Guns N’ Roses frontman Axl Rose called Queen counterpart Freddie Mercury “the greatest” in a rare interview, and explained why he admired the British band so much.

Mercury, who died in 1991, is the focus of more attention than he’s received in years as a result of the Bohemian Rhapsody movie, which is on course to become the most successful music biopic of all time.

In a conversation with the Etihad airline’s Atlas magazine, Rose was asked, “You’re considered to be one of the greatest frontmen ever. But who do you think deserves that accolade?” He replied, “For me, it’s easy – Queen is greatest band and Freddie is the greatest frontman of all time. The band are the greatest because they embraced so many different styles.”

Rose’s admiration for Mercury is well known. In 1992, he took part in the Mercury memorial concert, performing "Bohemian Rhapsody" with Elton John and Queen. You can watch the moment below.

Years later, when he’d been listed as the best singer of all time, included the Queen icon in his personal list of people he’d prefer to listen to instead of himself. “If I hadn’t had Freddie Mercury’s lyrics to hold onto as a kid, I don’t know where I would be," he once said. "It taught me about all forms of music … it would open my mind. I never really had a bigger teacher in my whole life.”

In the new interview, Rose wasn’t asked about new Guns N’ Roses music, but did comment on his interest in writing music for movies. “Listening to movie soundtracks is a big thing for me," he said. "When you listen to stuff like Pirates of the Caribbean and you get that blend of orchestra and modern instrumentation – it’s very clever. I have a lot of respect for the guys who do that. It is something that I would like to do at some point in the future.”



Freddie Mercury Through the Years: Photo Gallery

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