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Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury is a famous British vocalist, lyricist and popular composer. He was born on September 5, 1946, and he gained so much fame by performing with the renowned rock band 'Queen'. He is also known as one of the best singers in the history of rock music. His four-octave vocal range and theatrical stage demeanour made him well-known. With his dramatic approach, Mercury defied the expectations of a rock frontman and influenced Queen's aesthetic vision.

He was born in a Parsi-Indian family, and he enrolled for his primary schooling at English Boarding School in India when he was just eight years old, and after completing his secondary education, he returned to Zanzibar. In 1964, he and his family enrolled in the Zanzibar revolution and moved to Middlesex, and after that, he wrote music for several years.

Together with the musician named Brian May and Roger Taylor, he founded Queen in 1970. The songs "Killer Queen", "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Somebody to Love", "We Are the Champions", "Don't Stop Me Now", and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" were all written by Mercury for Queen. As seen at the 1985's Live Aid event, he frequently engaged the audience throughout his captivating stage performances. He also had a solo career and produced and played for other musicians as a guest musician.

In the year 1987, Mercury suffered from AIDS, but he continued to record with Queen and completed his final album named Made in Heaven, which was released in 1995. Mercury made his illness public the day before he passed away from disease-related complications.

In the year 1992, a concert was held at Wembley stadium in remember of Freddie. With this concert, people also talked about AIDS and spreading its awareness, among others. A biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, was also made in tribute to Freddie and his career with the Queen in 2018.

Birth Place

He was born on 5 September 1946 in Stone Town, a part of Tanzania (then part of the British protectorate of Zanzibar). Originally, he was born in a Parsi-Indian family with the name Farrokh Bulsara.


Mercury completed his education at an English boarding school in Panchgani in Maharashtra, India. He also took piano lessons while living in India with his relatives. He pursued his graduation in graphic and art design from Ealing Art College in 1969.

Family Details

He was born in a Parsi Indian family. His father's name was Bomi, and her mother's name was Jer Bulsara; both belonged to the Parsi community of western India.

Early Life

Freddie's original name was Farrokh Bulsara. He mainly grew up in the Stone Town of Zanzibar (now it is a part of Tanzania), and his parents, Bomi (father) and Jer Bulsara (mother), belonged to the Parsi community of western India. His parents belonged from the city of Bulsar (now known as Valsad) in Gujrat. Apart from his parents, he also had a younger sister named Kasmira. Freddie completed his schooling at an English boarding school in India, and later his family moved to Zanzibar because his father wanted to continue his job as a cashier at the British colonial office.

Freddie was born with an exceptionally dynamic and heavy vocal range that helped very much in his singing career. On June 2, 1969, his family was granted membership of the Citizen of the UK and Colonies before the family settled in England.

Freddie Mercury

Freddie spent most of his time in India. He also started his music career in India when he was just seven years old. He started taking piano lessons when he lived with his relatives. At the start of 1954, when he was growing up to eight, Freddie was moved to St. peter's school, which was a boarding school for boys located in Panchgani near Bombay. In his school days, he participated in many competitions. At the age of 12, he made a school band. The name of the band was Hectics, and he also collaborated with rock and roll artists such as cliff Richard and Little Richard.

The school band was performing well, but one day, one of Freddie's band partners from the Hectics said that the music that he had listened to and played was mainly a piece of western pop music. A friend also reminded him that he showed "an incredible capacity to listen to the radio and repeat what he heard on the piano".

During his school days, he started using the name "Freddie" at St. Peter's. He returned to Zanzibar in February 1963, when he joined his parents in their apartment. At the start of 1964, Freddie and his parents decided to go to England from Zanzibar to protect them from the violence of the revolution that was started against the sultan of Zanzibar. In that protest, thousands of Arabs and Indians were killed, so to protect themselves; they left Zanzibar.

After some time, to pursue his higher education, Freddie moved to London. First, he enrolled in Art studies at Isleworth polytechnic college in west London and later on, he pursued his graduation in graphic art and design at Ealing Art College in the year 1969. After that, he used these skills to design heraldic arms for his band, Queen.

When he was doing his graduation course, he also enrolled in a series of bands and sold the used Edwardian clothes and scarves in the Kensington market in the city of London. His friend Taylor later told a story saying that "he really did not know him as a professional singer. Freddie was just his batch mate, and he also called him one of his crazy mates. He and Freddie had done lots of fun." He said that at that time, others friends usually considered him a shy person but with a great interest in music. In the year 1969, Freddie joined a Liverpool-based band named Ibex. After some time, this band was named Wreckage.

In 1970, during April month, Freddie collaborated with professional guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. He wanted to become the lead singer of the band that was named 'Smile'. So, after some time, Freddie chose the name "Queen" for his new band. He once said that "the name is really interesting, and it sounds unique and strong." Freddie, after some time, changed his surname from Bulsara to Mercury, and the name was inspired by the line "Mother Mercury, look what they have done to me", which was the part of his song "My fairy King".


Mercury's voice was literally heavy and naturally well ranged. He made most of his songs in a classical way. A famous biographer David Bret mentioned his voice "escalated from a deep, throaty rock-growl to sensitive, energetic tenor, then on to a high-pitched, flawless coloratura, pure and crystalline in the upper reaches".

Freddie collaborated with a famous Spanish singer, soprano Montserrat Caballe and recorded a song for the album. Later, she (Montserrat Caballe) said that "the main difference between other rock stars' voices and Freddie's voice is that Freddie was an expert in selling his voice".

She also said that his technique was unique, and he had a sharp sense of rhythm, excellent vocal positioning, and the ability to switch between registers with ease. He also had great taste in music, and his lyrics were also sweet, energetic and motivating. He had a great talent for polishing the lyrics of songs.


In his singing career, Mercury also wrote many lyrics for his songs. He wrote more than ten songs on 'Queen', the greatest hit album. Some of the album's songs include "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Seven Seas of Rhye", "Killer Queen", "Somebody to Love", "Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy", "We Are the Champions", "Bicycle Race", "Don't Stop Me Now", "Crazy Little Thing Called Love", and "Play the Game". These are among the ten songs on Queen's Greatest Hits CD that Mercury penned.

In 2003, Freddie's name was announced in the songwriter's Hall of fame. Later, in the year 2005, all four band members of the Queen were also awarded an Ivor Novello Award for the best songs collection from the British academy of songwriters, composers and authors.

The best thing about his songwriting was that when he wrote the lyrics of any song, he used many styles and different methods, like using rockabilly flow in the songs. He also mentioned in an interview that was taken in 1986 that he hated to do the same thing in a repeating way, again and again. He loved to do new things and even wanted to add new styles to the industry of music.

Live Performance

Mercury was mainly known for his popular live performances that he performed in almost every part of the world. He made his huge presence in the audience by showing his musical skills and styles. A writer for 'The Spectator' mentioned him as "the best performer in the world because of his charms and unique skills in music that helped him make his huge presence in the audience."

David Bowie, who was also a famous singer and performed at the Freddie Tribute Concert and recorded the song of him named "Under Pressure" under the Queen, said that he saw him in a concert and people said that Freddie was a brilliant and down-to-earth mam. He had the ability to control the audience by just saying his words and by singing."

In the year 1985, Freddie performed the most remarkable live concert that was held at Live Aid with Queen. This performance in the event was ranked by a famous group of music executives, and they said that it was the best performance taken in the history of rock music. This concert was also telecasted on a television program named "The World's Greatest Gigs". Peter Hince, a roadie in a Queen, said that "it was not about his voice, but the way that he performed on the stage was also firing. He knows the way how to create a presence in the audience, and this skill will help him. It was overwhelming to see how he interacted with the crowd and knew how to win them over. And in each performance, he gave his all."


Mercury has been interested in music since his childhood, and he took piano lessons when he was just nine years old. After some time, he also took guitar lessons when he moved to London. Most of the music that he liked was usually guitar-based. His music idol at that time was The Who, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and David Bowie. He was multitalented and focused on all instruments to improve his skills. Brian once said that Freddie had a great command of the piano, and he played the piano as he felt it from inside. He expressed his feelings and emotions through piano, and nobody had the ability to do it."

A famous keyboardist Rick Wakeman said that Freddie playing style was very awesome and unique as compared to others. He said that "he mainly thought the piano was built for himself, and he successfully makes most precious songs on this musical instrument."

Mercury used piano in most of the Queen's famous songs like "Killer Queen", "We are the champions", and many more. But, after some time, he did not use the piano much in his concerts and songs. It was said that when he performed on the stage with a piano, he faced difficulty in interacting with the audience. So, he preferred the guitar for entertaining the audience.

Solo Career

Mercury mainly worked with the Queen, but he also made two solo albums and also sang many single songs. However, his solo work was not as successful as compared of Queen Albums. The two Queen-less albums and a number of the songs debuted in the UK music chart in the top 10 categories. His first recording as a solo artist was done in 1972 under the alias Larry Lurex, when Robin Geoffrey Cable, the house engineer at Trident Studios, was engaged in a musical undertaking while Queen was in the middle of recording its debut album.

In the year 1973, Mercury first performed as the lead singer on the songs "I can hear the music" and "Goin' back"; both albums were released at the same time. About 11 years later, Mercury took part in the soundtrack for the movie Metropolis and the songwriting in the song "love kills".

Personal Life

Freddie was in a long-term relationship with Mary Austin. He met with her through his friend Brian-May who was a famous guitarist. He first time met her in 1969 when she was just 19 years old, and Mercury's age at this time was 24. The next year, in 1970, his band Queen was formed. He lived with her thorough, many years in the city west Kensington. But, in the mid-1970, he started his affair with David Minns, a famous record executive.

His relationship with Austin ended when she heard about his sexuality. Even after their relationship was ended, Freddie and Austin remained friends. By then, Freddie defined her only as his true friend. An interview was taken in 1985 in which Mercury said that "he and Austin were close friends and that he only got her as a true friend in his life. He also included that he did not want to lose her. She was like his friendly wife, and she was the only friend that he couldn't replace with anybody else. They trusted and always believed in each other, and that was enough for Freddie."

After some time, at the start of 1980, Mercury was seen with Barbara Valentin, who was an Austrian actress. She also played a role in "it's a hard life", but in an interview, Mercury said that Valentin was only his good friend, but nothing more than that.

Health Issues

At the start of 1982, Freddie was found with some HIV symptoms. In the biography of Mercury, named Somebody to Love: The Life, Death, and Legacy of Freddie Mercury, authors Matt Richards and Mark Langthorne wrote about his life experiences of Mercury. They said that Freddie was secretly visiting the doctors in New York City for his check-up. But, during the check, they found him with hairy leukoplakia, which is one of the signs of HIV. It was observed a few weeks before Queen's final American performance with Mercury held on Saturday Night Live, which took place on September 25, 1982. On the day of his last US visit, when he started displaying additional symptoms, he had just visited an HIV-positive person.

In October 1986, the British media found that Freddie Mercury visited a Harley Street clinic to get his blood tested for HIV/AIDS. Jim Hutton, Mercury's partner, claimed that the disease was discovered in the latter half of April 1987. Mercury stated in an interview at that time that he had tested HIV-negative.

Death and Last Journey

In the Nov. in 1991, Mercury died at the age of 45, and his death occurred in his home in Kensington. The main cause of the death was bronchial pneumonia, which had grown with AIDS. When Mercury passed away, his close buddy Dave was at the bedside vigil. When Austin heard the news that Mercury was no more, then she called the Mercury family and circulated this news. Later, it was delivered to newspaper and television teams on November 25 early in the morning.

Freddie's last journey was taken on 27 November 1991 by a Zoroastrian priest at West London Crematorium, where a monument honouring him is located next to his original name. At Freddie's funeral, his family members and his 35 close friends were present, including Elton john and all the members of Queen.

Mercury spent and donated his earnings and wealth to charity during his entire career. His property was estimated to be worth £8 million at the time of his passing.

Mercury never drove a car in his entire career because he had no licence at that time, but he was frequently driven around London in his Rolls-Royce Silver Shadow from 1979 until his death. The vehicle was later given to his sister Kashmira, who displayed it at public gatherings, including the 2002's West End premiere of the musical 'We Will Rock You' until it was sold at auction at the NEC in Birmingham in 2013 for £74,600.

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