Freddie Mercury, Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor banded up as the British rock group Queen in 1971. Although they achieved recognition as a progressive rock outfit, the band has experimented with different music genres such as heavy metal and glam rock throughout their history. Fans love and know the band’s music for its theatrical feel and flippant character.

The 1970 release of A Night at the Opera ushered mainstream success for Queen. It marked a shift from progressive rock to a more conventional rock sound, which partly figured into the band’s ensuing commercial success. The album included “Bohemian Rhapsody,” one of the band’s most popular and enduring songs which is widely regarded as on of the best songs ever. Subsequent hits during the 1970s were “Somebody to Love,” “We Will Rock You,” and “We Are the Champions,” all well-loved anthems in their own right.

The band continued to bask in their success in the 1980s, releasing five studio albums that all went either gold or platinum. They also released “Another One Bites the Dust” during these years, which peaked at number one in the US charts. In 1981, the band collaborated with David Bowie to produce “Under Pressure,” which only fared modestly in the United States but hit number one in the United Kingdom.

The band’s momentum was cut short in the 1990s as Freddie Mercury contracted HIV. Although the band denied allegations of Mercury’s illness, his declining condition forced the band to lie low from the public and focus on future albums instead. Finally, Mercury passed away in late 1991. Queen never disbanded officially, but one can say that they never were quite the same without Mercury’s distinctive vocals and showmanship.

Testament to Queen’s legend and legacy, numerous artists such as Ben Folds Five, Kurt Cobain, Iron Maiden and The Smashing Pumpkins have cited the band as influences.