The Show Must Go On for 2018’s ACM Freddie Mercury Scholarship Winner

Every year as part of its £130,000 Scholarship programme, ACM is thrilled to award the exclusive Freddie Mercury Scholarship to one talented student, enabling them to study on a fully-funded Degree course at one of its three campuses, Guildford, London or Birmingham. Both ACM and Queen are proud to announce Leoni Kennedy as 2018’s winner of the iconic award. Leoni said “I’ve recently found out that I am this year’s Freddie Mercury Scholarship winner and to me it means the world, it makes me feel appreciated and that I can actually do what I want to do for the rest of my life”.

A shortlist is chosen by a panel of ACM tutors before a final three are shown to Queen’s own Roger Taylor (also a Patron of ACM) and Brian May. After a lot of discussion, the final winner was chosen as Leoni Kennedy for her unique and beautiful artistry that both Roger and Brian felt was a perfect fit for Freddie’s memory. Kieron Pepper, Head of Artist Development and Creative Output at ACM said: “After sifting through an incredible amount of outstanding talent, passion and evidence of drive and dedication, I’m pleased to say that the winner of this year’s Freddie Mercury Scholarship is Leoni Kennedy – a singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and budding producer. She very clearly has her sights set on creating some amazing work as an artist and as a professional. I’m looking forward very much to working with her, and introducing her to the talent in the ACM student network.”

To celebrate three years of this prestigious award, and the anniversary of the Queen classic ‘The Show Must Go On’ (14th October), last year’s winner Daisy Phillips and this year’s winner Leoni Kennedy recorded a cover at sister company of ACM, and a favourite studio of Queen’s, Metropolis Studios. The intimate cover features both girls on guitar and vocals accompanied by ACM Alumnus Harry Leo on piano. Impressed by the version, Queen’s Brian May said “The girls are great and it’s a lovely fresh take on the song. Treating the choruses as part of the exposition, rather than as a mantra with block harmonies, makes the meaning come across in a subtly different way. I might try that myself when I next perform it!”

As a result of this fantastic version of the iconic Queen song, Leoni, Daisy and Harry have all been invited to celebrate the launch of the Queen film ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ by performing their cover in association with YouTube at a busking event.

If you’d like more information about the Queen film Bohemian Rhapsody please go to the website here:

ACM is pleased to offer these Scholarships that celebrate the fantastic talent on display at each of its campuses. Priding itself on being big enough to make a difference but small enough to care, those wanting to learn more should book on to an Open Day to speak to its world-class tutors directly about how ACM can kick-start their careers:


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