Queen Extravaganza Hopeful Marc Martel Has a Fan in Ellen Degeneres
An appearance on 'Ellen' should surely put Marc Martel ahead of other semi-finalists for a job as Queen Extravaganza front man. The Nashville based singer's rendition of 'Somebody to Love' caught the eye of the television talk show host, and she turned this internet sensation into a mainstream wonder.
The 34-year-old from Montreal is used to comparison's to the legendary band's enigmatic lead singer. On his official website he says that fans of his band Downhere have been making the connection for years.
"I don't think I've done a show in the last five or six years where five to ten people haven't come up to me and said, 'Hey, anyone ever tell you that you sound like Queen,'" he says. "In the list of great rock signers, he is considered one of the best, if not the best, and it's always just a huge compliment when people tell that to me."
Downhere is a Christian rock band that has enjoyed much success since forming in 1999. The Martel fronted group have won multiple Juno Awards (Canada's equivalent to the Grammy Awards) and a Dove Award. They've released ten albums, including their latest album 'On the Altar of Love.'
Martel tells News Channel 5 in Nashville that a friend pointed out Roger Taylor's Queen Extravaganza competition to him. The drummer is looking to put together a cover band to do his group justice. "So I uploaded (the video) and the next day it immediately went viral, and I was just … 'What does this mean?'"
The Wall Street Journal soon picked up on Martel's close resemblance to the late Mercury. He tells the paper he's had no formal training, but learned to sing from listening to his heroes. That's Mercury, George Michael and ... (ahem) ... Jordan Knight from New Kids on the Block.
“I’m not going to back down from that one, and I am fully aware of the stigma attached to it. Honestly, 1989 I was 12 or 13 years old and primed for the new boy band thing. This guy Jordan Knight sounded like a chick, and I wanted to figure out how to do it, and I did.”
Fans will ultimately decide who gets the gig, but for now Martel, his bandmates and his new wife are just enjoying his sudden fame.