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IT'S ALIVE: Queen "We Are The Champions" (Montreal, 1981)

It's Alive briefly devotes the airwaves to live music everyday at 1pm. Tune in today hear this performance and more live tracks!

Happy birthday Freddie Mercury! The legendary Queen frontman was born Farrokh Bulsara in Stone Town in the British protectorate of Zanzibar (now part of Tanzania) today in 1946 to Parsi parents from western India. He spent much of his childhood in India, where he would begin piano lessons while living with relatives. In 1964, his family fled the violence of the Zanzibar Revolution and settled in Middlesex, England.

In 1969, Mercury graduated from Ealing Art College, and the following year, joined guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor and their band Smile. They were joined by bassist John Deacon in 1971, and Mercury named the new band Queen. He was later quoted saying, "It's very regal obviously, and it sounds splendid. It's a strong name, very universal and immediate. I was certainly aware of the gay connotations, but that was just one facet of it."

Queen went to to become one of the most successful and iconic rock bands of all time. They have sold an estimated 250 to 300 million records, and were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. With all four members having composed hit songs for the band, they were the first band to be inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame. This video finds them during their unforgettable show at the Montreal Forum on 24 November and 25 November 1981 performing "We Are The Champions".

Otis is the late morning host on WFPK. Email Otis at ojunior@lpm.org

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