Adam Lambert has been criticised over the last few years by many fans of Queen who feel that he - or anyone else, for that matter - can replace original frontman Freddie Mercury.

Now guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor have come out in support of Lambert, who has sung with the band since 2012, in a new interview with Classic Rock magazine.

"I understand people who say: ‘There is no Queen without Freddie. Just leave it be," says Taylor. "Because that’s what we felt, following his death. All three of us said: ‘Right, that’s the end of the band.’ But the band just didn’t seem to die.”

"Adam is the first person we've encountered who can do all the Queen catalogue without blinking," said May. "He is a gift from God."

Lambert himself admitted that he was not trying to replace Mercury.  "That's not what I'm doing," he said. "I'm trying to keep the memory alive, and remind people how amazing he was, without imitating him. I'm trying to share with the audience how much he inspired me."

Lambert initially came to prominence after appearing on the 2009 series of American Idol, eventually finishing as runner-up to Kris Allen.