Queen's Roger Taylor on 'You Are the Champions' Tribute to Healthcare Heroes (Including His Daughter)

Roger Taylor
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Roger Taylor attends the 'Pinktober Gala Presented By Hard Rock Heals' at The Dorchester on Oct. 13, 2017 in London.

Queen and Adam Lambert are joining forces – remotely, of course – to salute and raise funds for the healthcare workers on the front lines of the coronavirus pandemic with the release of a new version of "We Are the Champions." Addressed to the healthcare heroes risking their lives to save others, the song is redone as "You Are the Champions" and features a video of Lambert, Roger Taylor and Brian May performing the song in quarantine alongside footage of doctors and nurses fighting COVID-19. For as many times as you've likely heard the inspirational anthem, seeing it with this moving footage makes the radio staple feel brand new.

"We're putting the emphasis on the word 'you' in 'you are the champions', which is what they are," Queen's Taylor tells Billboard over the phone. "We're dedicating this song to the people on the front line putting themselves at risk. All the proceeds are going to the World Health Organization to get the right ventilators, PPE, et cetera to the healthcare workers… we're just trying to help a little bit."

For the Queen drummer, the fight against COVID-19 hits extremely close to home. "My daughter is a doctor and I was very worried about her not having enough PPE, we were very slow in this country getting people organized," he says. "Every day she's coming into contact with people with COVID-19 [in London] and I was very worried about her. We talk every day." While Taylor admits some of her stories are "scary," he's proud of her, and even features her in the clip – she's one of the people holding up a "you are the champions" sign at the end of the video.

One unintended plus of all of this is that with everything canceled or postponed, Taylor finds he's spending more virtual time with loved ones. "We find this tragedy brings people together, because there's much more communication by Zoom and Houseparty and FaceTime. I've talked to my children more in the last six weeks than the last six months," he says. Other than that, Taylor has been enjoying his "beautiful garden on the water" and recently finished bingeing Succession, which he was impressed by. "We loved that, thought that was so great, so well done," he says, though he's quick to point out he's less enthusiastic about the media mogul who inspired it: "I have personal feelings about that person," he says diplomatically.

Although Taylor has been giving drum tips via Instagram in quarantine, he's hopeful Queen + Adam Lambert will be back on the road next year. "We had to cancel our summer tour and south American tour. Basically we got our fingers crossed that everything has been pushed back to next year – but that's a gamble," he admits. "I don’t know if there will be concerts next year, but I suspect there will be."

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