Tony Hadley received “very sound advice” from the late Freddie Mercury.

The former Spandau Ballet singer will always be thankful for the pointers he received from the Queen frontman – who died of AIDS-related pneumonia in 1991 – in the early days of his career.

He said: “I knew Freddie Mercury really well. We met many times over the years and he gave me some very sound advice as a young singer.

“Everybody thinks singers and artists are supremely confident but we’re not.

“We have moments of doubt like everyone else but Freddie told me, ‘As the lead singer it’s your responsibility to carry the band. You’re the focal point and it doesn’t matter if you’re feeling under the weather or a bit tired, your job is to communicate with the audience.’"

The ‘Gold’ hitmaker also received some support from the late Frank Sinatra when he met his idol after a concert at London’s Royal Albert Hall.

He told Reader's Digest: “Getting to play the Royal Albert Hall was a dream come true.

“When I was 17, I was backstage at a Frank Sinatra show there. The security pushed me away but he asked what was happening and I told him, ‘I just want to shake your hand and let you know I’m a big fan.’

“He said, ‘It’s great to see young people in the audience’ and when I told him I was in a band he wished me good luck.

“I also told him that one day I’d be performing at the Royal Albert Hall myself and I have, twice – first with Spandau, then as a soloist.”