"The Voice" (of Free and Bad Company, not to mention the Firm and sometimes even Queen) celebrates a birthday today, as he prepares for a European tour this coming February and March.

Paul Rodgers was born on December 17, 1949 in Middlesbrough, England.

At Bravewords.com, Paul is described this way:

"He has been cited as a significant influence on a number of notable rock singers including DAVID COVERDALE, JOHN WAITE, LOU GRAMM, JIMI JAMISON, ERIC MARTIN, JIMMY BARNES, JOE BONAMASSA and a lot more. FREDDIE MERCURY in particular idolized Paul Rodgers and JOHN MELLENCAMP called him "the best rock singer ever"

He'll perform with both a rock band and an orchestra when the "Rock Meets Classic 2013" tour travels through Europe next year.