As Queen recorded this 1990 track, lead singer Freddie Mercury was dying of AIDS. His bandmates were unsure that Mercury could physically pull of the vocal performance, but listening to "The Show Must Go On," you'd never be able to tell that Mercury was so ill, he could barely walk. His dramatic, soaring delivery is a testament to his dedication to the cause of recording music, and the song's lyrics take on powerful new meaning when you realize that Mercury was really inhabiting the exact circumstance he was singing about. Freddie Mercury died in 1991, but his contributions to music and unwavering commitment to showmanship cement his spot as one of the greatest lead singers of all time, and this track as pitch-perfect evidence of that.
Queen "The Show Must Go On" (1991)