The Doors tried and struggled along for a couple of albums before conceding that Morrison was irreplaceable. Phil Collins of Genesis and that screamer in the cloth cap in AC/DC actually took their bands to new heights after the departure of Peter Gabriel and the drunken death of the beloved Bon Scott. And now, coming to town in November: "Queen + Adam Lambert”.

Mercury died at age 45 in 1991 of complications due to AIDS. The four-octave vocalist was particularly noted for his flamboyant and theatrical performances on stage, encapsulated at Live Aid in Wembley Stadium in 1985, considered by some cognoscenti as the greatest live performance in all rock music.

Whether this is true or not, Mercury’s candle-both-ends hedonistic and bisexual lifestyle reached its doomed climax in those fearful early days of AIDS.

In 2004, Queen guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor recruited former Free and Bad Company singer Paul Rodgers, as Queen + Paul Rodgers. It was made plain that Rodgers was not to be considered a replacement for Mercury but was "featured with” the band. Queen bassist John Deacon had retired in 1997 and he declined to participate. With royalties coming in from some 300 zillion records sold, it could have made his decision easier.

Rodgers was the voice on Free’s greatest hit, "All Right Now", in 1970. The Queen collaboration toured the world, including Budapest Sportaréna in 2005, before bringing down the curtain in 2009 with the announcement that "it was never meant to be a permanent arrangement".

That same year, Adam Lambert was a contestant, and eventually runner-up, on the eighth season of “American Idol”, where he performed Queen’s “We Are the Champions”. Brian May and Roger Taylor appeared on the show as guests in his band, and May declared his interest in Lambert to replace Rodgers.

In November 2011, Lambert joined the two Queen men for a performance at the MTV Europe Awards in Belfast where Queen received a Global Icon Award. The following June, Queen + Adam Lambert played their first full concert at Kiev's Independence Square in a joint show with Elton John in aid of an AIDS organisation.

Since then they have played North and South America, Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, Japan and Europe. A 26-date North American arena tour opens in June and extends to August, after which come 26 European dates, including Budapest in November.

Lambert has a successful solo career, with three albums to his name. His voice – apparently with a range of three octaves and six semitones – seems to be widely regarded, and according to a British tabloid is insured for USD 48 million.

Let’s face it, Queen aren’t a “real” rock band any more but they’re giving nostalgic pleasure. And for Lambert, with a theatrical performance style and having declared himself gay, standing in Mercury’s footsteps may not be so daunting.

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