Queen guitarist gets jazz title, becomes Sir Brian May

LONDON (AP) — Queen guitarist Brian May is now a “jazz.”

May, who also holds a doctorate in astrophysics and is an animal welfare advocate, was knighted on Friday as part of Britain’s annual New Year’s Honors list. He is one of hundreds of artists, community leaders and athletes recognized on the first-of-its-kind list signed by King Charles III.

The Queen guitarist was honored for his contributions to music and charity. He said he wished the knighthood would give him “a little more leverage”.

“If it had been Sir Brian calling, maybe more people would have listened to me, you know,” May said, speaking to The Associated Press via Zoom from her home in Windlesham, Surrey.

He campaigned against badger and fox hunting through the animal welfare group he founded in 2010, named Save Me after the 1980 Queen song. Some of the animals he has rescued over the years have been released onto his land.

“For a long time, I have felt that we have a wrong idea that humans are the only important species on earth, and I don’t think aliens would see it that way. I think every species and everyone has the right to live A decent life and a decent death. That’s where I come from,” he said.

He admits he already has “a certain amount of power in the world, obviously mainly because of music,” which has allowed him to move into other fields, such as astrophysics, and work in stereo vision or 3D imaging. He received his PhD in 2007 from Imperial College London.

“I’m doing a lot of work in that area now, and I think it’s a great service to humanity,” May said — and animals. “

Knights are addressed as “sir” or “ma’am” followed by their first name. It also means that Anita Dobson, May’s wife of 22 years, may use the title Mrs May.

“She’s thrilled as hell. Yes, yes, she’s delighted about it. Yes, Lady Anita, she’ll enjoy it,” said May, “I’m delighted to be able to bestow that on her. She’s beside me It makes me proud to be honored because God knows I wouldn’t be here without her.”


Paragraph 3 has been corrected to reflect that Queen is still active and May is still the band’s guitarist.

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