2003 Award and Induction Ceremony


The scene in “Wayne’s World” where the central characters listened while driving to “Bohemian Rhapsody” typifies much about what has made Queen’s music popular and enduring. The songs have a rhythmic jolt that can’t help but make your head nod back and forth and singing along amounts to a virtual reflex due to the anthemic nature of the material.

Queen formed in 1971 while the members were still college students and made its first recording in 1973. That album didn’t catch fire, but the second release included “Seven Seas of Rhye,” the song that first gained the group its fans. With the release of their third record, Queen began to make a name in the American marketplace, but their meteoric and global success occurred with 1975’s “A Night At The Opera,” which included “Bohemian Rhapsody.” The mock-operatic piece took three weeks to record, and it was promoted with one of the first conceptual videos. Other successful releases followed, with songs like “Somebody to Love,” “We Are The Champions” and “We Will Rock You” added to the core of Queen’s repertoire.

In the 1980s, Queen diversified its sound with tracks like “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “Another One Bites The Dust” and “Under Pressure,” their collaboration with David Bowie. They created as well a movie soundtrack for the 1980 film “Flash Gordon.” Sadly, the bubble burst when lead vocalist, Freddie Mercury, announced in November of 1991 that he was suffering from AIDS. The scope of the group’s fans was underscored when he died two days later and a memorial concert was held at England’s Wembly Stadium. Over a billion people around the globe saw the show when it was broadcast live.





Little Richard

Van Morrison

Phil Collins

Johnny Mercer Award
Jimmy Webb

Abe Olman Publisher Award
Nicholas Firth

Sammy Cahn Lifetime Achievement Award
Patti LaBelle

Howie Richmond Hitmaker Award
Clive Davis

Patron of the Arts Award
Martin Bandier

Towering Song
“I Left My Heart in San Francisco”