When singer Brian Justin Crum first appeared on America’s Got Talent in 2016, he stunned the audiences in the studio and at home with a moving and powerful rendition of Queen’s classic 1976 hit “Somebody to Love.” Now, he’s back at it again.
Crum has not only returned to the show for the first ever season of America’s Got Talent: The Champions, but the star is also flexing for his favorite band in his brand new cover of Queen’s “We Are the Champions.” The video (premiering below today, Feb. 5) shows Crum moving and singing through a lit performance space, while a group of ballet dancers give a beautiful routine to the tune of the song.
The singer tells Billboard that he felt Queen’s inherently theatrical music would pair well with ballet, so he decided to test that theory in his new video. “It’s all heart, it’s all storytelling, it’s all drama, and there really is so much opportunity to play,” he says of the song. “The video was really just about showcasing ballet in its truest, cleanest, stripped back form.”
But the star’s love of Queen does not end there; along with covering their songs on America’s Got Talent, Crum also starred in an American tour of We Will Rock You, the Queen jukebox musical that dominated London’s West End for 12 years.
Crum says that his love for Queen, and specifically for frontman Freddie Mercury, comes from their unique ability to capture the queer experience in a song. “I think Freddie Mercury’s lyrics and music speak to the queer experience unlike any other artist,” Crum says. “You can feel the angst, you can feel the unworthiness that we feel as queer people moving through the world. And he speaks to that so eloquently and so beautifully.”
For his return to America’s Got Talent: The Champions, Crum relied on a beautiful rendition of another queer icon’s song, as he performed Elton John’s “Your Song” for his debut. The song turned out to be an excellent choice for the singer, as he managed to earn the fan’s votes and progress to the next round of the stacked competition.
“When they finally called my name, it just felt like I took a breath for the first time the whole day,” Crum says of his winning moment. “The way that they build it all up, as well, is emotional. It’s a very charged day — I was on set for like 10 or 12 hours already, so I was exhausted and hopeful.”
But even after Got Talent ends, Crum already has plans in place. Along with releasing new music for fans later this month, on February 14, Crum will be featured in Somebody to Love, a live ballet performance through Queen’s iconic discography. “I feel like the video really does give a nice taste to what Somebody to Love will be,” he says. “It’s going to be really powerful.”
Check out Crum’s new video below.