(5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) was a
musician, best known as the front man,
pianist, and vocalist for the English rock
band Queen. He was noted for his powerful
vocal abilities and for his charisma as a
live performer. As a songwriter, he composed
many international hits such as "Bohemian
Rhapsody," "Crazy Little Thing Called Love,"
and "We Are the Champions." Mercury died
from complications of AIDS, greatly
increasing awareness of the disease.
Mercury & Queen
Live Aid 1985
Video Movie Film
Comment "How could you not love Freddie Mercury, the man was magnetic, his talent amazing, he was larger than life but so like the rest of us...."
Freddie Mercury was born
Farrokh Bulsara on the African island
of Zanzibar (at the time a British colony,
now part of Tanzania). His parents, Bomi and
Jer Bulsara, were Indian Parsis,
Zoroastrians of Persian descent. The family
had emigrated to Zanzibar in order for Bomi
to continue his job as a middle-ranking
cashier at the British Colonial Office.
Mercury had one younger sister, Kashmira.
Mercury was sent back to
India to attend St. Peter's boarding school
near Bombay (now Mumbai). It was at St.
Peter's where he learned to play the piano
and joined his first band. He stayed in
India for most of his childhood, living with
his grandmother and aunt. Mercury completed
his education in India at St. Mary's High
School in Mazagon before returning to
Zanzibar. He was 17 when he and his family
finally fled to England, as a result of the
1964 Zanzibar Revolution.
In England, he earned a Diploma in Art and
Graphic Design at Ealing Art College,
following in the footsteps of Pete
Townshend. He later used these skills in
order to design the famous Queen crest.
Mercury remained a British citizen for the
rest of his life.
Singer and performer
Widely considered as one
of the greatest vocalists in popular music,
Freddie Mercury possessed a very distinctive
voice. Although his speaking voice naturally
fell in the baritone range, he also
maintained good tone in the tenor range.
His recorded vocal range spanned nearly four
octaves (falsetto included), with his lowest
recorded note being the F1 (F2 in U.S.) and
his highest recorded note being the D5 (D6
In addition to vocal range, Mercury often
delivered technically difficult songs in a
powerful manner. However, due in part to the
fact that he suffered from vocal nodules
(for which he declined surgery), he would
often lower the highest notes during many
concerts.Mercury also claimed that he never
had any formal vocal training.
Mercury was also noted as
one of the great performers in rock music.
In particular, he was known for his ability
to command large stadium audiences in
concerts around the world. He was also noted
for his performance at Live Aid, which was
voted by music journalists in 2005 as the
greatest live rock performance of all time.
One of Mercury's trademarks throughout the
years involved the use of a microphone and
stand minus the bottom section. In his early
years of singing he made the decision to
pick up his microphone, still attached to
the stand. At one particular event, the
bottom fell off by accident and, from that
point on, he decided to use a bottomless
As a songwriter, Mercury
wrote ten out of the seventeen songs on
Queen's Greatest Hits album,
including "Bohemian Rhapsody," "Killer
Queen," "Somebody to Love," "Don't Stop Me
Now," "We Are the Champions," and "Crazy
Little Thing Called Love." However, by the
1980s, all four members of the band were
writing hits. The most notable aspect of his
songwriting involved the wide range of
different genres that he used, which
included, among other styles, rockabilly,
heavy metal and disco. Compared to many
popular songwriters, many of Freddie
Mercury's songs were musically complex. As
an example, "Bicycle Race" is set in seven
different key signatures and contains
continuous meter changes (i.e. the bridge is
in 3/4, while verses and choruses are in
4/4). On the other hand, "Crazy Little Thing
Called Love" is made up of only a few
chords. Despite the fact that Mercury often
wrote very intricate harmonies, he claimed
that he could barely read music.
Although all four members
of the band Queen were songwriters, producer
Gary Langhan, who worked in the studio with
Queen on many of their early albums, notes
in the book Freddie Mercury: The Real
Life that "Freddie was always intensely
supportive of other people's songwriting and
would give as much attention to one of the
other's as he would to his own. It was so
unlike other bands I've worked with where
there is an acknowledged songwriter and
anyone else who writes one really has to
hassle to get it anywhere."
Mercury wrote most of his songs on the
piano, often choosing keys that were
technically difficult for band mate and
guitarist Brian May (e.g. E flat major).
Although he possessed only rudimentary
skills on the guitar, Mercury wrote many
lines and riffs (e.g. those for "Ogre
Battle," and "Bohemian Rhapsody") for the
instrument. He also wrote "Crazy Little
Thing Called Love" on the guitar.
can you say about
Freddie? He did it all,
great voice. a great
man. Love him."
Have your say
In addition to his work
with Queen, Mercury also produced two solo
albums, "Mr. Bad Guy" and "Barcelona." The
former album, released in 1984, was not
considered to have been a commercial
success. "Barcelona," recorded with opera
singer Montserrat Caballé," was one of the
first albums to combine elements of popular
music and opera. Caballe said of Mercury,
"He was not only a popular singer, he was a
musician, that could sit at the piano and
compose. He discovered a new way to bring
different music styles together. He is the
first and only person to have done this."
In September of 2006, a
new album featuring Mercury's solo work was
released in the UK in honour of what would
have been his sixtieth birthday.
Over the years, rare
Freddie Mercury solo albums have greatly
increased in value. For instance, a Japanese
single of the song "Guide Me Home" from the
Barcelona album is now worth as much
as £1,000 ($1,800).
Another valuable item is a 1973 cover of the
1969 Beach Boys song, I Can Hear Music
recorded under the stage name Larry Lurex.
Widely bootlegged, the original record is
now a valuable collectible.
With Michael Jackson,
Mercury collaborated on some tracks which
were never officially released, including
There Must Be More To Life Than This and
State Of Shock. The latter song, released on the 1984
Victory album, was ultimately performed
by Mick Jagger and The Jacksons. Mercury was
originally scheduled to appear on the
Thriller album as well.
Freddie Mercury in 1978
As a child, Freddie
Mercury's parents listened to a great deal
of Indian music, and one of his early
influences was the Bollywood playback
singer, Lata Mangeshkar.
According to Record Collector magazine,
after moving to England, Mercury became a
huge fan of Jimi Hendrix, The Beatles and
Mercury said of Hendrix: "Jimi Hendrix is
very important. He's my idol. He sort of
epitomizes, from his presentation on stage,
the whole works of a rock star. There's no
way you can compare him. You either have the
magic or you don't. There's no way you can
work up to it. There's nobody who can take
Another of Mercury's favourite performers
was singer and actress Liza Minnelli. In a
1975 interview, he says of Minnelli: "Liza,
in terms of sheer talent, just oozes with
it. She has sheer energy and stamina, which
she gets across the stage, and the way she
delivers herself to the public is a good
influence. There is a lot to learn from
man, great singer, there
will be no one like him
again. he will be missed"
Have your say
Although he had a very close girlfriend
named Mary Austin, Freddie Mercury was
fairly open about his sexuality. In a March
12, 1974 interview for New Musical
Express he told the interviewer: "I am
as gay as a daffodil, my dear!"
Although his relationship with Mary Austin
eventually ended, the two remained very
He once said of Austin- "All my lovers
asked me why they couldn't replace Mary
(Austin) but it's simply impossible. The
only friend I've got is Mary and I don't
want anybody else. To me, she was my
common-law wife. To me, it was a marriage.
We believe in each other, that's enough for
me. I couldn't fall in love with a man the
same way as I have with Mary."
His last boyfriend, Jim Hutton, lived
with him for the last six years of his life,
cared for him when he was ill and was
present with him at his bedside when he
According to Hutton, Mercury referred to him
as his husband and died wearing a wedding
band that Hutton had given him.
Mercury possessed a notable overbite that
had wanted to fix for many years. He
commented early in his career that he wished
to have work done, but regretted that he did
not have time to do it. He also expressed
fears that such an operation might damage
his voice. While smiling in interviews,
Mercury would often cover his mouth with his
hand in an attempt to hide the overbite.
Death from AIDS
According to the book Mercury and Me
by partner Jim Hutton, Mercury was diagnosed
with AIDS in the spring of 1987. Despite his
claim to have tested negative for HIV in a
1987 interview, the British press
nonetheless stalked the singer during the
final years of his life.
Although rumours about his health were
rampant, he continued to deny that he had
AIDS. However, from the video for "These Are
the Days of Our Lives," which represents
Mercury's last appearance on film, it was
clear from his gaunt appearance that he was
seriously ill. On November 22, 1991 Mercury
called Queen's manager Jim Beach over to his
Kensington home to discuss a public
statement. The following day, November 23,
the following announcement was made to the
"Following the enormous conjecture in the
press over the last two weeks, I wish to
confirm that I have been tested HIV positive
and have AIDS. I felt it correct to keep
this information private to date to protect
the privacy of those around me. However, the
time has come now for my friends and fans
around the world to know the truth and I
hope that everyone will join with my doctors
and all those worldwide in the fight against
this terrible disease. My privacy has always
been very special to me and I am famous for
my lack of interviews. Please understand
this policy will continue."
A little over 24 hours after issuing the
statement, Freddie Mercury died at home in
the presence of close friends at the age of
45. The official cause of death was
bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS.
Although he had not attended religious
services in years, Mercury's funeral was
conducted by a Zoroastrian priest. He was
cremated at Kensal Green Cemetery, and the
whereabouts of his ashes are unknown,
although some believe them to have been
dispersed into Lake Geneva. The remaining
members of Queen founded The Mercury Phoenix
Trust and organized The Freddie Mercury
Tribute Concert. He left £500 000 to his
chef, £500 000 to his personal assistant,
£100 000 to his driver and £500 000 to his
partner, Jim Hutton. Mary Austin, his
life-long friend, inherited the estate and
now lives there with her family.
- Several recent polls show Freddie
Mercury to remain popular in Britain.
For instance, in the 1999 Millennium
Poll, in which 600,000 Britons
participated, he was voted into the
number 14, and 15 spots, respectively,
as a popular musician and songwriter.
- Freddie Mercury appears at the No.
58 spot in the 2002 List of "100
Greatest Britons", sponsored by the BBC
and voted for by the public.
- Two of Mercury's songs, "Bohemian
Rhapsody" and "We Are the Champions"
have each been claimed, in separate
polls, as the world's favourite song.
Most recently, an Ericsson poll of
600,000 people in 66 different countries
found "We Are the Champions" to be the
world's most popular tune.
This contradicts another major poll by
Guinness World, which had previously
found "Bohemian Rhapsody" to be the
world's most popular song from the past
- The online music community at
DigitalDreamDoor has consistently placed
Freddie Mercury at the number one
position on a list of the 100 greatest
- In a list of the greatest English
language singers of the 20th century
compiled by BBC Radio, Mercury was the
highest ranked hard rock vocalist,
having been voted at the tenth spot.
He also came in second in MTV's list of
the 22 greatest singers of the past 25
The world's first Asian rock star
Because Freddie Mercury was of Parsi
descent, grew up in India, and did not move
to the UK until he was 17, he was arguably
the world's first Indian rock star.
Due to his Parsi roots he was also,
arguably, the world's first Persian rock
A Royal Mail stamp called The Millennium
Stamp commemorated the life of Freddie
Mercury. The stamp caused controversy
because Queen drummer Roger Taylor could be
seen in the background. Members of the
British Royal family are the only living
people allowed to appear on stamps in the
Sixtieth Birthday controversy
On August 25, 2006, an organization
calling itself the Islamic Mobilization and
Propogation, or UAMSHO, petitioned the
Zanzibar government's culture ministry,
demanding that a large-scale celebration of
what would have been Freddie Mercury's
sixtieth birthday be cancelled. UAMSHO has
several complaints about the planned
celebrations, including that Freddie was not
a Muslim, did not live his life in
accordance to the laws of Islam, was not a
true Zanzibari, and that "associating
Mercury with Zanzibar degrades our island as
a place of Islam."
The government has yet to respond to the
Quotes about Freddie Mercury
- Freddie Mercury was the one rock
star mentioned in singer Kurt Cobain's
suicide note :
- "I havent [sic] felt the
excitement of listening to as well as
creating music along with reading and
writing for too many years now. I feel
guilty beyond words about these things.
For example, when we're backstage and
the lights go out and the manic roar of
the crowds begins, it doesn't affect me
the way in which it did for Freddy [sic]
Mercury who seemed to love, relish in
the love and adoration from the crowd,
which is something I totally admire and
- Although he has long been criticized
by gay activists, singer Axl Rose was
apparently a devoted Freddie Mercury
fan. He has been quoted as saying, "If I
didn't have Freddie Mercury's lyrics to
hold on to as a kid, I don't know where
I would be. It taught me about all forms
of music. It would open my mind. I never
really had a bigger teacher in my whole
life." Rose also performed "Bohemian Rhapsody"
along with Elton John at the Freddie
Mercury Tribute Concert.
- “The difference between Freddie and
almost all the other rock stars was he
was selling the voice” Montserrat
- “Freddie, if you’re out there and
you want to choose any artist to channel
your work, please give me an album, or
at least a middle eight” Robbie
- Mr. Bad Guy (1985)
- Barcelona (1988, with
- The Freddie Mercury Album /
The Great Pretender [US version]
- The Solo Collection (10 CDs
and 2 DVDs) (2000)
- Lover of Life, Singer of Songs -
The Very Best of Freddie Mercury Solo
Solo: selected singles
- Love Kills (1984)
- I Was Born to Love You (1985)
- Made in Heaven (1985)
- Living on My Own (1985)
- Time (1986)
- The Great Pretender (1987,
- Barcelona (with Montserrat
Caballé, 1987, re-released 1992)
- In My Defence (1992)
- Living on My Own (No More
Brothers remix, 1993)
- Love Kills (Sunshine People
How could you not love
Freddie Mercury, the man was
magnetic, his talent
amazing, he was larger than
life but so like the rest of
us, I feel so sad that he
felt pain and sorrow in the
end - hope he had some
comfort in knowing what he
left us, rest in peace dear
In the culture and lack of
morals media mudhole the
20th and 21st centuries have
been, for FM to keep his
privacy (basically) shows
how he was loved. It makes
think of what the Tinman
said in the Wizard of OZ.
"Remember a heart is not
judged by how much it loves,
but how much it is loved by
others." RIP brave
Freddie...no one did it
better. No one ever will.
The most amazing performer
ever to grace the Earth!
EVER!!!! The GOD OF
King of voice, God & the
angels is who you sing for
now too, love you forever,
thank you for everything,
bless you, Starr*
will continue to live on in
our hearts and minds thru
his music. I just can't get
enough of listening to his
wonderful voice. An
exciting, talented, sexy,
creative and beautiful man.
FREDDIE IS / WAS THE BEST
EVER!!!!! The greatest
performer on the planet -
ever!!!! Freddie didn't just
sing a song, he Became the
song, putting his whole
heart and soul and every
ounce of passion into every
word. His voice, with a
four octave range, was the
voice of God!. Even though
Freddie is gone, his spirit
is not! It remains very much
alive through all his
adoring fans who will pass
him and his phenomenal music
to the next generation and
beyond.Freddie, you will
always be in our hearts and
our very souls! We love you
more than you will ever
FREDDIE - THE GOD OF ROCK -
|He was a
very good singer and his
band was like a family
Not only was he
dynamic, but he
was sheer magic,
was and forever
will be THE GOD
would often cover his mouth
with his hand in an attempt
to hide the overbite"
this is so sad. :( he was
perfect just the way he was.
miss you freddie
the" Man" I truly Admire you
Freddie, and your memories
will lived FOREVER!
miss you forever Freddy!
There is no one like you!
great singer, there will be
no one like him again. he
will be missed
always remember him !
you say about Freddie? He
did it all, great voice. a
great man. Love him.
jeffery (I'm a girl) Freddy
is a rock legend and he died
from aids! OWNED!