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Iranian authorities give Queen the thumbs-up

Iranian authorities give Queen the thumbs-up

Queen has become the first rock band to get an official seal of approval from Iranian authorities, reports Agence France-Presse. A greatest-hits cassette, which sells for less than $1 U.S., will be available legally to consumers in the Islamic republic. The openly gay Mercury, who died of AIDS complications in 1991, proudly declared his Iranian roots, which made Queen's albums very popular in the country's black market. Western music is generally frowned upon in Iran, where homosexuality is illegal. "It is the first rock album to hit the market legally, and people are surprised and pleased to see it has the lyrics, not just the music," Akbar Safari, a salesman at a Tehran book and record store, told AFP. The cassette comes with a leaflet that explains that "Bohemian Rhapsody" is about a young man who kills someone accidentally and then sells his soul to the devil; the night before his execution, he calls upon God in Arabic--"Bismillah"--and regains his soul.

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