ROCK legends Queen will make an emotional return to Knebworth Park this summer as headliners of the 2012 Sonisphere Festival.

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The band who played their last gig with Freddie Mercury at Knebworth 26 years ago in front of 120,000 fans will be back on Saturday July 7 as part of the three day international touring metal and rock event. Mercury, the band’s flamboyant lead singer died five years after the mammoth Knebworth show.

The gig will be a one-off with former American Idol star Adam Lambert taking on the lead vocals. Lambert performed We Are The Champions with the band during the talent show in 2009.

Guitarist Brian May said the response to the decision has been positive. “Judging by my incoming mail, this decision will make a lot of people very happy.

“It’s a worthy challenge for us, and I’m sure Adam would meet with Freddie’s approval.

“And what better place to revisit, and walk those emotional paths than Knebworth? It will be a rush.”

Drummer Roger Taylor said: “I remember Knebworth as being the most incredible gig, with the most amazing audience and the sound on stage was utterly perfect.

“It was a fitting last stand before a live audience for Freddie.

“It will be a real challenge to complete the circle by returning with Adam.”

On joining the group at Knebworth, Lambert said: “I’m completely in awe of the Queen phenomenon. The thought of sharing the stage for a full set is so beautifully surreal.

“I’m honoured to be able to pay my respects to Freddie’s memory. He’s a personal hero of mine and I am deeply grateful for the chance to sing such powerful music for fans of this legendary band.

“I know the evening will be a huge milestone for me, and with the support of Brian, Roger and the rest of the band I know magic will be on display.”

The festival takes place from July 6 to 8 with Kiss and Faith No More also topping the bill. Tickets are now on sale.

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