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Robbie Williams: I turned down the chance to be Queen’s frontman

Robbie Williams and Queen's Brian May & Roger Taylor
Robbie Williams and Queen's Brian May & Roger Taylor (Image credit: Tristar Media, Axelle/Bauer-Griffin/FilmMagic - Getty)

Robbie Williams says he was asked to be the frontman of Queen (opens in new tab) after he worked with the band at the start of the millennium.

The former Take That singer hooked up with Brian May and Roger Taylor in 2001 for a new version of We Are The Champions which appeared on the soundtrack to Brian Helgeland’s action adventure movie A Knight’s Tale.

In a recent interview on SiriusXM’s Volume (opens in new tab), Williams was asked if there was ever any talk about him fronting Queen after that.

Williams replies: “There was, yeah. They asked me to do it."

He adds: "Even though I’m very confident here on the microphone, I have suffered with incredibly low self-esteem – and I just thought I’d save them the audacity of me even trying to step on a stage and be in the same echelon as Freddie Mercury (opens in new tab)

“Because he, to me, is angelic. He’s godlike and it was just too scary. Plus, I was doing stadiums myself at the time, so I didn’t want to have to split it three ways, but that’s another story!”

Asked if he regretted the decision, Williams says: “No, I don’t. Adam Lambert, if he wasn’t such a lovely person, which he is, I would just be terrified of him because of his pure talent.

“His voice is absolutely incredible and he’s an incredible performer and a lovely person.”

Williams last hit the rock headlines due to his public feud with his neighbour Jimmy Page (opens in new tab).

Williams and the former Led Zeppelin (opens in new tab) guitarist have been at loggerheads since 2015 over Williams’ plans to build a swimming pool in the basement of his west London home. 

Page has long argued that if that went ahead, it could have “catastrophic consequences” for the integrity of his home – a Grade 1 listed building which is situated just 13 meters away.

Scott looks after and updates Louder’s online buyer’s guides and also scouts out the best deals for music fans from every corner of the internet. He's spent more than 28 years in newspapers and magazines as an editor, production editor, sub-editor, designer, writer and reviewer. Scott joined our news desk in the summer of 2014, where he wrote extensively about rock, metal, prog and more, before moving to the eCommerce team full-time in 2020. Scott has previous written for publications including IGN, Sunday Mirror, Daily Record and The Herald covering everything from daily news and weekly features, to video games, travel and whisky.