THE LATE singer of Queen, Freddie Mercury, had a star named after him yesterday, on what would have been his 50th birthday. The star is in the constellation of Cassiopeia, also known as "The Queen".

In addition, a pair of skin-tight scarlet PVC trousers, which he wore during performances in 1982, will soon appear on a wall at a Hard Rock Cafe. The restaurant chain paid £2,300 for them.

Tibor Rudas, who struck gold with the recording of the 1994 Three Tenors concert with Jose Carreras, Placido Domingo and Luciano Pavarotti, is the man behind a Three Sopranos concert to be recorded in Los Angeles.

Featuring Kathleen Cassello, Kallen Esperian and Cynthia Lawrence, the album will be released next month, and the debut appearance of the Three Sopranos will be televised in December.

Smashing Pumpkins won seven prizes at the annual MTV music video awards. In the 13th annual rock gala, they took the honours for their animated sci-fi video Tonight, Tonight.

The band has suffered the death of keyboard player Jonathan Melvoin in July and the arrest of drummer Jimmy Chamberlin, later fired from the group, on drug charges.

The Duchess of York cheered on her friend, Austrian tennis star Thomas Muster, as he fought a losing battle against Andre Agassi in the US Open quarter-finals. Television viewers watching the match were told she was his "companion". It was the first time Fergie has been seen in public since spending days Barrantes and daughters Beatrice and Eugenie.