Freddie Mercury was one of those music stars that could stand on stage, do nothing and still, his audience goes wild. He had already established himself and had a brand to together with his teammates, Queen. Celebrating his birthday which will be on 5th September will ignite another wave of excitement similar to that was witnessed in July when the world celebrated Jessica Simpson’s birthday. An asteroid has even been named after him like a sigh of honoring his exemplary achievements in his career. Other members of his brand feel that without him they wouldn’t have made it in their career.
Hard Working from Young Age
Singer Freddie Mercury (1946 – 1991) of British rock group Queen, 12th February 1974. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images)
Many musicians wait until after school for them to start writing songs or to begin their career. This was, however not the case with Freddie Mercury but he started practicing music at the age of three. His parents, in an interview, said that Freddie could sing any song and play all tunes on the piano. His passion for music is what drove him to start the group which would establish itself as a brand, Queen. Even in the group, he played a very critical role, and his efforts in the group are what made it what it is today.
Queen Experienced the Midlife Crisis in 1977
Freddie Mercury at the Queen concert at Wembley stadium during the Magic tour on July 11, 1986, in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by FG/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images)
Freddie Mercury is known to many as one of the most famous and most celebrated rock bands in history. People only know about the success part of his career but what many people do not know is that he had a rough start that at one point threatened to his career. After he started writing songs back in 1968, he did not automatically become famous. He and his famous friends John Deacon, Roger Taylor and Brian May experienced the midlife crisis in 1977, and this is the reason they reconvened and started working on their sixth album. These challenges did, however, not stop them from releasing their sixth album which increased their fame.
Relationship Status – It’s complicated
WEMBLEY ARENA Photo of Queen, Freddie Mercury and Brian May performing on stage (Photo by Phil Dent/Redferns)
Fame and love seemed not to be working for Freddie Mercury even after being so successful in his career. Mary Austin was Freddie’s first love to be known to the world, and both showed so much commitment to the relationship for the six years they stayed together. Everything was working well for the two until 1976 when he started seeing a male employee who made Mary end the six-year affair. In 1980, he decided to quit being gay and began a new relationship with Barbara Valentin who was an Australian actress. A year later Mercury chose to date another male friend who was working as a hairdresser. Freddie never had a lasting relationship and never married till his death.
His Ex-Girlfriend Inherited much of his Wealth
Freddie Mercury and Mary Austin, in London, 31st January 1986. Mary Austin is a long time friend and ex-partner of Freddie Mercury. Picture was taken 31st January 1986. (Photo by Tiny Bennett/Mirrorpix/Getty Images)
One of his most celebrated song ‘Love of my life’ was a special dedication to one of his girlfriends, and he seemed to mean it. This song was dedicated to Mary Austin who was the only girl to be in a relationship with him for long. They both dated for six months before he decided to date a guy friend they were working together. Mary was on his side even after the break-up. After he was diagnosed with AIDS, his health started failing, and Mary came to help him in his last days. She acquired much of his wealth including his recording royalties. She later opened to the world that she loved him each day, but she could not stand being married to a gay. Marry Austin is a famous actress and a businesswoman and joins the long list of successful actresses like Jessica Simpson among others.
Freddie Ordered to be buried in an Unknown Location
Singer Freddie Mercury (1946 – 1991) of Queen performs a duet with Samantha Fox during a party at Kensington Roof Gardens in London, 12th July 1986. (Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images)
The world was very proud of Freddie Mercury, and many musicians looked up to him as their role model. He had a successful career, but when he realized that he had AIDS he started looking down at himself, and this affected his self-esteem. He was diagnosed with AIDS in 1987 after his health starting failing. This is what made to order those close to him to bury him an undisclosed location. His funeral was open to the public and was first buried in Kensal Green Cemetery, but later his ashes were relocated by Mary Austin to an unknown location as per his wishes.
He was the Designer of the Queen’s Logo
Queen in Kyoto, Kyoto, April 22, 1975. (Photo by Koh Hasebe/Shinko Music/Getty Images)
Even before the group released its first album in, Freddie had already designed its logo. This must not have been difficult for him considering that he had graduated from Ealing Art College where he was studying with fellow teammates. In the well-crafted logo, he ensured that all the interest of team members were taken into consideration. The group members’ zodiac signs were all featured in the logo. The two lions in the logo are for Leo; the crab is what makes Brian May a legitimate member of the group while the two ferries which are represented in the Virgo were for Mercury.
Motivated by Everything around Him
Photo of Queen; Freddie Mercury performing live on stage at Groenoordhallen ,Lieden (Photo by Rob Verhorst/Redferns)
His group mates say that Freddie was able to write music from everywhere. He used whatever surrounded him to his advantage and motivated him to write his songs. His assistant was always ready with a paper and a pen whenever needed. There are several songs that he wrote from just a simple conversation with either a friend or a girlfriend. Nothing limited him from writing songs, and according to his team, this is what made him so successful in his career.
The Famous Freddie was an Introvert
Fighter jets pass the statue of Great Britain’s band Queen’s late singer Freddie Mercury on July 16, 2016 in Montreux, during the 50th edition of the Montreux Jazz Festival. The Montreux Jazz Festival runs from July 1 to July 16 and will be celebrating its 50th edition. (Photo credit FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images)
This is probably why he made crazy decisions in his life that he came to regret towards the end of his career. One would wonder why the famous musician could not choose whether or not to be gay. His dating history can only be understood well by those who knew him to be an introvert. He was vocal on stage and seemed to talk more than the rest of the team but what people do not know is that he was timid at a personal level. This is what made him be an introvert; he liked to keep his own life to himself as many shy people do. Those who used to see him on stage could not believe that he was the quiet guy those who were close knew him to be.
He Couldn’t Read Music
Astonishingly, despite being one of the greatest singers and songwriters of alltime, Freddie Mercury once admitted that he wasn’t very good at reading sheet music. In a 1981 interview, when asked if he could read music, Freddie replied ‘Very little… I leave that to the others.’ He went on to say that his songwriting process was very sporadic and that he often forgot tunes he’d come up with and had to rewrite them all differently.
Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images
He also said that some songs took him weeks to write while others, like ‘Crazy Little Thing, Called Love’ took less than ten minutes.
He Started a Rock Band as a Kid
Freddie had a lifelong interest in music. In fact, from a very early age, he seemed destined for a career in the industry. He was a great piano player by the time he turned 9, and in the 1950s, when he’d been sent to a boys boarding school, he decided to make his first band with a few of his school friends.
The band was called The Hectics. The other members were Derrick Branche, Bruce Murray, Farang Irani, and Victory Rana. They played covers of famous rock songs at various school events.
Named in His Honor
Several things have been named in honor of Freddie Mercury. A genus of Frog, discovered just recently in India, was given the name ‘Mercurana’ in honor of the singer. A type of South American damselfly found in Brazil was also named after Queen’s frontman, being given the title: Heteragrion freddiemercuryi. More recently, in 2016, on what would have been Mercury’s 70th birthday, an asteroid was given the name 17473 Freddiemercury.
Given the huge global influence of Queen and Mercury, in particular, it’s likely that more things might be named after him in the future.
Films And TV Freddie
Mercury has been portrayed on TV and film multiple times of the years, including a 2012 BBC drama called Best Possible Taste: The Kenny Everett Story, but the most notable depiction of the singer came with 2018’s Bohemian Rhapsody.
Photo by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
This film, named after one of Queen’s most iconic songs, focuses on the life of Freddie and the formation of the band, with American-Egyptian actor Rami Malek playing the part of Freddie. The film was directed by Bryan Singer, who was later replaced by Dexter Fletcher, and has been a commercial success, as well as receiving a lot of good reviews.
Bohemian Rhapsody is arguably Queen’s most famous song. Others, like ‘We Are The Champions‘ and ‘Don’t Stop Me Now‘ are also beloved all around the world, but there was always something very special about ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’ Freddie wrote this song and was often asked what it all meant.
Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images
Many critics tried to analyze the song and thought it was all about some trauma in Freddie’s life, but he never revealed the truth. In fact, he once told his friend Kenny Everett that it was nothing but ‘random rhyming nonsense’ to match up with the melody.
Love of My Life
Love of My Life is a song with very special significance for the members of Queen and fans of the band. Freddie Mercury wrote it in honor of Mary Austin, the woman who had always been there for him.
Freddie Mercury with Mary Austin at an after-party for Queen’s Wembley concerts, 1986. Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images
However, after Freddie’s death, the song is still played. Brian May will often go on stage alone and dedicate the song to Freddie, allowing the audience to sing the words while he plays the music. This just shows how powerful Queen’s music and Freddie’s writing could be; one song has taken on a lot of different meanings.
A Magical Voice
One of the things that stood out about Freddie Mercury was his distinctive voice. There are plenty of successful singers out there with their vocal signature, but Freddie’s singing style was unique.
Freddie Mercury and Monserrat Caballe perform Barcelona at KU club Ibiza, Spain. Photo by FG/Bauer-Griffin/Getty Images
He had an exceptionally large range and very good technique. Even opera singer Montserrat Caballé complimented Freddie’s voice, saying that he had a perfect understanding of tempo, timing, and rhythm. A scientific study of Freddie’s voice was undertaken in 2016 and confirmed that Freddie’s range was at least 3 octaves. Some rumors even suggested his range was 4 octaves in total.
Queen’s music has been used in dozens of films over the years, with classics like ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘We Are The Champions’ appearing in many movies, but Queen were also hired to write new songs for the soundtracks of two major films: Flash Gordon and Highlander.
Photo by Universal Studios
The second film is about an immortal man who has to watch the people he loves age and die. Freddie saw the film one day and wrote its most iconic song ‘Who Wants To Live Forever?’ in the car on the way home.
Freddie and Michael
Freddie worked with a lot of other big musical names over the years, including David Bowie for the famous song ‘Under Pressure.’ While recording his first solo album, Mr. Bad Guy, he linked up with pop icon Michael Jackson. The pair initially planned to do the album together, singing duets on a few songs.
Photo by Dave Hogan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
They only ended up recording one of them, however, due to a complicated working relationship. Michael didn’t like the fact that Freddie used drugs, while Freddie was frustrated by the fact that Michael brought his pet llama into the recording studio.
The Final Song
The last song that Freddie was ever able to work on with his bandmates was ‘Mother Love.’ The song wasn’t released until 1995, several years after Freddie’s death.
Photo by © Hulton-Deutsch Collection/CORBIS/Corbis via Getty Images
He wrote it together with Brian May and recorded the vocals just six months before he died. On that tragic day, Freddie told his bandmates that he wasn’t feeling too good but would come back another time to finish up the song. Sadly, he wouldn’t live long enough to fulfill that obligation, and Brian May eventually stepped up to sing the last verse.
He Felt Insecure About His Teeth
Every part of Freddie’s image is iconic, from his lean, muscular frame to his fabled mustache and, of course, his teeth. He was born with what is technically called a class II malocclusion but is more commonly known as a severe overbite.
Photo by Suzie Gibbons/Redferns
This was because he had four more teeth than the average person, which pushed the others outwards. Freddie had more than enough cash to get his teeth fixed, but he famously refused to do so because he worried about the procedure affecting his singing voice. He was, however, very insecure about the way his teeth looked.
One of the interesting things about Queen is that all members of the group managed to write at least one big hit, but Freddie was by far the most prolific of the band.
Photo by Suzie Gibbons/Redferns
He wrote 10 of the 17 songs that eventually made it onto the ‘Greatest Hits’ album, ensuring that he went down in history as one of the best songwriters of all time. Some of his most famous writing credits include ‘We Are The Champions,’ ‘Don’t Stop Me Now,’ ‘Bohemian Rhapsody,’ and ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love.’
He Accepted His Death
Mary Austin, one of Freddie’s closest friends throughout his life, once revealed that in the final days, Freddie decided to look death right in the face and bravely accept his fate. He voluntarily stopped taking lots of his medicine against his disease.
Photo by Phil Dent/Redferns
By the end, all he was taking were painkillers. He knew that this would speed up the whole process and that he would inevitably die sooner than later, but he simply didn’t want to go on getting weaker and weaker any longer.
A Tragic Admirer
Another rock legend who died far too soon in tragic circumstances is Kurt Cobain, the lead singer of Nirvana. Cobain committed suicide but wrote a note before taking his own life, and he mentioned Freddie in the note.
Photo by Frank Micelotta Archive / Getty Images
He wrote that he felt envious of Freddie, who was able to thrive on stage and in the spotlight in a way that he never could. Cobain said that the ‘roar of the crowd’ was something that Freddie loved but that it sadly didn’t have the same positive impact on himself.
Many people like to have their collections of one thing or another, with stamp collecting being an old-fashioned but popular hobby even in the modern day.
Freddie Mercury’s stamp album on display next to John Lennon’s stamp album. Photo by Rob Stothard/Getty Images for The Postal Museum
Freddie was a stamp collector, also known as a philatelist. His collection was preserved and has been shown at various exhibitions all around the world. He would have loved to have lived until 1999 when the British Royal Mail made a special stamp with his image on it to celebrate the Millennium. Freddie’s stamp collection was especially large and impressive, but few people knew about his little hobby.
Freddie was more of a cat person than a dog person. When he recorded his first solo album, Mr. Bad Guy, he including a little note inside saying that the whole album was dedicated to his cats: Tom, Jerry, Oscar, and Tiffany.
He also dedicated the album to ‘all the cat lovers across the universe.’ He had many other cats over the years, with names like Romeo and Delilah. Delilah even got her song, written by Freddie and featured on Queen’s Innuendo album. The song has lyrics like “You take over my house and home” and “Meow, meow, meow.”
Queen’s first manager was a name named Norman Sheffield. He was the boss of Trident Studios and helped to launch Queen into the public eye, but the band weren’t happy with how he handled their success.
Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns
They had no money at one point despite releasing some very successful albums. In retaliation, Freddie wrote the song ‘Death on Two Legs (Dedicated to…)’ about Sheffield. The song involved lyrics like ‘You suck my blood like a leech’ and ‘You’ve taken all my money.’ When Sheffield heard the song, he sued the band, but Freddie had made his point.
A Fateful Announcement
Freddie famously kept his health problems a secret until it the very last moment. It was on November 22 of 1991 that he decided to call up the band manager, Jim Breach, to write up a statement to share with the world.
Grieving fans leave flowers outside the London home of Freddie Mercury. Photo by PA Images via Getty Images
The statement was released on November 23, and Freddie tragically passed away on November 24. In the statement, Freddie confirmed that he was suffering from AIDS and said that he’d always preferred to maintain a level of privacy around his private life, hence his lack of interviews. He also called on fans and everyone around the world to help in the battle against what he called ‘this terrible disease.’
He Worked as a Baggage Handler
Everyone has to start somewhere, and it’s interesting to look back at the lives of the rich and famous before they became rich and famous. Many celebrities once had regular jobs just like the rest of us. In Freddie’s case, he initially worked as a baggage handler at Heathrow Airport in London.
Photo by PA Images via Getty Images
In 2018, on the anniversary of Freddie’s birth, fans of the singer visited Heathrow dressed up in imitations of his yellow jacket and started dancing along to various Queen songs. Before his job at the airport, Freddie also worked as a market trader, selling clothes at Kensington Market.
The Show Must Go On
‘The Show Must Go On‘ is one of the songs on Queen’s 1991 album, Innuendo. It was mostly written by Brian May, rather than Freddie, but was written all about Freddie himself.
Photo by Independent News and Media/Getty Images
May and the other members of Queen had seen how much Freddie was suffering and weren’t even sure if he’d been physically capable of recording the song. When speaking about that moment, May said that he approached Freddie and voiced his doubts about the whole thing. In response, Freddie swigged from a bottle of vodka and said he’d be able to do it.
The last time the world got to see Freddie Mercury on a stage was in 1990. It was at the Brit Awards, where Queen were collecting a special trophy for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Music.’
Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor and Brian May at the 1990 Brit Awards. Photo by John Rodgers/Redferns
The event was held at the Dominion Theatre in London on February 18. When the band stepped out onto the stage, it was sadly clear to see that Freddie wasn’t his former self. He looked very weak and pale, leading to a lot of rumors about his health. His last appearance with Queen would come a year later in the music video for ‘These Are The Days of Our Lives.’
Science and music aren’t often associated, but various teams of scientists have undertaken studies on Freddie Mercury and Queen over the years. One of those studies determined that ‘We Are The Champions’ is the catchiest song ever written due to its tone and rhythm.
Photo by Dave Hogan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
This is especially interesting because the song never made it to number 1 anywhere in the world. Freddie wrote the song himself for the 1977 album ‘News of the World’. It has since been picked up by sports fans around the world and sung in many stadiums.
A Modest Multi-Instrumentalist
During his childhood, Freddie took piano lessons. This gave him a skill that would become a big part of his later career, but when he came to England and saw how all of his favorite bands and artists were using guitars, he knew he had to learn that instrument as well. So that’s what he did.
Photo by Staff/Mirrorpix/Getty Images
Despite being able to play piano, guitar, and various other variations of these instruments like the harpsichord, Freddie was never confident in his instrumental abilities. He played piano on the recordings of some of Queen’s biggest songs but often hired other musicians to help out.
Freddie and the Princess
In the 1980s, it is believed that Freddie Mercury became close friends with Princess Diana. Allegedly, Freddie came up with an original idea to spend a night out on the town with the princess.
Princess Diana And Prince Charles At Heathrow Airport. Photo by Tim Graham/Getty Images
Since she was so recognizable, he suggested that she dress up as a man and pose as a male model for the pair to spend an evening at a gay bar in London. There, Freddie, Diana, and Kenny Everett allegedly spent several nights having fun and talking about everything and anything. Some people believe that in doing this, Freddie helped to shape Diana’s view of the world.
Everyone knows Queen’s lead singer under his iconic, star-studded name of Freddie Mercury, but that wasn’t his real name. Born on 5 September of 1946, Freddie Mercury was originally called Farrokh Bulsara.
Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns
His parents were named Bomi and Jer Bulsara and originally came from India. It was around the time that Queen formed that Freddie decided to change his name to something a little flashier and fancier. Many other singers and actors have had to change their names over the years to fit in with the celebrity lifestyle, and Freddie Mercury is one of the most famous examples.
The Meaning of the Band Name
Many people tend to think that the band was named due to the LGBT connotations with the word ‘Queen.’ However, Freddie once revealed that he was aware of the connotations, but that they were only a small part of why the name was chosen.
Photo by RB/Redferns
He said that the main thought behind naming the band ‘Queen’ was that he’d wanted to choose a name that sounded ‘strong’ and ‘regal.’ He was more interested in a recognizable name that would stand out and be remembered all around the world than making some statement.
Freddie was known for wearing a lot of iconic outfits over the years, but one of them stands out above all the rest.
Photo by Anwar Hussein/Getty Images
The iconic yellow jacket, featuring several buckles and a military-style finish, was worn by Freddie during the band’s ‘Magic’ tour of Europe in the mid-80s. The jacket was sold for over $33,000 at auction in 2004. There’s a waxwork of Freddie wearing an imitation of this jacket at the Madame Tussauds location in Amsterdam, The Netherlands, and many fans and imitators of the singer have tried buying or making their versions of the jacket.
When Freddie was 17, he and his family had to evacuate their home in Zanzibar. At the time, the Zanzibar Revolution was breaking out, leading to the killing of many thousands of people.
April 1964. Following the recent revolution, Zanzibar’s new army recruits are being trained to defend the newly formed state. Photo by: Sovfoto/UIG via Getty Images
It was a horrible moment of history, but Freddie and his family got away unharmed. They chose England as their home and found a little house in the London Borough town of Feltham. If Freddie had never made that move to England, he would never have met his bandmates, and the magic of Queen would never have happened.
Mercury’s death came at a time when AIDS was still a majorly taboo subject. People weren’t talking about it, but seeing a beloved star die from the disease shed a whole new light on the epidemic.
A lookalike in the crowd at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness. Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images
Various celebrities started to speak out to raise more awareness of the disease and Freddie’s surviving bandmates decided to form ‘The Mercury Phoenix Trust,’ a charity organization to battle HIV and AIDS all over the world. They also held a special tribute concert in April of 1992 to honor Freddie and raise funds to help in the fight against the disease.
He Had a Piano in Bed
Freddie had an unusual songwriting process. He said that he was perfectly capable of simply sitting down and waiting for inspiration to come, but that he could also get ideas at the strangest times of day or night and would quickly forget them.
Photo by Jorgen Angel/Redferns
So, in the same way, that some people leave little notepads by the bed, Freddie had a piano installed on his headboard. That way, he never even had to get out of bed if he wanted to try out an idea.
Freddie in Theater
In 1997, a theatrical depiction of Mercury’s life launched in New York City. It was entitled Mercury: The Afterlife and Times of a Rock God and was both written and directed by American playwright, Charles Messina. The theater show charted the life and death of Mercury, framed by showing Mercury just after his death looking back on his life.
Photo by Brian McLaughlin/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images
The first showing of the play was at 6:48 pm on November 24th, which was the exact anniversary of Freddie’s death. An American-Portuguese actor named Khalid Goncalves played the part of Freddie, and the play received positive reviews from many major critics and publications.
We’ve seen that Freddie Mercury left most of his wealth to his former girlfriend, Mary Austin. A lot of his cash was also given to his mother, father, and sister, but a few extra people were also given very large sums of money. Freddie’s driver, for example, Terry Giddings, received the sum of £100,000.
Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images
His assistant, Peter Freestone, got half a million pounds, and the same sum was also given to his chef, Joe Fanelli, and his partner, Jim Hutton. Mercury wrote in his will that he preferred to give most of his fortune to Mary since she’d done so much for him and would have accepted to be his wife.
He Followed Zoroastrianism
Freddie and his family followed a religion called Zoroastrianism. Also known as Mazdayasna, Zoroastrianism is one of the oldest religions in the world. Many people haven’t heard of it due to its age. Followers of this Middle-Eastern religion believe in one god known as Ahura Mazda.
Ancient Zoroastrian writing dated 3500-3000 BCE. Pergamon Museum. Artist Unknown. Photo by CM Dixon/Heritage-Images/Getty Images
The religion has a lot in common with faiths like Christianity and Islam. Zoroastrianism involves a big focus on the balance of good and evil in the world, with the belief that good will eventually triumph over evil. Freddie followed the faith all through his life, and his funeral service was held in the traditions of Zoroastrianism too.
The Greatest Show
If there’s one Freddie Mercury performance that is generally agreed as the greatest of all time, it was at Live Aid.
Photo by Georges De Keerle/Getty Images
Held on July 13 of 1985, this dual-concert event was held at both Wembley Stadium in London and JFK Stadium in Philadelphia. Several other countries joined in with the effort, which was all for charity, but Freddie and Queen stole the show. Queen played for 21 minutes in total, and their small show has been voted the best live rock performance of all time in several polls and music critic lists. Freddie was unstoppable, firing the crowd up and getting everyone involved.
Freddie Mercury has made his way onto many major polls over the years. Whether it’s ‘Best British Person,’ ‘Greatest Singer,’ or ‘Most Influential Member of the LGBT Community,’ Mercury has always been given pride of place. In a BBC poll of the ‘100 Greatest Britons’, he came in at 58th.
Photo by Rob Verhorst/Redferns
He was also included on a list of ‘Most Influential Gay Men and Lesbians, Past and Present’ and came 18th on Rolling Stone’s list of the ‘Top 100 Singers Of All Time’. Many other polls over the years have ranked Mercury as one of the finest rock singers and most charismatic frontmen in the history of music.
As well as his work with Queen, Freddie Mercury also pursued a solo career. He lent his voice to several songs, even using the pseudonym ‘Larry Lurex’ at one point, before releasing two full solo albums in the 1980s entitled Mr. Bad Guy and Barcelona. Mr. Bad Guy blended elements from various genres including rock, pop, and disco music.
Photo by Brian Rasic/Getty Images
The album made it to the number 6 spot in the UK charts. The second album, Barcelona, was recorded in conjunction with Montserrat Caballé, a Spanish opera singer. This album wasn’t as much of a success and only made it to the 25th spot in the charts.
Tributes to the Legend
Many tributes have been made all around the world to Freddie Mercury. One of the most notable is a statue, which stands in the city of Montreux, Switzerland, and shows Freddie in an iconic performance pose. The statue was sculpted by Czech artist Irena Sedlecka and was revealed in 1996.
Photo credit FABRICE COFFRINI/AFP/Getty Images
Brian May and Roger Taylor, two of Freddie’s Queen bandmates, attended the unveiling. The remaining members of Queen also wrote a song called “No-One but You (Only the Good Die Young)” in honor of Freddie. Even Google paid homage to Freddie in 2011, making a ‘Google Doodle’ based on him.
Many other rock bands and artists adored Queen and cited them as influences, but not everyone was a fan. The Sex Pistols, for example, openly disliked Queen. The band’s bassist, Sid Vicious, was especially critical.
The Sex Pistols performing at Baton Rouge’s Kingfisher Club, Louisiana. Photo by Richard E. Aaron/Redferns
One day, when Queen were working on some music, a drunk Vicious allegedly walked in and made a derogatory comment. Freddie simply stood up, said ‘Aren’t you Stanley Ferocious or something?’ And pushed Vicious out of the room. There was a real war between many punk bands and rock bands, but this incident showed that Freddie wasn’t scared of anyone.
Making the Most of an Accident
Sometimes, ‘happy little accidents’ turn out okay in the end, and that’s one happened in one story involving Freddie Mercury. During one of Queen’s early shows, Mercury was singing when he microphone stand broke off from the base. This incident could have shaken a less-confident singer, but Mercury simply acted as nothing had even happened and carried on performing.
Photo by Dave Hogan/Hulton Archive/Getty Images
In subsequent shows, he started performing with a ‘broken’ mic, and it became a highly recognizable part of his image as a performer. This just shows how Freddie was always able to make the best of a bad situation.
One of Freddie’s famous closest friends was Kenny Everett, a British comedian, and radio DJ. The pair met in 1974 on Everett’s Capital London radio show and quickly realized they had a lot in common, helping them to forge the beginnings of a special friendship.
Freddie Mercury with comedian Billy Connolly and Kenny Everett. Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images
Everett even helped Queen to become so successful, insisting that his radio station play ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ even though executives were worried about how long the song was. As time went by, Everett and Mercury became closer and closer. In the 80s, they fell out for a few years but eventually made up.