Brian May has added another title to his title to his résumé. Already a rock legend, an activist, and a doctor in astrophysics, May has now been knighted by King Charles.
May received a knighthood as part of the 2023 New Year Honours List, an annual tradition celebrating the achievements and service of exceptional individuals. May was specifically recognized for his contributions to “music and charity.”
His full citation reads as follows: “Brian May is an acclaimed musician and songwriter, founding member of the rock group Queen. In 2020 he was named Greatest Guitarist of All Time by Total Guitar Magazine. Queen’s performance at Live Aid in 1985 is acknowledged as the greatest live set in history. Brian famously opened the Queen’s Golden Jubilee celebrations in 2002 performing live on Buckingham Palace roof – and 20 years later returned to open the Platinum Jubilee concert atop the Victoria Monument. He is also an accomplished astrophysicist, now attached as stereoscopist to many NASA Space exploration teams. He re-established the London Stereoscopic Company in 2008, was co-founder of Asteroid Day in 2015, for the protection of Earth from Asteroid strikes, and was Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University from 2008-2013. His work defending Britain’s wild animals led him to found the Save-Me Trust in 2009, which is his continuing passion, campaigning for the rights of foxes and badgers, and hosting an active wild-life rescue operation.”
“I’m happy and grateful to receive this honour,” May said in a statement acknowledging the honor. “I will regard the knighthood not so much as a reward, but more as a charge – a commission – for me to continue to fight for justice – to be a voice for those who have no voice. I will endeavour to be worthy – to be that Knight in Shining Armour.”
In September, Brian May and Queen bandmate Roger Taylor participated in Foo Fighters’ Taylor Hawkins tribute concert at Wembley Stadium, with May delivering an emotional solo acoustic performance of “Love of My Life.” Queen’s surviving members also recently unearthed an unheard song called “Face It Alone” featuring Freddie Mercury on vocals.