Show goes on for Hartlepool Freddie Mercury tribute performer as he releases song in legend's memory
A Freddie Mercury impersonator is supporting charity after recording a song in the Queen singing star’s memory.
Hartlepool’s Billy West, 61, has not recorded a song in over 30 years before returning to the studio with band Qween UK this spring to pay tribute to Freddie Mercury.
The record, called He Will Rock You is a short story about Freddie and half of the proceeds will be donated to Hartlepool’s Alice House Hospice, where Billy’s mum was cared for in 2010.
Billy, who has been impersonating the Queen star for almost three decades, has said he wanted to record the song as he “owes Freddie a lot”.
The performer said: "It’s a fantastic song, it’s had a good response all over the country.
"It was recorded and produced in Hartlepool as well.”
The song was released earlier this month ahead of the 30th anniversary of Mercury’s death later this year.
Billy continued: “The great thing to me about Queen’s music is the fact that Freddie Mercury has been dead for 30 years, but the music is still out there and it’s people like me that can make a living out of it, it’s such classic music.
"I owe Freddie Mercury a lot, that’s why I wrote the song. It’s a tribute to Freddie Mercury for giving me a career for the past 29 years.”
The professional singer, who has performed thousands of shows all over the UK and Europe as the Queen frontman, has also spoken about missing the thrill of performing in front of big crowds.
Billy said: "It’s a great buzz. My whole week revolves around it.
"It’s very rewarding when you have good time with a big crowd.
"Before the lockdown I was fully booked.
"I was doing really well, but it’s just really affected my business badly, but then again it’s affected other people as well, so you’ve got to put it into perspective."
But the show must go on and with Covid restrictions lifting, Billy has been performing at outdoor events again.
During lockdown, he also took up poetry and recently wrote a poem inspired by Hartlepool United’s promotion to the Football League.