Christian rocker a ringer for Freddie Mercury
A professional singer with roots in Saskatchewan is attracting interest for his uncanny resemblance — in voice and physical appearance — to Freddie Mercury, the deceased lead singer of the band, Queen.
Marc Martel is in the running to join a cover band of Queen.
His audition video, posted to YouTube, has caught the attention of millions.
Martel was born in Montreal, attended bible college in Caronport, Sask., and is currently based in Nashville.
He performs in downhere, a Christian rock band, and says he was encouraged to try out for the Queen band based on comments he heard after his shows.
"After every show my band does, I probably get ten people who say, 'Hey! Anybody ever tell you sound like that Queen guy?" Martel told CBC News in an interview.
Martel's video entry was quickly noticed, garnering thousands of views just a few hours after he posted it on Tuesday.
"I didn't sleep that night. I kind of tossed and turned," Martel said. "I maybe got three hours of sleep and when I woke up it was almost up to 400,000 [views]. That's when I thought. Okay. This is weird."
It will be a few months before Martel knows if the following he has attracted online will propel him into a role with the cover band.
The project promoters are expected to announce the band's performers in December. Touring dates for the band are expected in early 2012.
Queen was led by front man Freddie Mercury until his AIDS-related death in 1991. The flamboyant band was most popular during the 1970s and 1980s, and scored hits including Bohemian Rhapsody and We Are the Champions.
Caronport is about 85 kilometres west of Regina.