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Think You Can Rock Like Freddie Mercury? Prove it With This YouTube Challenge

Billboard logo Billboard 11/14/2019 Gil Kaufman

Sure, anyone can rock the shower or the karaoke bar, but can you really hit the highest of high Freddie Mercury notes from "Bohemian Rhapsody"? YouTube would like to find out via a new AI #FreddieChallenge that uses AI technology to help Queen superfans find out how closely their vocals match those of the late rock icon.

The collaboration between YouTube, Google Creative Labs, Google Research and Queen, Universal Group and Hollywood Records is called the FreddieMeter and it will blow your mind.

According to a release announcing the project, the challenge uses new machine-learning models that have been trained to recognize Mercury's isolated vocals and samples of people tyring to sing like Mercury. The Meter works on desktops, Android and iPhones by analyzing the singer's pitch, timbre and melody to assign them a score from 0-100.

First, you pick one of four songs ("Bohemian Rhapsody," "Somebody to Love," "We Are the Champions" or "Don't Stop Me Now") to sing, then you share your version and download the custom scorecard, which you can share on your socials. If you're particularly proud, you can add the #FreddieChallenge tag and dare your friends to match your vocals.

The challenge will support the Mercury Phoenix Trust, the charity founded by Queen guitarist Brian May, Roger Taylor and band manager Jim Beach to raise awareness and funds to fight HIV/AIDS. 

Check out the FreddieMeter site here and donate to the Trust here. Check out some of the entries below.


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