BEST KNOWN AS: the guitarist for Queen and writer of several of the band’s hits, including “We Will Rock You”
THE INTEL: When he helped form Queen in 1971, May had already earned a bachelor’s degree in math and science at Imperial College London and was beginning work on his doctorate, for which he studied the mysterious properties of interstellar dust. (He later applied some of that learning to his life as a rock star, most notably in creating the thunderous foot stomps in “We Will Rock You” through an acoustic principle called nonharmonic reverberation.) In 2008, a few years after a professor encouraged him to resume his postgraduate studies, May was awarded a Ph.D. in astrophysics.
BRAINIAC RATING, ON A SCALE OF 1 TO 11: 11
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