Adam Lambert has called the late Freddie Mercury an idol.

Lambert on Thursday was joined by Queen band members Brian May and Roger Taylor to announce an upcoming North American tour.

Lambert fronted for the British band in a series of highly successful European shows in 2012.

Mercury, the band's original frontman, died in 1991 of complications due to AIDS.

During a press conference to announce the new tour, Lambert discussed stepping into Mercury's shoes.

“He's a big idol for me and I thought to myself, you know, I hope that the fans dig this,” Lambert said. “And it felt really good. The reception was warm. The reaction to it the first time was very warm. It's a treat for me to get on stage and pay my respects and to pay tribute to one of my favorite singers ever.” (The video is embedded on this page. Visit our video library for more videos.)

The 19-date North American tour kicks off June 19 at the United Center in Chicago and will conclude July 20 at the Merriweather Post Pavilion in Washington, D.C. Other stops included are New York, Los Angeles, Dallas, Vancouver, Montreal and Las Vegas.

Tickets go on sale Friday, March 14 at