May turns 76 today!
In addition to achieving worldwide fame in the rock band Queen, May is also an astrophysicist, animal rights activist, and knight!
First up, May co-founded Queen with singer Freddie Mercury and drummer Roger Taylor. Queen remains one of the most successful acts in music history with hits like “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You,” and “Another One Bites the Dust.” May is #26 on Rolling Stone’s list of the “100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time.” He’s also been inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and received the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award.
In a 2010 interview, May said he would rather be remembered for his animal rights work than for his music. He formed the animal welfare group Save Me, which works for the protection of all animals against unnecessary, cruel and degrading treatment, with a particular emphasis on preventing hunting of foxes and the culling of badgers.
May is also an astrophysicist. He was working toward his PhD in astrophysics when he left school to go on tour with Queen. In 2007, more than 30 years later, he finallyturned in his 48,000-word thesis to Imperial College. In 2015, May served as a science collaborator on NASA’s New Horizons interplanetary space probe project, examining results from a fly-by of Pluto.
And as if all that weren’t impressive enough, Brian May is actually now Sir Brian May! King Charles III knighted him in March during a ceremony at Buckingham Palace. May received the knighthood title with a touch of the king’s ceremonial sword and was awarded the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire.
“This is a kind of license, a kind of commission to carry on doing what I’m doing, and it gives me a bit more power to my elbow,” May told BBC News. “So I’m very happy about that.”
Happy 76th Birthday to Sir Brian May!