Brian May turns 66 today, born on July 19, 1947 in London, England.

Brian is, of course, the guitarist, songwriter and occasional singer of Queen, and was ranked at #26 on Rolling Stone magazine's list of the "100 Greatest Guitarists of All Time".

He also holds a  PhD in astrophysics, was given the title of Commander of the Order of the British Empire in 2006  for his "services to the music industry and his charity work", is the current Chancellor of Liverpool John Moores University, and is a staunch defender of animals.

So here we have an amazing man who is both a scientist and a musician, and has a big heart for others, including the creatures with whom we share this planet.

He formed a group called, appropriately, Save Me, which campaigns for the protection of all animals against unnecessary, cruel and degrading treatment, with a special focus on ending fox hunting and the "culling" of badgers.

May's latest work on behalf of badgers was when he recently teamed up with Slash to collaborate on "Badger Swagger" and you can check out Deoubledown's blog and sample it yourself and see what you think.

The music is part of the Campaign in the U.K. to stop badger slaughter there.

In an interview in 2010, in fact, May said he'd rather be remembered for his animal rights work than for his music or science.

Brilliant, talented, but most importantly, in my book, compassionate.

Happy birthday to a great human being (and damn impressive musician)!