The Music Legends Series

Commencing in 2020, the royal mint issued the first of a series of coins commemorating Iconic British Music Legends.

The Royal Mint launched its Music Legends series in January 2020 to celebrate some of the biggest names in British popular music. The series starts with Rock legends 'Queen' the super group with lead singer Freddie Mercury who dominated the charts with a string of hits including Bohemian Rhapsody, the 3rd best selling UK single. The 2nd coin in the series released in June 2020 honours the work of the iconic Sir Elton John, who's reworked song, Candle In The Wind, 'Goodbye England's Rose' performed just twice, once at Princess Diana's funeral, and once in the studio, went on to become the best selling British single of all time.The 3rd coin in the series released in December 2020 'David Bowie' a true British Music Icon, whose hits include Space Oddity, Under Pressure, China Girl and many many more..  

Music Legends series coins are extremely sought after, both issues have long since sold out at the Royal Mint, and we await news of further additions in the series. The Royal Mint have not made public the full range of artists who will appear within the series. The coins of the Music Legend series have become some of the most popular coins to be released in recent years with extremely low mintage's just adding to their allure.

  


Sir Elton John

Reginald Kenneth Dwight, later Elton John, was born in 1947 in Pinner, Middlesex to strict parents. By the age of five, it was discovered that “Reggie” had a talent, he could play, almost perfectly, any section of music he had heard on the radio, or any other source, on his parents piano.

By age twelve, elton’s musical talent started showing, he performed for pubs and bars around london, but his musical career really got going when he started up the band “Bluesology”, a small but popular band that would perform in pubs, it was also around this time that elton started wearing horn rimmed glasses in tribute to buddy holly. He would play in bluesology until 1967, when in his late-teens or early 20’s, elton quit bluesology and sought to become a solo artist, he published an ad in New Musical Express, asking for budding music writers, and discovered Bernie Taupin.

Bernie Taupin was a god send to Elton, both Elton and Taupin instantly got together, with Elton singing and playing the piano, while Taupin would write lyrics on paper. According to Elton, it was nights of various lyrics, a lot of which he and Taupin burned, which, in the present day, Elton regrets.

Elton John has released 33 studio albums, and 128 official singles to date, and sold over 300 million records worldwide, making him one of the biggest music artists of all time.

  


Queen

Iconic British Rock Band 'Queen' formed in London in 1970, the band consisted of singer, Freddie Mercury, lead guitarist Brian May, Roger Taylor on drums and John Deacon on bass guitar. The band had its roots in the group 'Smile' formed in 1968 with members Brian May, lead guitar, Roger Taylor, and lead singer Tim Staffell. When Tim Staffel left the band to join another, May and Taylor who had met Freddie Mercury at Ealing college thought him a perfect replacement. Freddie came up with the name 'Queen' and even designed the bands now famous logo, inspired by the zodiacal signs of its members. Two lions, by Deacon and Taylor who were Leo, a crab for May, who was Cancer, and two fairies for Mercury, who was Virgo.

The band made its first appearance on Top of The Pops in 1974 performing 'Seven Seas of Rhye' the Freddie Mercury written song that would become 'Queens' first top ten single. It was 1975 however where Queen were to stake their claim to a place in British (if not world) music history with the release of 'Bohemian Rhapsody' from the album 'A Night at the Opera; a single that would go on to dominate the UK singles chart staying at No1 for nine weeks selling over 1 million copies by January 1976. After Mercury's death in 1991, it topped the charts for another five weeks, eventually becoming the UK's third best-selling single of all time. It is also the only song to reach the UK Christmas number one twice by the same artist. The song again came to prominence in 1992 with the release of the movie Wayne's World'.

Queen went on to be a household name adding hit after hit to their catalogue, from 'Someone to Love', Killer Queen; 'We are Champions' and so many more. The bands final album 'Made in Heaven' with Freddie Mercury released 4 years after his death in 1995, sold 20 million copies and went to be No1 in the UK album charts, featuring Freddie's last recordings such as "Too Much Love Will Kill You" and "Heaven for Everyone".

Queen toured again after Freddie Mercury's death with new singer Paul Rogers, but Freddie had already assured the band their place in British Music history, and established Queen as a true Music Legend.
  


David Bowie

The Icon that is David Bowie was born David Robert Jones on January 8th 1947 in Brixton South London. He formed his first group 'Konrads' in 1962 aged just 15, but upon leaving technical school the following year his mother arranged employment as an electricians mate. However David informed her that he was going to be a Rock Star and joined another band 'King Bees' the band had little success but did lead to Bowie's  first single release in 1964 at the age of 17, 'Liza Jane' accredited to Davie Jones and the King Bees.

Dissatisfied with his stage name as Davy (and Davie) Jones, which in the mid-1960s invited confusion with Davy Jones of The Monkees, Bowie renamed himself after the 19th-century American pioneer James Bowie and the knife he had popularised. His April 1967 solo single, "The Laughing Gnome", using speeded-up thus high-pitched vocals, failed to chart. Released six weeks later, his album debut, David Bowie, an amalgam of pop, psychedelia, and music hall, met the same fate. It was his last release for two years.
Bowie studied art, music, and design, including layout and typesetting. After his older half-brother Terry Burns introduced him to modern jazz, his enthusiasm for players like Charles Mingus and John Coltrane led his mother to give him a Grafton saxophone in 1961. He was soon receiving lessons from baritone saxophonist Ronnie Ross. He received a serious injury at school in 1962 when his friend George Underwood punched him in the left eye during a fight over a girl. After a series of operations during a four-month hospitalisation, his doctors determined that the damage could not be fully repaired and Bowie was left with faulty depth perception and anisocoria (a permanently dilated pupil), which gave a false impression of a change in the iris's colour, erroneously suggesting he had heterochromia iridum (one iris a different colour to the other); the eye later became one of Bowie's most recognisable features. Despite their altercation, Bowie remained on good terms with Underwood, who went on to create the artwork for Bowie's early albums.
David Bowie burst into the music scene in 1969 with the release of of 'Space Oddity' the single made the top 5 in the UK singles charts and received the 1970 Ivor Novello Special Award for Originality. In 1972 Bowie reinvented himself as Ziggy Stardust, and went on tour with his stage show and the Spiders from Mars. Initially playing small venues the first of which were a pub in Kingston and a public hall in Wallington Surrey. In the mid 70s Bowie moved to the US and enjoyed hits such as  "Rebel Rebel" and "Diamond Dogs". In the latter part of the 1970's Bowie again relocated, this time to Berin West Germany, where he recorded his 12th album 'Heroes' in 1977.
Bowie's pop career really began in 1980 with the release of Scary Monsters, which spawned the track Ashes to Ashes, that would become a UK No1, this was followed up with tracks such as 'Fashion' UK No5, Under Pressure UK No1, Lets Dance UK No1, China Girl a UK No2, and of course a Christmas favorite today 'Little Drummer Boy' duet with Bing Crosby which reached No3 in the UK charts Christmas 1982. Bowie kept recording right up to his death in 2016 with his 25th Studio album 'Blackstar' released 2016 containing his very last track 'I Can't Give Everything Away'. David sadly died 2 days after the albums release and his 69th birthday from Liver Cancer.
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