That word gets tossed around a lot, but in the case of Brian May, he truly embodies its definition.
He has a PhD in Astrophysics in 2007.
He was appointed Commander of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire by Queen Elizabeth II in 2005.
Most importantly, he built a guitar (known as "Red Special") with his father when he was a teenager, and he's played that guitar on every Queen studio album and still takes it on the road.
Oh...and he's also written some of the best rock songs of all time, unless you think "We Will Rock You" is no big deal.
You know, we're starting to think "brilliant" isn't grand enough to describe Brian May.
Guitarist Brian May, of British rock band Queen, London, 1973.
Brian May during rehearsals for the group's first major tour, 8th July 1973.
Singer Freddie Mercury and guitarst Brian May of British rock group Queen perform on stage in London, 1974.
Brian May of Queen performs on stage at Bournemouth Winter Gardens, Bournemouth, United Kingdom, 4th December 1975.
22nd September 1976: Guitarist Brian May of British glam rock pop band Queen, performing to over 50,000 people at an all day open air concert held in London's Hyde Park.
Guitarist Brian May of the English rock band Queen performing at Madison Square Garden in New York City in 1977.
Singer Freddie Mercury and guitarist Brian May of the rock group Queen perform 'We Are The Champions' onstage during a 1978 Inglewood, California, concert at the Forum.
Brian May ( Queen ) Groenoordhal Leiden 27-11-1980
Brian May of Queen performing at the Brendan Byrne Arena in East Rutherford, New Jersey on August 9, 1982.
A close up of Brian May's guitar, The Red Special, as he performs on stage, London, 1984.
Queen guitarist Brain May performing the inaugural Rock In Rio festival in Rio de Janerio, 24th January 1985.
Brian May of Queen recording with Tony Iommi at Metropolis Studios in Chiswick, London, for Rock Aid Armenia, the Armenian earthquake appeal, 8th July 1989
Brian May of Queen during a sound check, Seville, Spain, 1991.
Brian May of Queen, inductee during 16th Annual Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, 2001 at Waldorf=Astoria in New York, New York, United States.
Brian May during Queen's First Concert in USA in Over 20 Years at Vinyl in Hollywood, California, United States. circa 2002
Musician Brian May of Queen practices on stage during the final dress rehearsal prior to the '46664 Give One Minute Of Your Life To AIDS' concert on November 28, 2003 in Cape Town, South Africa.
Brian May during Razorlight and Queen in Concert at Hyde Park in London - July 15, 2005 at Hyde Park in London, Great Britain.
Paul Rodgers, Brian May and Roger Taylor of Queen perform on stage at the 46664 concert in honour of Nelson Mandela's 90th birthday in Hyde Park, Central London, England, on June 27th 2008.
Brian May of Queen performs at The Prince's Trust Rock Gala 2010 supported by Novae at the Royal Albert Hall on November 17, 2010 in London, England.
Brian May of Queen performs during the Closing Ceremony on Day 16 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at Olympic Stadium on August 12, 2012 in London, England.
Brian May performs onstage during Queen + Adam Lambert for iHeartRadio Live at the iHeartRadio Theater on June 16, 2014 in Burbank, California.