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Queen Joins Forces With Katie Melua

Rock legends Queen will grant Georgian-born singer Katie Melua's childhood dream when they perform together at Nelson Mandela's South African Aids charity concert later this month.

The "Closest Thing To Crazy" jazz singer was inspired to become a performer by late singer Freddie Mercury, and she's thrilled she's been offered the honor of filling the legendary singer's shoes when she joins the recently reformed band in the studio to record new material.

The 20-year-old says, "I grew up in Georgia listening to Queen, because my uncles always played their records. It was seeing Freddie Mercury in the pirated videos we got in Georgia, especially Live Aid, that inspired me to take up a career in music, although I decided to do without the spandex costumes."

Melua will appear on stage with guitarist Brian May, drummer Roger Taylor and former Free singer Paul Rodgers at the 46664 Francourt Concert in Cape Town on March 19.

An insider adds, "Katie couldn't believe it when she was asked. She spent her childhood singing along to songs like 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' and 'A Kind of Magic' and is bowled over that she'll soon be sharing studio time with legends."

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