Freddie Mercury (real name Farookh Bulsara) was a british musician, singer and songwriter. He was best known as a leader of the rock band Queen. Among this career, he was also sucessful as an solo artist.
The son of Bomi and Jer Bulsara, Freddie spent the bulk of his childhood in India where he attended St. Peter’s boarding school. He began taking piano lessons at the age of seven. No one could foresee where a love of music would take him.
At the age of 17, Mercury and his family fled from Zanzibar for safety reasons due to the 1964 Zanzibar Revolution. The family moved into a small house in Feltham, Middlesex, England. Mercury enrolled at Isleworth Polytechnic (now West Thames College) in West London where he studied art. He ultimately earned a Diploma in Art and Graphic Design at Ealing Art College, later using these skills to design the Queen crest. Mercury remained a British citizen for the rest of his life.
In April 1970, Mercury joined guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor who had previously been in a band called Smile. Despite reservations from the other members, Mercury chose the name "Queen" for the new band. He later said about the band's name, "I was certainly aware of the gay connotations, but that was just one face of it". At about the same time, he changed his surname, Bulsara, to Mercury.
The immortal operatically styled single ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ was released in 1975 and proceeded to the top of the UK charts for 9 weeks. A song that was nearly never released due to its length and unusual style but which Freddie insisted would be played became the instantly recognisable hit. By this time Freddie’s unique talents were becoming clear, a voice with a remarkable range and a stage presence that gave Queen its colourful, unpredictable and flamboyant personality.
Very soon Queen’s popularity extended beyond the shores of the UK as they charted and triumphed around Europe, Japan and the USA where in 1979 they topped the charts with Freddie’s song ‘Crazy Little thing Called Love’.
In addition to his work with Queen, Mercury put out two solo albums and several singles. Although his solo work was not as commercially successful as most Queen albums, the two off-Queen albums and several of the singles debuted in the top 10 of the UK Album Charts. His first solo effort involved his contribution to the Richard "Wolfie" Wolf mix of Love Kills on the 1984 album (the song also used as the end title theme for National Lampoon's "Loaded Weapon") and new soundtrack to the 1926 Fritz Lang film Metropolis. The song, produced by Giorgio Moroder, debuted at the number 10 position in the UK charts.
Although he cultivated a flamboyant stage personality, Mercury was a very shy and retiring man in person, particularly around people he did not know well. He also granted very few interviews. Mercury once said of himself: "When I'm performing I'm an extrovert, yet inside I'm a completely different man." While on stage, Mercury basked in the love from the audience, which was famously noted by Kurt Cobain, in his suicide note, when he wrote of how he both admired and envied Mercury for being able to do so.
On November 24th, 1991, Freddie’s struggle against AIDS ended when he passed away just over 24 hours after he had publicly announced he had the disease. Musicians and fans from all over the world paid their highest respects as the passing of rock’s most innovative, flamboyant ambassador signified the end of an era at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert at Wembley Stadium on April 20, 1992 which gave birth to the Mercury Phoenix Trust, the AIDS charity set up in Freddie’s memory by the remaining members of Queen and Freddie’s Executor, Jim Beach.
1946 — 1991
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