Queen honoured with a PRS for Music heritage award

PRS for Music announced that one of the greatest bands of all time will be honoured with a music Heritage Award.

On Tuesday, 5th March, Brian May and Roger Taylor will accept the plaque at Imperial College to commemorate where Queen performed their first concert in London on 18 July 1970.

One of the world’s most prolific groups, Queen released 16 number one albums, 18 number one singles, and achieved over 300 million record sales. One of their most loved hits, ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ stayed at the top of the charts for nine weeks and their performance at the Live Aid concert in 1985 is widely regarded as a seminal moment in rock history.


The first proper gig we did was at Imperial College in the Union Hall. I remember it very distinctly because I’d seen all sorts of people playing in there. I’d been part of the Entertainment Committee and we booked a group every Saturday night in those days. People like Spooky Tooth and Steamhammer! We booked Jimi Hendrix too. So for us it was a dream come true to actually play on that stage. It used to get packed in there so it was a major stepping stone for us.

Brian May

Imperial College was effectively our positional and spiritual base and so means a lot to Queen. Many good memories, without it…who knows?

Roger Taylor

Loved by millions the world over, they were often thought of as the People’s Band. Queen’s songwriting originality combined musicianship with real life emotion sustaining generations of dedicated fans. It will be an enormous honour to present Brian and Roger with the PRS for Music Heritage award at such a fine institution.

Guy Fletcher OBE, PRS Chair

We’re very proud of Imperial College Union’s musical past, including the small role we played in the Queen story. It’s a privilege to host a plaque commemorating the band’s first London performance here and to welcome them back here today.

Paul Beaumont, President of the Students’ Union at Imperial College London

PRS for Music established the Heritage Award scheme in 2009 to recognise important live music venues where iconic bands and songwriters performed. Previous awardees include Blur, Elton John, Soul II Soul, UB40, Snow Patrol, Faithless, James, Jethro Tull, Dire Straits and Supergrass.

About Brian May

With a musical career spanning four decades, Queen founding member Brian May is a world-renowned guitarist and songwriter, with production and performance credits on recordings which have sold in excess of 100 million copies worldwide.

Brian penned 22 worldwide hits for Queen; among them the anthems ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘The Show Must Go On’ and ‘I Want It All’, and powerful ballads including ‘Who Wants to Live Forever’, ‘No-One But You (Only the Good Die Young)‘ and ‘Save Me’. As a successful and respected solo artist, Brian’s recordings include the albums Back to the Light (1992), featuring ‘Too Much Love Will Kill You’ and ‘Driven By You’, both Ivor Novello Award-winners, and 1998’s Another World. His songs continue to influence new generations of performers and have inspired recordings by artists as diverse as Elton John, Def Leppard, the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, Shirley Bassey and Eminem.

Brian enjoys interacting with his friends and fans who can contact him and enjoy updates on his work and thoughts via his own channel, Brian’s Soapbox, on his website at He’s also been joined, more recently, by a growing army of Twitter followers at @DrBrianMay.

Following the great success of the inaugural Born Free Tour in 2012, Brian May and singing sensation Kerry Ellis are teaming up again for a second Born Free Tour  with a further 10 shows all performed by candlelight at venues around the UK and Ireland.

About Roger Taylor

Although best known for his powerhouse role in Queen, Roger Taylor is anything but a drummer confined to his kit. With rock n’ roll in his veins all through his schooldays, he has always been a highly active, vocal member of Queen.  He famously wrote Queen’s landmark hits ”Radio Ga Ga" and "A Kind Of Magic", and was also the first to make a solo album, 1981’s Fun In Space.  To date he has released four solo albums, which, aside from his work with Queen, further highlighted Taylor as a musician and writer with a strong identity, a wide musical perspective, and - not least of all  - a man not without a sense of irony.  Just consider, for instance, the lyrics to “I’m In Love With My Car”, his B side to “Bohemian Rhapsody”, and a firm audience favourite in the Queen live set.

Having returned to his solo career in late 2009 with the release of the single 'The Unblinking Eye', Roger is planning new solo material, a retrospective box set and possibly a solo tour.

About Imperial College London

Consistently rated amongst the world's best universities, Imperial College London is a science-based institution with a reputation for excellence in teaching and research that attracts 14,000 students and 6,000 staff of the highest international quality. Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and business, delivering practical solutions that improve quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.

Since its foundation in 1907, Imperial's contributions to society have included the discovery of penicillin, the development of holography and the foundations of fibre optics. This commitment to the application of research for the benefit of all continues today, with current focuses including interdisciplinary collaborations to improve global health, tackle climate change, develop sustainable sources of energy and address security challenges.

In 2007, Imperial College London and Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust formed the UK's first Academic Health Science Centre. This unique partnership aims to improve the quality of life of patients and populations by taking new discoveries and translating them into new therapies as quickly as possible.

About PRS for Music

Here for music since 1914, PRS for Music is a world-leading music collective management organisation representing the rights of more than 175,000 talented songwriters, composers and music publishers. Redefining the global standard for music royalties, PRS for Music ensures songwriters and composers are paid whenever their musical compositions and songs are streamed, downloaded, broadcast, performed and played in public. 

For 110 years it has grown and protected the rights of the music creator community, paying out royalties with more accuracy, transparency and speed. In 2023, PRS for Music paid out £943.6m in royalties and collected a record £1.08 billion in revenues.

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