There’s no denying that the music industry has seen its fair share of legendary artists, but few have made an impact as enduring and powerful as Brian May. As the lead guitarist of Queen, May has consistently been a driving force behind the band’s success, pushing the boundaries of rock music and creating some of the most memorable guitar solos in history. Today, we will delve into the life and career of this extraordinary musician, exploring his early years, his rise to fame, and his impressive net worth.
Net Worth: $210 Million
Date of Birth: Jul 19, 1947
Place of Birth: Hampton, London
Profession: Singer, Musician, Record Producer, Songwriter, Guitarist, Writer, Author
Brian May Early Life
Brian Harold May was born on July 19, 1947, in Hampton, London, to Harold and Ruth May. His father worked as an electronics engineer, and his mother was a homemaker. May’s love for music began at a young age, as he would often listen to his father’s record collection and marvel at the sounds of the guitar. He was also a gifted student, excelling in mathematics and science.
At the age of seven, May began to learn how to play the piano, but he quickly discovered that his true passion lay with the guitar. His father, recognizing his son’s talent and enthusiasm, helped him build his first electric guitar at the age of 16 – the now-famous “Red Special.” The homemade instrument would become an integral part of May’s signature sound.
Despite his love for music, May chose to pursue a degree in physics and mathematics at Imperial College London. It was during his time at university that he met future bandmates Roger Taylor and Tim Staffell, and they formed the band Smile. Smile would eventually dissolve, but its foundations would lead to the creation of one of the most iconic rock bands in history: Queen.
Brian May Personal Life
Brian May has always been a private individual when it comes to his personal life, but some details have emerged over the years. May married his first wife, Christine Mullen, in 1974, and the couple had three children together – James, Louisa, and Emily. Sadly, the marriage ended in divorce in 1988.
In 2000, May found love again with actress Anita Dobson, who is best known for her role in the British soap opera “EastEnders.” The couple married in 2000 and have been together ever since. May and Dobson share a deep passion for animal rights and have worked together on various campaigns to promote animal welfare and raise awareness about cruelty-free living.
Outside of his family life, May has been open about his health struggles, including his battles with depression and a heart attack scare in 2020. These experiences have made him an advocate for mental health awareness and the importance of maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Brian May Career
Brian May’s career has been nothing short of extraordinary, spanning over five decades and encompassing numerous achievements in both music and academia. As the lead guitarist of Queen, May has written and composed some of the band’s most iconic songs, such as “We Will Rock You,” “Fat Bottomed Girls,” and “I Want It All.”
Queen’s success continued even after the tragic death of their charismatic frontman, Freddie Mercury, in 1991. May, along with drummer Roger Taylor, has kept the band’s legacy alive, performing with various vocalists, including Paul Rodgers and Adam Lambert. The band has continued to tour, release new music, and maintain their status as rock legends.
May’s solo career, though not as commercially successful as his work with Queen, has allowed him to explore different musical styles and collaborate with a diverse range of artists. His solo work is marked by a more introspective and personal tone, often reflecting his own experiences and emotions.
May’s passion for academia led him to complete his Ph.D. in Astrophysics in 2007, more than three decades after he had initially abandoned his studies to pursue a career in music. As an astrophysicist, he has co-authored several books, including “Bang! The Complete History of the Universe” and “The Cosmic Tourist.”
In recent years, May has become an advocate for various causes, including animal rights, environmental conservation, and mental health awareness. He has used his fame and influence to raise funds and awareness for these issues, showing that his talents extend far beyond the realm of music.
Brian May Net Worth
Brian May’s net worth is estimated to be around $210 million, making him one of the wealthiest musicians in the world. But how did he amass such a fortune? A significant portion of his wealth comes from his time with Queen, whose record sales and concert revenues have generated billions of dollars.
In the early days, Queen struggled to find success, but their big break came with the release of their third album, “Sheer Heart Attack,” in 1974. The album featured the hit single “Killer Queen,” which propelled the band to international stardom. Queen’s next album, “A Night at the Opera,” included one of their most famous songs, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which showcased May’s exceptional guitar skills.
Throughout the 1970s and 1980s, Queen continued to release chart-topping albums and singles, solidifying their status as one of the biggest rock bands in the world. Their performance at the 1985 Live Aid concert is still considered one of the greatest live performances in music history.
While May’s career with Queen undoubtedly makes up a significant portion of his net worth, his various solo projects, and collaborations have also contributed to his fortune. May has released two solo albums – “Back to the Light” in 1992 and “Another World” in 1998 – both of which enjoyed moderate success. Additionally, he has collaborated with numerous artists, such as Eddie Van Halen, Paul Rodgers, and Kerry Ellis.
Aside from his musical career, May has earned money through various business ventures and investments. In 2006, he co-founded the company Brian May Guitars, which produces replicas of his iconic “Red Special” guitar. Moreover, he is an accomplished astrophysicist, having completed his Ph.D. in 2007. May has written several books, both on astronomy and music, further diversifying his income streams.