Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury was a British singer-songwriter and record producer, best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band Queen.

Freddie Mercury is regarded as one of the greatest singers in the history of popular music, and was known for his flamboyant stage persona and four-octave vocal range.

Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar to Parsi parents from India. After growing up in Zanzibar and then India, his family moved to Middlesex , England, in his late teens.

 Freddie Mercury formed Queen in 1970 with guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor.

Mercury wrote numerous hits for Queen, including "Bohemian Rhapsody"  ,

" Killer Queen",

"Somebody to Love",

"Don't Stop Me Now",

"Crazy Little Thing Called Love",


"We Are the Champions".  

Freddie Mercury died in 1991 at age 45 due to complications from AIDS , having confirmed the day before his death that he had contracted the disease.


Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury was voted best male singer of all time in a 2005 poll organised by Blender and MTV2. 

Freddie Mercury was also ranked at 18 on the 2008 Rolling Stone list of the 100 greatest singers ever;  and ranked the second best lead singer in a 2011 Rolling Stone readers' pick.  

Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury was described by as "one of rock's greatest all-time entertainers," with "one of the greatest voices in all of music."   

Upon its release in November 2018, the biographical film about Freddie Mercury and Queen, Bohemian Rhapsody, became the highest-grossing musical biographical film of all time.

Freddie Mercury

In 1992, a year after Freddie Mercury's death, Mercury was posthumously awarded the Brit Award  for Outstanding Contribution to British Music,

and a tribute concert  was held at Wembley Stadium, London. In 2002, Freddie Mercury was placed number 58 in the BBC's 2002 poll of the Greatest Britons.

Queen - Live at LIVE AID 1985/07/13 [Best Version]

Simon Christensen

Published on Dec 24, 2014

This is the absolute ULTIMATE experience of Queen's set at LIVE AID, this is the best video mixed to the absolutely superior stereo radio broadcast. This vastly superior audio mix takes a huge dump on all of the official mixes. Best viewed in 1080p. ENJOY! ***MAKE SURE TO READ THE DESCRIPTION*** 00:36 - Bohemian Rhapsody 02:42 - Radio Ga Ga 06:53 - Ay Oh! 07:34 - Hammer To Fall 12:08 - Crazy Little Thing Called Love 16:03 - We Will Rock You 17:18 - We Are The Champions 21:12 - Is This The World We Created...?

Short song analysis:

 - "Bohemian Rhapsody":

 Although it's a short medley version, it's one of the best performances of the ballad section, with Freddie nailing the Bb4s with the correct studio phrasing (for the first time ever!). -

 "Radio Ga Ga": Although it's missing one chorus, this is one of - if not the best - the best versions ever, Freddie nails all the Bb4s and sounds very clean! Spike Edney's Roland Jupiter 8 also really shines through on this mix, compared to the DVD releases! -

 "Audience Improv": A great improv, Freddie sounds strong and confident. You gotta love when he sustains that A4 for 4 seconds! -

 "Hammer To Fall": Despite missing a verse and a chorus, it's a strong version (possibly the best ever). Freddie sings the song amazingly, and even ad-libs a C#5 and a C5! Also notice how heavy Brian's guitar sounds compared to the thin DVD mixes - it roars! - #

"Crazy Little Thing Called Love":# A great version, the crowd loves the song, the jam is great as well!

 Only downside to this is the slight feedback issues. -

"We Will Rock You": Although cut down to the 1st verse and chorus, Freddie sounds strong.

He nails the A4, and the solo from Dr. May is brilliant! - "We Are the Champions": Perhaps the high-light of the performance - Freddie is very daring on this version, he sustains the pre-chorus Bb4s, nails the 1st C5, belts great A4s, but most importantly: He nails the chorus Bb4s, in all 3 choruses! This is the only time he has ever done so!

It has to be said though, the last one sounds a bit rough, but that's a side effect of belting high notes for the past 18 minutes, with nodules AND laryngitis! -

 "Is This The World We Created... ?": Freddie and Brian perform a beautiful version of this, and it is one of the best versions ever. It's both sad and hilarious that a couple of BBC engineers are talking over the song, one of them being completely oblivious of the fact that he is interrupting the performance, on live television...

Which was being televised to almost 2 billion homes.

Raphael Angelo Bumatay

Who has a Queen Fever after watching the movie?

Just Krisha33

Doctor: You only have 24 minutes to live

Cheeky Breeki Ornstein

When concerts werent ruined by hundreds of people recording it on their phone

Fabian Santos

Like 2019... and forever The Queen

sugarkane monroe

I remember watching him on tv that day in July 85. Dancing around my living room ecstatic. I've now seen this video to many times to count. I miss him so much. I adore you Freddie Mercury for ever!!

Joaquín Castillo

I've just seen Bohemiam Rhapsody. Such a great film! I really don't understand why the critics didn't like it, and I consider myself a harsh critic of film. And the Live Aid secuence was the best of the whole film. I must admit I shed some tears watching it. There were many reasons. 1.I grew listening to Queen; my dad introduced me to their music when I was 12 and now I'm 23. One of my favorite bands. 2. Queen's music is so marvelous, so beautiful and inspiring. 3. While watching it I thought that there won't be another Queen concert and there won't be another Freddie Mercury. So, I imagined how it felt to be there that day. Freddie and Queen, thanks for giving us such beautiful music. And please! Give Malek that Oscar! Edit: Wow! Thanks for the support and comments. It's great to see Queen fans from all over the world getting together :D

Juan Alvarez

The movie did exactly the same thing If this movie doesn't get an award There will be hell


I’ll never forget this, July 13th 1985, my 8th birthday. My father brought me down to JFK Stadiums parking lot and got to hear most of Live Aid Live. My father died 3 years later. This still sits as my favorite memory of all time.(yes I know this performance took place in London. However Live Aid was a concert that took place in 2 countries at the same time. Phil Collins actually performed in both on the same day. My memory takes place in the US portion as I’m from Philly)


Freddie Mercury

As a member of Queen, Freddie Mercury was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, the Songwriters Hall of Fame  in 2003, and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. 

Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury also led a solo career while performing with Queen, and occasionally served as a producer and guest musician for other artists. 

Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury's Final Days (1991)


1 month ago

Freddie was a thousand times more magical than Paul Daniels.

Kai Gim
1 month ago

He's even more popular now even though he's not us anymore..the movie brought me here

Lucifer Alpha
1 month ago

Freddie Mercury is proof that there is no such thing as "too many cats"

and that it is not weird to call home to talk to your felines and tell them you miss them.

RIP Freddie Mercury, the ultimate Cat Dad.

Freddie Mercury

Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara in Stone Town in the British protectorate  of Zanzibar on 5 September 1946. His parents, Bomi (1908–2003) and Jer (1922–2016) Bulsara, were Parsia from the Gujarat  region of the then-province of the Bombay Presidency in British India.  

They had moved to Zanzibar so that Bomi could continue his job as a cashier at the British Colonian Office. 

 As Parsis, the Bulsara family practised the Zoroastriam religion. Freddie Mercury had a younger sister called Kashmira. Freddie Mercury was born with four supernumerary incisors, to which he attributed his enhanced vocal range.  

Mercury was born a British citizen, and remained so throughout his life. 

Freddie Mercury spent most of his childhood in India and began taking piano lessons at the age of seven. In 1954, at the age of eight, Mercury was sent to study at St. Peter’s School,  a British-style boarding school for boys, in Panchgani near Bombay At the age of 12, he formed a school band, the Hectics, , and covered rock and roll  artists such as Cliff Richard  and Little Richard. 

One of Freddie Mercury's former bandmates from the Hectics has said "the only music he listened to, and played, was Western pop music."  

A friend from the time recalls that he had "an uncanny ability to listen to the radio and replay what he heard on piano".  

It was also at St. Peter's where he began to call himself "Freddie". He also attended St. Mary’s School, Mumbai. In February 1963 he moved back to Zanzibar where he joined his parents at their flat.

Freddie Mercury

Watch Freddie Mercury's Rare 1982 ET Interview (Exclusive)

Entertainment Tonight

Published on Oct 31, 2018

The legendary Queen frontman opened up about his onstage persona and public image in a 1982 sitdown with Entertainment Tonight. His life story is coming to the big screen with the biopic 'Bohemian Rhapsody,' in theaters  Nov. 2.

Mike Lakefloor1 month ago

I saw Queen in 1978. Freddie was electrifying! A girl somehow got past the bodyguards and onto the stage while they were singing Now I'm Here. Instead of trying to get her off, Freddie motioned to the bodyguards to let her stay for a moment. He danced with her during the song and then she was escorted off the stage. What a great moment to have witnessed. That was pure Freddie!!!

Cameron Thompkins2 months ago

One of the greatest frontmen in rock music history. Period. All hands down. No arguing.

Freddie Mercury's LAST VIDEO 1991!!!


Published on Apr 6, 2018

Guys, I am so sorry I had to reupload this video because it was BLOCKED WORLDWIDE by a company named BELIVE MUSIC who claimed they own the audiovisual content...This time I decided to use MY OWN SONG!!! THIS SONG WAS WRITTEN AND SUNG BY ME ON GUITAR!!!

Dave Movies7 months ago

If their had the medical possibilitys from today,he would be alive.Its so tragic.I think the guy who infected him can be happy that no one knows his name.He would be the most hated guy in music history.

Bud Stephens1 month ago

To be honest I never really paid much attention to him or his music .... NOW after looking at countless videos about him .... i could see he was just a genuine nice person.... an unbelievable performer . I only wish I could have seen him in person . From the looks of most people. Leaving comments on all of those videos I have seen .... he will never be gone from most people’s hearts and memories .....

Bohemian Rhapsody (2018) 

12A | 2h 14min | BiographyDramaMusic | 24 October 2018 (UK)

The cast and producer of Bohemian Rhapsody share what it was like bringing the story of Freddie Mercury and Queen to the big screen.

The story of the legendary rock music band Queen and lead singer Freddie Mercury, leading up to their famous performance at Live Aid (1985).


 Bryan Singer


Anthony McCarten (story by), Peter Morgan (story by) | 1 more credit »


Rami MalekLucy BoyntonGwilym Lee | See full cast & crew


Who was Freddie Mercury, when did the Queen singer die and what are his top songs?

He was well known for his flamboyant stage persona and for writing a number of some of the best known songs

By Ellie Cambridge 19th November 2018,

Freddie Mercury in his iconic Live Aid outfit giving one of the most memorable performances of his career  

FREDDIE Mercury left behind a legacy of some of the best known songs of all time and countless memories of his colourful performances, which earned him so many fans.

Here's what you need to know about the musical legend who is often still hailed as one of the best voices of all time.

Who was Freddie Mercury and how did he die?

He was the front man of the British band Queen, and died at 45 years old on November 24, 1991, from pneumonia brought on by complications due to AIDS.

Mercury was born in Zanzibar, East Africa - now part of Tanzania - with the name Farrokh Bulsara, but he became Freddie Mercury after listening to western pop music and attending St Peter's Boy's School in Western India.

He moved to England in 1964 and studied art at Isleworth Polytechnic.

What was his music career like?

After he graduated Freddie joined a series of bands but these failed to take off.

In April 1970 Mercury joined guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, who had previously been in a band called Smile.

Together with John Deacon, who would be their bassist until 1997, the group became Queen - named by Mercury.

The band was, and continues to be globally hugely successful, with songs and albums which resonate with each generation despite the years since their production.

Mercury pictured in a typically flamboyant outfit in a photo shoot with Roger Bamber for The Sun

When was Mercury diagnosed with AIDS?

After many years touring the world and producing hit after hit, Mercury was diagnosed with AIDS according to his partner Jim Hutton, shortly after Easter 1987.

He kept this as a private matter and denied the diagnosis as rumours continued.

His sexuality was often a topic of discussion as he had both female and male partners, with friends commenting he was openly gay, but he also kept this as a private matter.

Freddie made his final public appearance when he joined the rest of Queen on stage to collect the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music.

On November 23, 1991, a statement was made on his behalf which confirmed he was ill.

Just over 24 hours after issuing the statement, the music legend died.

Bouquets of flowers piled up for Freddie Mercury as they were left by grieving fans 

What is he best remembered for?

Freddie's enthusiastic, passionate and fun live performances were notable, with many still viewed thousands of times on YouTube.

Queen's guitarist Brian May wrote that he could make "the last person at the back of the furthest stand in a stadium feel that he was connected".

The band was the first ever to play in South American stadiums, breaking worldwide records for the concert attendance in the Morumbi stadium in Sao Paulo in 1981.

He claimed he could barely read music but was able to write memorable and intricate harmonies.

His lyrics were complex and often poetic at times, with songs such as Who Wants To Live Forever, Bohemian Rhapsody, Don't Stop Me Now, Radio Ga Ga, Somebody to Love, We Will Rock You, Under Pressure and The Show Must Go On remaining as classics.

Queens cheeky music video for I Want To Break Free, where the band donned wigs and fake breasts as the pushed hoovers around a house, is infamous as Mercury kept his iconic moustache for the role.

His legendary performance at Wembley Stadium for Live Aid in 1985 remains one of the most enduring images of Mercury as a 72,000 strong audience sang and clapped in unison, and has been hailed as one of the greatest moments in rock history.

Freddie could sing at a range of five octaves, and boasted a powerful voice to match.

He constantly pushed the boundaries of music and perception, becoming an idol to many.


Freddie Mercury's tragic real-life story

When you hear the words "rock icon," a few names probably come to mind. Elvis Presley. The Beatles. Janis Joplin. Freddie Mercury. Artists come and go — some of them achieve fame and fortune, but never become legends.  And the ones that do often find themselves either struggling to live up the public's idealized image of them or just letting the public think what they will. Freddie Mercury was in that second category.

Always flamboyant, energetic, and controversial on stage, Mercury was famous off stage for his reclusiveness and desire to keep his private life private. In public he was a force of nature, but he was intensely shy and lived his life in secret — he even died in secret, hiding the truth about his illness from everyone, including those closest to him, until the final few hours of his life.

Freddie Mercury's life was tragic, but it was phenomenal, too. Years after his death, his music still draws new fans, and the public finds him as fascinating as ever. In a lot of ways, that's exactly what he wanted. "You can do what you want with my music," he told his manager just a few days before his death. "But don't make me boring.

You only wish your parents were that cool


Just in case you're wondering what sort of awesomely cool parents would name their kid "Freddie Mercury," that's not his real name. (Yes, shocking.) Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara, which would have been a pretty good rock star name in the modern world but in the '80s, not so much. His family was Parsee — ethnically Persian followers of the Zoroastrian religion. He spent part of his childhood in India and part in colonial Africa, but in 1963 his family was forced to flee Zanzibar to London after the country achieved independence and poor Africans started targeting wealthier Indian families.

In London, Mercury, who was given the nickname "Freddie" by teachers in India, enrolled in graphic design classes at Isleworth Polytechnic. His mother, Jer Bulsara, told The Telegraph that she made him apply for graphic design jobs between all the songwriting he was doing while holed up in his bedroom. "Had he got one of those jobs, things would have been quite different." Instead, he pissed off the neighbors with all the noise and moved out.

"I am proud for everything that comes up for my boy," his mother said. "The whole world seems to know him. They know who Freddie Mercury is. My boy was a genius." So in case you're still wondering what sort of awesomely cool parents he had, there you go.

And then Bucky became famous and ruled the world


You know that kid at school who got teased because of some little physical oddity, like large ears or being super tall? What if that kid went on to become a superstar and that weird little oddity had something to do with it? Basketball star? Person who hears really well? Wouldn't that make everyone who was cruel feel some well-deserved remorse?

According to Rolling Stone, when Freddie Mercury enrolled in Peter's Church of England School in Panchgani, India, he was really self-conscious about his prominent upper teeth, and because children are cruel little imps, his classmates caught onto this particular insecurity and gave him the name "Bucky." And because childhood trauma will haunt us all for the rest of our lives no matter how much therapy we get or how famous we become, Mercury developed an insecurity about his teeth that lasted pretty much his entire life — even after he became a star, he would cover up his mouth with one hand whenever he smiled. Some people think his teeth might have actually contributed to his distinctive singing voice, so we can all feel a sense of righteous spite on Freddie's behalf knowing that someone out there is harboring a horrible secret: "I called Freddie Mercury 'Bucky' and then he became rich and famous and I ended up getting a nowhere job in graphic design." Ha.


Fame sometimes has too high a price


If Freddie Mercury had become a star in the 2010s instead of in the 1980s, his story would have had a different ending. Sure, our world still has a lot of homophobia in it, but in general there's a lot more support for people who don't conform to heterosexual gender roles. So maybe he would have come out. He almost certainly wouldn't have died. But that's not what happened.

According to The Advocate, Mercury probably became infected with HIV in New York in the summer of 1982. The 2016 book Somebody to Love: The Life, Death, and Legacy of Freddie Mercury, suggests he was already showing symptoms when he appeared on Saturday Night Live in September of that year in what would be his last U.S. performance. Unfortunately, HIV/AIDS was still a very new thing in the early '80s, publicly associated with gay men and the gay lifestyle, and Freddie Mercury was not open about his sexuality. Homophobia in that decade was vicious, and the rise of the AIDS epidemic made religious zealots feel justified in attacking gay men both verbally and physically. So Mercury kept quiet, and some of those fears affected the treatment he sought, the people he told, and his decision to stop appearing in public.


The coming-out song that never came out


Freddie Mercury considered "Bohemian Rhapsody" to be his greatest achievement, but decades later we're still arguing about what the song actually meant. Mercury himself was pretty cagey about it. According to Rolling Stone, he once answered a question about the song's meaning with these words: "I'll say no more than what any decent poet would tell you if you dared ask him to analyze his work: 'If you see it, dear, then it's there.'"

A lot of people seem to think "Bohemian Rhapsody" is a coming-out song, though if that's the truth it is so deeply disguised in metaphor that only a resurrected Freddie Mercury could say for sure. One music scholar even suggested that the line "Mama, just killed a man" refers to the metaphorical death of straight Freddie Mercury at the hands of gay Freddie Mercury, which sounds a bit like the conclusion you might come to if you really, really wanted the song to be a coming-out ballad but couldn't decide which line actually supported your theory. But it is also true that at least one person who knew him — manager John Reid — said he thought "Bohemian Rhapsody" might have been a coming-out song, though everyone seems to forget that Mercury never actually "came out." If it was a comment on his sexuality it doesn't seem to have been intended as an overwhelmingly public one.


Mercury wasn't straight, but he might not have been gay, either


Viewed backward through a historical lens that bypasses pretty much everything we've learned about sexuality since people stopped covering up their ears and chanting "la la la I can't hear you" whenever anyone tried to have a rational discussion about it, it would be easy to pigeonhole Freddie Mercury as a closeted gay man, but he was a lot more complicated than that. In a 2016 issue of The Advocate, Diane Anderson-Minshall wrote about the fundamental problem with trying to overanalyze Mercury's relationship with former girlfriend Mary Austin. The authors of Somebody to Love attempt to explain why he might have put Austin above all of his gay relationships as having something to do with his own deep-seated homophobia, but maybe he was really just bisexual. Sometimes, as Anderson-Minshall pointed out, we're too eager to categorize people as either gay or straight, without acknowledging that sexual orientation isn't always that black and white.

Mercury referred to Austin as "the love of his life" and his "common-law wife." As romantic partners they were together for seven years, splitting up when Mercury started pursuing relationships with men. Even then they remained close. He left most of his estate to her when he died, and he also entrusted her with secretly scattering his ashes.


Friends will be friends


Freddie Mercury did not want anyone to know he had AIDS. In those days it was deeply stigmatized, so his desire to maintain his privacy was not really that shocking, even if you consider that he kept the secret from nearly everyone, including those closest to him. Freddie's partner Jim Hutton said the statement issued the day before Mercury's death, in which the singer finally publicly announced he was dying from AIDS, was not something Mercury had either written or authorized. "I don't think he would have wanted it," Hutton said. "He wanted his private life kept private." And his family says they were aware Mercury was very ill, but he didn't tell them why. Brother-in-law Roger Cooke told The Daily Beast, "Freddie said: 'You have to understand that what I have is terminal. I'm going to die.' He didn't say it was AIDS."

With some people, Mercury was almost irrationally secretive. In Somebody to Love, his close friend Peter Straker remembers Mercury telling him he had "this blood thing." "He started to get these blotches and I asked about these … and I said to him, 'Have you got AIDS?' and he said, "No, I haven't got AIDS.' And I said, 'If there's anything wrong with you, I'm always here for you,' and we parted that evening. That was the last time I saw him.'" Straker made repeated attempts to contact his friend after that but was always refused.


'Thank you, good night.'


The tabloids spent a lot of time speculating about Freddie Mercury, just as they spend a lot of time speculating about alien abductions and calamari-induced pregnancies. The Sun in particular was pretty cold-blooded when it came to Mercury/AIDS gossip and was publishing sensational headlines about the singer's supposed diagnosis before Mercury even had a diagnosis. Like everyone else in Mercury's life, his bandmates dismissed the gossip and remained largely ignorant when it came to their front man's health problems. In 1989, Mercury decided he "wasn't up to doing tours," so the band didn't schedule one following the release of their album The Miracle. "We never talked about it and it was sort of unwritten law that we didn't," said guitarist Brian May in an interview years after Mercury's death. "Gradually, I suppose in the last year and a bit, it became obvious what the problem was, or at least fairly obvious. We didn't know for sure."

According to Ultimate Classic Rock, by 1990, Mercury was gaunt, sickly, and clearly not himself. His final public appearance was at the Brit Awards, when Queen accepted the award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music. The acceptance speech was given not by Mercury, as everyone expected, but by May. Mercury only said "Thank you … good night" just before the band left the stage.


'I'm sorry I've upset you'


Kaposi's sarcoma is a rare form of skin cancer that started appearing in small populations of gay men in the early 1980s. Since it was previously known to occur mostly in older people with Mediterranean or Middle Eastern heritage, the sudden clustering of cases in young gay men was baffling until someone linked it to the HIV virus. Today, Kaposi's sarcoma is considered an "AIDS-defining illness," which means an HIV-positive person who develops it is considered to have AIDS.

Freddie Mercury started to develop Kaposi's sarcoma on his feet, hands, and face. By the time he died, his friend Elton John remembered him "covered with Kaposi's sarcoma lesions." And complications from the disease also caused him to lose most of his foot. "Tragically, there was very little left of it," guitarist Brian May told the Sunday Times magazine in 2017. "Once, he showed it to us at dinner. And he said, 'Oh Brian, I'm sorry I've upset you by showing you that.' And I said, 'I'm not upset, Freddie, except to realize you have to put up with all this terrible pain.'" 

Even so, Mercury rarely discussed his illness or what was behind it. Speaking to Entertainment Weekly, drummer Roger Taylor said, "He didn't want to be looked at as an object of pity and curiosity, and he didn't want circling vultures over his head." In a way, that helps explain how such a huge personality could have faded so quietly from the public eye.


The groundbreaking treatment that came too late


Freddie Mercury was one of the first celebrities to die from AIDS, but his death also happened when medical science was on the brink of discovering a treatment that would change AIDS from a death sentence to a manageable, long-term, chronic illness. Today, patients are treated with highly active antiretroviral therapy (HAART), which helps prevent them from developing serious AIDS-related complications. HAART is a triple drug therapy that entered most clinical practices in 1996, just five years after Freddie Mercury's death. Bandmate Brian May (above) told the Sunday Times that Mercury missed the "magic cocktail" drugs "by just a few months," and he feels sure that Mercury would still be here if he'd only been able to hang on a little longer.

It's important to remember that although people in the Western world have access to the HAART therapy, the treatment is expensive and not available to most of the people in AIDS-devastated parts of the developing world; more than 18 million children who have lost one or both parents to the disease. So while it is true that it could have saved Mercury, it could be saving millions more even today, if only it could be made affordable and accessible.


Can't you just leave a dying guy alone?


On the scale of "mostly not-evil" to "express ticket to hell," the paparazzi rank just above internet trolls as some of the more evil people who are not in jail. Paparazzi get paid to follow celebrities around and take pictures of them in their most vulnerable, private moments. They've even indirectly (or directly, depending on your perspective) caused a celebrity death or two — in 2006, nine photographers were famously charged with manslaughter (and later acquitted) after Princess Diana was killed in a car accident while trying to escape them in 1997.

Freddie Mercury was also plagued by paparazzi — according to The Advocate, they even stalked him during the final days of his life, hoping to capture a last photograph of him in his gaunt and frail state. Terry Giddings, who served as Mercury's bodyguard and driver, remembers photographers lined up in front of the singer's home "like a pack of wolves waiting for the carcass to come out." And after Mercury finally succumbed, the press pretty much figured it was open season. One Daily Mirror columnist called Mercury "sheer poison" and went on to say AIDS was "a form of suicide for homosexuals." Okay, maybe he wasn't technically a paparazzo, but yeah, still going to hell.


Posthumous achievements


Freddie Mercury can't really be said to have "raised AIDS awareness" in the same way that other, much more vocal HIV-positive celebrities like Magic Johnson and Rebekka Armstrong have. He wasn't open about his illness and he barely even publicly acknowledged it. (He might not have acknowledged it at all, depending on whether his final statement was in his own words or someone else's.) That was certainly his right, and it's probably not up to us to criticize him for that, even after his death. But there's no question that the singer's battle with the disease had a profound effect on the public's awareness of HIV and AIDS.

After his death, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and band manager Jim Beach formed the Mercury Phoenix Trust in Freddie Mercury's memory. The organization raises money for HIV/AIDS initiatives all over the world — according to its website, since it was established in 1992 it has raised more than $16 million for more than 700 HIV/AIDS-related projects. Freddie Mercury might have been private about his own struggle with the disease, but his legacy and memory have contributed significantly to the worldwide battle against the illness. And that's an accomplishment that even outshines "Bohemian Rhapsody."

Freddie Mercury & Montserrat Caballé - The Golden Boy (Live at La Nit, 1988)


Rest in peace Monserrat and Freddy, they now in God heaven singing

Yoga fitness mykonos

Its so beautiful how she understands. What a beautiful gift for her to enjoy. She absolutely loves him and his gift.  

Two amazing artists. Its the highest form of love and appreciation. It moved me so much. Thank you.

Mike Denton-Anns
4 years ago

The sheer look of joy on Monserrat's face - the most unlikely duo in musical history MADE musical histor

Freddie Mercury & Montserrat Caballé - How Can I Go On (Live at La Nit, 1988)

Jeff Bittner
2 years ago

The greatest vocalist of all time, hands down.  Sometimes, God shares his most special creations with us only for a short time.  Freddie Mercury was one of these special creations.  Almost thirty years later this performance still brings chills.  What I wouldn't pay to go back in time and see this performance live.

Patricia Harman
3 years ago

I think he was at his best here, in his element, he had arrived and he looked absolutely handsome. If he only had more time. I love him as the greatest front man, singer, composer, writer, dancer, entertainer in music that I have witnessed. He truly is a legend. ♡♡♡

1 year ago (edited)

Probably in this song Freddie shows that he is the best singer ever. The song isn't popular but it was one of the best Freddie's interpretations ever.

11 months ago

Why carnt today's music be as good as this?? I want to go back and live the 80's all over again, who's coming with me??

Элен Google
2 months ago

Goodbye Montserrat! Your voice will live forever, your image will remain in our hearts forever! Giants leave, but they are remembered with joy in their hearts! Goodbye Montserrat! I think you will meet Freddie there?R.I.P.

How did Freddie Mercury die?

NME Blog May 10, 2018

A new biopic, 'Bohemian Rhapsody', will be released on October 24

The legacy of Freddie Mercury lives on. We knew this already – look at the pop landscape filled with stars, from Lady Gaga to Foo Fighters, that have cited Queen as a major influence – but the excitement around a new biopic, entitled Bohemian Rhapsody and starring Mr Robot actor Rami Malek, proves it beyond any doubt. Formed in London in 1970, the band has sold an estimated 300 million records worldwide thanks to such timeless smashes as ‘We Will Rock You’, ‘We Are the Champions’ and, of course ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’.

Mercury is widely regarded one of the most charismatic and influential frontmen of all time – Kurt Cobain admired his stage presence – and the movie, which will chart a fifteen-year period in the band’s career, culminates in their incendiary performance at Live Aid in 1985. At the time of the jaw-dropping show, watched by 1.5 billion people, he was facing what the blurb for the movie describes as a “life-threatening illness”. Eventually, tragically, this took his life in 1991, when Mercury was just 45.

How did Freddie Mercury die?

Freddie Mercury died at his home on November 24, 1991, just 24 hours after he released a formal statement that revealed he had lived for years with HIV. He had released a statement that read: “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 me, my doctors and all those worldwide in the fight against this terrible disease.”  Mercury died from complications of AIDS, namely inflamed lungs, a condition known as Bronchopneumonia.

When was Freddie Mercury diagnosed with HIV?

He had been diagnosed with HIV in spring 1987, though those close to him kept his condition secret. In the 2011 documentary Days of Our Lives, Queen guitarist Brian May explained: “We hid everything. I guess we lied! Because we were trying to protect him.” Last year, interviewed by The Sunday Times, May revealed the extent of Mercury’s illness. “The problem was actually his foot,” he said. “Tragically there was very little left of it… Once, he showed it to us at dinner. And he said: ‘Oh Brian, I’m sorry I’ve upset you by showing you that’. And I said, ‘I’m not upset, Freddie, except to realise that you have to put up with so much terrible pain.”

Could Freddie Mercury have been saved from AIDS?

In that Sunday Times interview, May lamented the fact that Mercury narrowly missed out on the widespread arrival of antiretroviral medication that might have saved his life.  “He missed it by just a few months,” May said. “If it had been a bit later, he would still have been with us, I’m sure.” This echoed a 2011 Daily Mail interview with Mercury’s friend Dave Clark, who explained: “Freddie had tried everything. He had special new medications flown in by Concorde from America. He said the next generation will be the ones to beat this. And the sad thing is if it had been 12 months later, he might have been okay when combination drug therapy first came in.”

As his condition worsened, Clark claimed, Mercury chose to stop taking the medication that combatted his illness: “He was getting frail and he decided to come off all the medication apart from painkillers. Freddie loved life. He lived it to the full. And towards the end, when he realised it was no longer fun, he decided to come off medication. He was suffering and sadly there was no way out”.

Did Freddie Mercury continue to work through the latter stages of his illness?

The video for ‘These Are The Days Of Our Lives’ was recorded on May 1991, just months before Freddie Mercury died. Before it was released, he travelled to Switzerland to work on a new record, which was eventually released in 1995 as the five-time Platinum hit ‘Made In Heaven’. In the Days of Our Lives documentary, May revealed: “Freddie at that time said, ‘Write me stuff. I know I don’t have very long. Keep writing me words, keep giving me things – I will sing, and then you can do what you like afterwards and finish it off.”

Producer Dave Richards added: “He was dying when he did those songs, and he knew he would be dead when they were finished because he said to me, ‘I’m going to sing it now because I can’t wait for them to do music on this. Give me a drum machine and they’ll finish it off.'”

Where is Freddie Mercury buried?

Before he died, Mercury asked former girlfriend Mary Austin, his former girlfriend with whom he remained very close, and who cared for him through his illness, to ensure that the location of his remains were kept secret. He was cremated, but the whereabouts of his ashes was never revealed.

The location of the ashes was reportedly even withheld from his parents. In the 2012 documentary Freddie Mercury: The Great Pretender, Austin revealed: “He suddenly announced one day after Sunday lunch, ‘I know exactly where I want you to put me. But no one’s to know, because I don’t want anyone to dig me up. I just want to rest in peace.’” Despite this, a plaque dedicated to Mercury was discovered in a cemetery in Kensal Green, West London, in 2013, leading to speculation that this was the musician’s final resting place. However, Austin later denied that this was the case, telling The Daily Mail: “Freddie is definitely not in that cemetery.” The plaque has since been removed.

I was cursed by Freddie's fortune: Queen star's lover got his millions, was cruelly attacked by jealous rivals and even abandoned by Mercury's own band mates


Freddie Mercury with his former girlfriend and lifelong friend Mary Austin

Mary was left a magnificent £20million Edwardian mansion in West London

Mary was left with Mercury's millions, but has also had to deal with his legions of jealous followers

Mary Austin (right) was trusted with the location of Freddie Mercury's ashes. She has said that she will never tell anyone where they are, as was his wish


In the days before his death, his once lithe body now  rendered extremely frail by Aids, Freddie Mercury made one final request of the woman he described as ‘the love of my life’. That she, and she alone, should collect his ashes after his cremation and dispose of them at a private location never to be disclosed.

For more than two decades Mary Austin has abided by Mercury’s wishes and kept the whereabouts of his ashes a secret. Not even his elderly parents were told.

Since the death of Queen’s flamboyant frontman, aged 45, in November 1991, speculation has been rife. Were the ashes taken to his native Zanzibar? Or buried under a cherry tree in the Japanese garden of his London mansion? 


When a plinth erected at Kensal Green cemetery in West London bearing his real name – Farrokh Bulsara – was discovered earlier this month, his legion of fans hoped their hero’s final resting place had finally been located. 

But Mary, the woman who shared much of her life with the enigmatic showman, and to whom he left his magnificent £20 million Edwardian mansion in West London as well as the bulk of his £9 million fortune, is categoric on the matter: ‘Freddie is definitely not in that cemetery,’ she says.

Mercury, famed as much for his excessive lifestyle as his exuberant stage persona, died from AIDS at a time when it was feared and misunderstood. Mary says that just before his death, he was terrified his resting place would be defiled: ‘He didn’t want anyone trying to dig him up as has happened to some famous people. Fans can be deeply obsessive. He wanted it to remain a secret and it will remain so.’

She kept the ashes in an urn in Freddie’s bedroom for two years and then staged an elaborate covert exercise, slipping out of the mansion alone to carry out  his last request. 

To avoid prying eyes, she didn’t even take her driver. ‘I didn’t want anyone to suspect that I was doing anything other than what I would normally do. I said I was going for a facial. I had to be convincing. It was very hard to find the moment. 

‘One morning, I just sneaked out of the house with the urn. It had to be like a normal day so the staff wouldn’t suspect anything – because staff gossip. They just cannot resist it. But nobody will ever know where he is buried because that was his wish.’

 A few days beforehand, Mary invited Mercury’s parents to the house to say a few prayers in his memory. But not even they were told where his ashes ultimately lie.

It was an emotional and stress-filled mission for Mary, who lived with Mercury on and off for 20 years. The years since his death have been lonely. As we sit in the music room of the sprawling mansion, which still retains the stylish grandeur and flamboyant decor that Mercury demanded, the vigil by fans continues outside the property’s perimeter wall. For many of them it is a daily pilgrimage and they pause to pin up missives of undying love. 

Mary gazes through the window, smiling softly. Sinking into a plush sofa she then casts her eye around the room – taking in its stunning array of valuable antiques, art works and Louis XV furniture. ‘Why would I want to change it?’ she says. ‘It is his taste and style. It’s beautiful. His presence is everywhere.’ 

The grand piano – at which Mercury  composed many of his greatest hits  including Bohemian Rhapsody – dominates the room. On top, sit several silver-framed photographs of Mary and Mercury, in the first flush of romance, laughing lovingly together. After six years together, he came out as gay, taking a stream of lovers as his life descended into uninhibited promiscuity. But his love for Mary never waned.

That he left the bulk of his fortune to her caused deep and bitter resentment – not least among Mercury’s former band members. She says he warned her the legacy she would inherit could become a burden. ‘And he was right,’ she says, her features, still elfin at 62, forming a deep frown. 

Mary at Freddie Mercury's funeral with Queen drummer Roger Taylor and Dave Clark

After Freddie died she felt out of her depth. She suffered several serious illnesses and struggled emotionally to cope with the inheritance. ‘I found myself  thinking, “Oh Freddie, you’ve left me too much and too much to deal with as well.”  I felt I couldn’t live up to it. He’d warned me that the house was going to be more of a challenge than I realised. I’m grateful he did because I hit jealousy head on – like a Japanese bullet train. Very painful. 

‘I don’t think the remaining members of Queen have ever reconciled themselves to it. I don’t understand it. Because to me it’s bricks and mortar. I try never to be jealous or envy people.

‘Freddie was very generous to them in the last years of his life and I don’t think they embraced that generosity. I don’t think they appreciated or recognised what Freddie had left them. He left the band a quarter share of the last four albums – which he didn’t need to do. And I never hear from them. After Freddie died, they just wandered off.’

Everywhere, she confesses, there are memories of Mercury. ‘You hear a specific song and it makes you feel emotional. We lived those 20-odd years together. Under the same roof. Together emotionally.’ 

During that time she witnessed the thrill of Mercury proposing marriage, the heartache of losing him when he realised he was gay and the anguish of nursing him through his final days. There is one particularly powerful memory of that time that still haunts her. As his life ebbed away, Mercury watched DVD footage of his past performances. 

‘On one occasion he turned to me and said sadly, “To think I used to be so handsome.” I got up and had to leave the room,’ she recalls. ‘It was too upsetting. We were never allowed to get emotional around him and that was hard. But I knew if I sat there I would have been in tears. When I returned I just sat down as if nothing had happened. But for that moment, he caught me off guard.’

Mary was 19 when she first met Mercury in the early Seventies. Born into an impoverished family  in Battersea, South London – her father worked as a trimmer for wallpaper specialists and her mother was a domestic for a small company – her childhood wasn’t easy. Both parents were deaf and communicated through sign language and lip-reading.

Mary was a PR at the fashionable Biba store in Kensington, West London, when she encountered Mercury, then 24, at the clothes stall he and Queen drummer Roger Taylor ran in nearby Kensington market.

Initially, she found Mercury intimidating but was also fascinated by this ‘wild-looking artistic musician’. She says: ‘He was like no one I had met before. He was very confident – something I have never been. We grew together. I liked him and it went on from there.’

The pair shared a bedsit and then moved into a modest one-bedroom flat in nearby Holland Road. They were blissfully happy but hadn’t discussed a future together. ‘Then, when I was 23 he gave me a big box on Christmas Day. Inside was another box, then another and so it went on. It was like one of his playful games. Eventually, I found a lovely jade ring inside the last small box. 

‘I looked at it and was speechless. I remember thinking, “I don’t understand what’s going on.” It wasn’t what I’d expected at all. So I asked him, “Which hand should I put this on?” And he said, “Ring finger, left hand.” And then he said, “Because, will you marry me?” I was shocked. It just so wasn’t what I was expecting. I just whispered, “Yes. I will.”’

The showman proposed to Mary but, true to character, changed his mind suddenly on a whim

But, impulsive as ever, he changed his mind on a whim. ‘Sometime later,’ she says. ‘I spotted a wonderful antique wedding dress in a small shop. And as Freddie hadn’t said anything more about marrying, the only way that I could test the water was to say, “Is it time I bought the dress?” But he said no. He had gone off the idea and it never happened.

‘I was disappointed but I had a feeling it wasn’t going to happen. Things were getting very complicated and the atmosphere between us was changing a lot. I knew the writing was on the wall, but what writing? I wasn’t absolutely sure. 

‘I never questioned him about it. But I think he must have been starting to question himself. Getting married was probably something he wanted. But then he began to wonder if it would be fair on me.’ The revelation that Mercury was gay ended their physical relationship, but Mary has always been grateful that Freddie one day had the courage to discuss his changing sexual feelings.

 ‘If he hadn’t been such a decent human being and told me I wouldn’t be here,’ she says candidly. ‘If he had gone along living a bisexual life without telling me, I would have contracted Aids and died.’ 

Mary started to notice he was staying out later and later and thought he was having an affair with another woman. Deeply hurt, she feared their relationship was over. But one day he told her he had something important to say – something that would change their relationship forever.

Gazing down at her lap, Mary says softly: ‘I’ll never forget that moment. Being a bit naive, it had taken me a while to realise the truth. Afterwards he felt good about having finally told me he was bisexual. Although I do remember saying to him at the time, “No Freddie, I don’t think you are bisexual. I think you are gay.”’

Freddie Mercury with Queen guitarist Brian May playing guitars in front of Roger Taylor's drums in the 1980s

Freddie, she recalls, hugged her and told her that, whatever happened, he wanted her to always be part of his life. For a spell they settled into a routine, though unconventional life. When they threw dinner parties she would sit on one side of Mercury, his latest boyfriend on the other. 

Eventually, Mary decided to move out of their flat, and Mercury’s music company bought her a £300,000 apartment. 

Mary becomes reflective. ‘The sad thing was that if he had been more careful in his lifestyle later on, he would still be here now. With advances in modern medicine things are different now.’

As it was, Mary could only watch from the sidelines as her former lover embraced a wild chapter of his life. ‘I think Freddie reached a stage where he thought he was invincible,’ she says. ‘He convinced himself he was having a good time and maybe, in part, he was. But I think in part he wasn’t. 

‘And then it was too late. The only person who could have made a difference was Freddie. But I think he’d stopped being honest with himself. Many of his so-called friends were there for the free tickets, the free booze, the free drugs, the free meal, the gossip and, of course, the expensive gifts.’

Mercury kept the nature of his illness a secret until shortly before his death. When he told her he intended to leave his beautiful  home to her, she tried to encourage him to place it in a trust. ‘He said, “If things had been different, you  would have been my wife and this would have been yours anyway.”’

Mary had two sons; Richard, who Freddie knew, and Jamie, born shortly after his death. Her relationship with their father didn’t last. In time, Mary met another man – who she married. But the marriage faltered after five years and they divorced a decade ago. 

It has always been Mercury who was the true love of her life. Her memories are never far away.  

‘Freddie was fun. The only times I saw him really serious were when working on songs. The house would be totally still, but full of a quiet energy.

‘But Freddie’s personality was always there, whatever the mood. It was always moving, influencing the running of the house. It was like the volume button on the radio. There are not a lot of people who can walk into a room and there’s something they bring into it which makes it warm and genial. And then, when they leave, it goes.’ 

The true Mercury, she believes, was a complicated mixture of self-doubt and self-confidence. ‘I think Bohemian Rhapsody was the turning point. That made him realise that he didn’t need to doubt himself. Even though he was told the radio stations wouldn’t play it because it was too long, there was no way Freddie was going to cut it.’

As fans continue to flock to house where their idol lived, Mary understands their desire to know his final resting place. 

But she is aware she made a lasting promise to him. ‘I never betrayed Freddie in his lifetime,’ she says. ‘And I’ll never betray him now.’

Freddie Mercury & Montserrat Caballé - Barcelona (Live at Ku Club Ibiza, 1987)

Freddie Mercury Solo

Published on Nov 22, 2012


Click here to subscribe - Click here to buy Freddie Mercury – Messenger Of The Gods – The Singles: Freddie Mercury was a man of many talents and many different sides. The songs he wrote for and with Queen filled stadiums around the globe and have rightly gone down in history, but he also embarked on a solo career that took him from the clubs of Munich and New York to the great opera houses of the world. He was the ultimate showman, but he kept his private life away from the prying eyes of the media; a larger than life rock star who loved disco, classical music and ballet. He was a restless spirit, a true chameleon who revelled in his own contradictions. All the different sides of this iconic musician can be found on Freddie Mercury: Messenger Of The Gods - The Singles. All formats released September 2nd 2016. Click here to subscribe - Freddie Mercury; lead singer of Queen and solo artist in his own right. Songwriter, musician, singer of songs, lover of life. Freddie majored in Stardom while giving new meaning to the word Showmanship. He left a legacy of songs that will never lose their stature as classics and will live on forever. Freddie Mercury & Montserrat Caballé - Barcelona (Ku Club Ibiza performance, 1987) On 29th May 1987, a huge festival was held on the island of Ibiza, at a venue called Ku Club. Titled 'Ibiza '92', the event was held to celebrate Spain hosting the Olympic Games in 1992. Along with many other artists, Freddie appeared with Montserrat Caballé to showcase the song they had been working on - seventeen months before it was released as a single.

The Book of White Walkers
2 months ago (edited)

Best song about a city R.I.P Montserrat Caballé. Freddie is lucky to have you near again !

Angel Rondon
2 months ago

R.I.P Montserrat, you’re singing with Freddie now!!!

Оксана Черкас
3 months ago

This is the first time I have seen such harmony, such coordination between two different singers and such great joy in their eyes, gestures, expressions. I was really beaming during their performance:)

Freddie Mercury - Biography

The life of Frederick Bulsara began on the East African island of Zanzibar on September 5, 1946.

25 years later in London under the name of Freddie Mercury he was fronting the now legendary rock group named Queen.

Freddie Mercury was the son of Bomi and Jer Bulsara,

Freddie spent the bulk of his childhood in India where he attended St. Peter’s boarding school.

Freddie Mercury began taking piano lessons at the age of seven.

No one could foresee where a love of music would take him.

The Bulsara family moved to Middlesex in 1964 and from there Freddie joined up with a blues band called Wreckage while studying graphic design courses at Ealing College of Art. While singing for Wreckage, a fellow student introduced Freddie to Roger Taylor and Brian May, founder members of a band called Smile. Smile metamorphosed into Queen when Freddie joined Roger and Brian as the lead vocalist. The final member of the band, which was to stay together for the next 20 years, was bassist John Deacon, who joined the band on 1st of March 1971.

The rest is rock history. EMI Records and Elektra Records signed the band and in 1973 their debut album ‘Queen’ was released and hailed as one of the most exciting developments ever in rock music.

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 the Queen topped the charts with Freddie’s song ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’.

Queen was always indisputably run as a democratic organisation. All four members are each responsible for having penned number one singles for the band. This massive writing strength combined with spectacular lights, the faultless sound, a sprinkling of theatricality and Freddie’s balletic movements made up Queen on stage and on film.

Through Freddie’s ability to project himself and the band’s music and image to the four corners of

 70,000 seater venues they became known as the prime developers of stadium rock,

a reputation perpetuated by their pioneering tactics in South America where in 1981 they performed to 231,000 fans

 in Sao Paulo, a world record at the time.

They also became known as the key innovators of pop videos as their catalogue of 3-minute clips

became more and more adventurous in style, size and content.

The Queen's phenomenal success continued around the globe throughout the 80’s highlighted in 1985 by their show-stealing and

 unforgettable performance on stage at Live Aid.

In the mid 80’s, Freddie started concentrating on his solo career, which was to run in tandem with Queen (“the mothership”) for several albums commencing with the 1985 release of ‘Mr. Bad Guy’. Freddie’s much loved sense of self-parody reached a zenith with his cover version of The Platter’s song ‘The Great Pretender’ in 1987, the video of which recorded him descending a sweeping staircase among acres of identical cardboard cutouts of himself.

Freddie Murcury's first major collaboration outside Queen was with Dave Clark for the recording of London’s West End musical Time, in 1986. This was followed in 1987 with the realisation of one of Freddie’s long-term dreams; to record with the world revered opera diva Montserrat Caballé. The LP’s title song, ‘Barcelona’ went on to become an anthem for Señora Caballé’s home city and the theme for the Olympics in 1992.

While most publicly recognised as the front man to one of the most progressive rock bands of the 70’s, Freddie defied the stereotype. A taste for venturing into new territories – a trait that was to have a marked influence on the direction Queen would take – took Freddie to explore his interests in a wide spectrum of the arts, particularly in the areas of ballet, opera and theatre, even taking a participating role: in October1977 the sell-out audience of a charity gala at the London Coliseum organised by Royal Ballet Principal dance Wayne Eagling received the surprise of an unannounced appearance by a silver-sequinned leotard-clad Freddie performing an intricate routine choreographed for him by Eagling. In 1987 he made a one-night appearance in Dave Clarke’s Time at the Dominion Theatre, although legend has it Freddie occasionally turned up at the theatre to support friend Clarke’s musical, one night selling ice-creams in the stalls! Freddie would have loved the fact that The Dominion now plays host to the band’s phenomenally successful musical We Will Rock You which has now held the Dominion stage nearly seven years longer than Time’s two year run.

Freddie returned to the studios to record ‘Innuendo’ with Queen in 1990.

The legend is born

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.

Freddie Mercury, who majored in stardom while giving new meaning to the word showmanship, left a legacy of songs, which will never lose their stature as classics to live on forever. Some of the most poignant of these were immortalised on the Queen album ‘Made In Heaven’ released in November 1995. The sleeve of the album shows a view from Freddie’s Montreux home.

Despite twenty years having passed since Freddie lost his life to HIV complications, he remains in the minds of millions throughout the world as one of the greatest artists we will ever see. In September 2010 (coincidentally, around Freddie's 64th birthday) a poll carried out among rock fans saw him named the Greatest Rock Legend Of All Time, beating Elvis Presley to claim the title, and ahead of David Bowie, Jon Bon Jovi, Jimi Hendrix and Ozzy Osbourne.

September 5, 2010 saw The Mercury Phoenix Trust launch ‘Freddie For A Day’, a major annual initiative designed to celebrate Freddie’s life each year on his birthday and to support the on-going work of the Trust. The project encourages fans to dress as Freddie for a day and in doing so raise funds for MPT through sponsorship. No one could have imagined the extraordinary response which resulted, with fans from 24 countries around the world, from Argentina to Ukraine, seizing on the idea to pay their own special tribute to Freddie.

Some sent pictures strutting their stuff at home, singing into a microphone in their bedroom. Others took the plunge and spent the whole day as Freddie, including one US enthusiast who dressed herself as ‘Slightly Mad’ Freddie and then spent her day at the local mall and then at Columbus Zoo in Ohio with a penguin and a gorilla. Another took a TGV trip from France to Switzerland dressed in a harlequin leotard. The stories of extraordinary and fun days spent come in their hundreds, and as a result, Freddie For A Day is now an annual event.

Taking it one stage further, Freddie’s 65th birthday, September 5, 2011 was celebrated with a major party in London in aid of The Mercury Phoenix Trust, hosted by Queen’s Brian May and Roger Taylor.

A major Hollywood movie about Freddie and Queen, produced by GK Films, Robert de Niro’s Tribeca Productions and Queen Films is expected to start shooting shortly.

Freddie Mercury would have been 70 this September and as part of the celebrations a Mercury Phoenix Trust produced fan party will be held in his honour near Lake Geneva, Montreux.

The Grateful Dead's tragic real-life story

The Grateful Dead was one of the most popular jam bands of the late 20th century. While they never quite reached the stratospheric levels of fame of other insanely popular rock acts like the Rolling Stones, it never really mattered.

Their devoted legions of "Deadhead" fans kept them on the road for decades, and countless T-shirts, stickers, posters, and other ephemera made the band widely successful from a financial standpoint. The band's iconic lightning bolt skull logo and multicolored dancing bears have forever entrenched themselves in rock history and countless dorm room walls. The Grateful Dead has even spawned Funko dolls, onesies, and "Cherry Garcia" — Ben & Jerry's ice cream tribute to the band's late, great frontman Jerry Garcia that's become one of its most popular flavors.

But the Grateful Dead's transformation from Mother McCree's Uptown Jug Champions, a fairly obscure band based in Palo Alto, California, in the early '60s, to one of the most beloved touring acts in the world was definitely a "long, strange trip." It was also one beset by a series of unfortunate incidents, controversies, and the tragic deaths of several of its key members.

Jerry Garcia had a difficult childhood


The Grateful Dead's music has often been described as "mellow," but front man Jerry Garcia's earlier years were the exact opposite. During a family vacation when Garcia was 5 years old, he decided to help his older brother chop wood. He was steadying a piece of wood when the ax severed a large chunk of the middle finger on his right hand.

Years later, though, the injury allegedly improved his ability to play the guitar and he often showed off the damaged digit to his fans as a sort of salute. A fan also tried to sell the alleged finger on Craigslist to attend a 2015 reunion show, but it was quickly ruled a hoax by Ultimate Classic Rock (and everyone else who came across it, no doubt).

The same year Jerry lost his finger, his father tragically drowned during a fishing trip, and he and his brother were eventually sent to live with their maternal grandparents for five years. Eager to see the world, he decided to enlist in the Army at the age of 17 in April 1960. It didn't pan out. Garcia made it all the way through basic training at Fort Ord in California, but he was given the boot that December. According to his official website, it was due to his "lack of suitability to the military lifestyle."

One of the band's managers was a holy man who stole from them

Like many other rock bands, managers caused the Grateful Dead plenty of headaches over the years. Lenny Hart was arguably the most aggravating of them all. His son Mickey played in the band in the late '60s, eventually becoming their longtime percussionist.

By all accounts, Lenny Hart was a weird guy. He had a side gig as a preacher and often insisted that people call him "reverend." He also served as the Dead's manager, which wound up being a mistake. According to Rolling Stone, Hart filled the role for around a year and a half between 1968 and 1969. During that time, he embezzled something like $150,000 and hid it in a series of bank accounts and shell companies scattered across California. Then he disappeared with all the cash during a trip to Los Angeles with Garcia.

A warrant was put out for Hart's arrest, and the law finally caught up with him in 1971. According to a Rolling Stone clipping from the Grateful Dead's official archives, he was found "baptizing Jesus freaks" in San Diego. They managed to get back $63,000 of the lost cash, and Hart died of natural causes in 1975. The incident also inspired "He's Gone," a tune about the not-so good reverend's wicked ways.

Busted down in New Orleans ... and a few other places


The Grateful Dead had a fair number of run-ins with the law back in the '60s and '70s. They lived in a boarding house in San Francisco's Haight-Ashbury district during the fabled Summer of Love in 1967, as drummer Bill Kreutzmann recalled in a 2015 article for the San Francisco Chronicle. That era in the band's history was riddled with countless incidents, both delightful and madcapped. Merry Prankster Ken Kesey had to crash his psychedelic bus after the brakes gave out. Faced with the choice to crash into the Grateful Dead's house and a Hells Angels house, he chose the Hells Angels as his landing pad.

Guitarist Bob Weir landed in hot water with the police for tossing water balloons off the roof, but things took an uglier turn when the house was raided that October. Local narcotic officers found a pound of marijuana and hash inside. The incident landed on the cover of The Chronicle and both Weir and founding member Ron "Pigpen" McKernan were arrested.

A few years later, the band ran into trouble in New Orleans during a drug raid that, according to Ultimate Classic Rock, didn't really surprise anyone. Garcia received a tip that the police were en route. Nineteen members of the band's touring party were arrested and the incident was immortalized in the song "Truckin'." Garcia was nabbed again for drug possession during a traffic stop in New Jersey in 1973.

By the time they got to Woodstock, they were pretty far gone


The 1969 Woodstock festival is known for a series of iconic performances that have stood the test of time. The Grateful Dead's set wasn't one of them. One of the reasons is the band was incredibly high by the time they took the stage. But their love of intoxicants was only the first in a series of mishaps that led to them playing lousy.

As noted on Woodstock Story, a website devoted to recounting all the festival's various incarnations over the decades, the 1969 event's infamous rainstorms had turned the stage into a literal deathtrap around the time the Dead were originally scheduled to perform on the second night. They were finally given the "all-clear" around 10:30 p.m. after a delay of several hours and being assured by the stage crew they wouldn't be electrocuted.

By then, they were pretty far gone on LSD (and who knows what else), according to John Fogerty, the former Creedence Clearwater Revival front man who recalled the incident during an interview in 2015. Recordings of the set reveal long breaks between the band's songs, lots of drug-fueled banter, and overall confusion that led to a sloppy, 50-minute performance of a single song. The Dead managed to get through five tracks before their amps overloaded during "Turn on Your Love Light" and they finally called it quits for the night.

Pigpen goes on to the great gig in the sky



Ron "Pigpen" McKernan was the first member of the Grateful Dead to pass away. During the band's early days, he was considered its heart and soul. McKernan was the first of the Dead's founding members to suggest they form a band, and his life-long infatuation with rhythm and blues fueled their early tunes. As for his nickname, which was inspired by the messy Peanuts character, it was due to his "funky approach to life and sanitation," according to Ultimate Classic Rock.

While the rest of the players explored their inner consciousnesses with the help of LSD in the late '60s, McKernan opted to stick with alcohol — lots and lots of it. As the band's sound took a psychedelic turn, his role was continually reduced. Meanwhile, his alcoholism increased and his doctor told him to stop touring with the Dead in 1970 to fight his addiction.

McKernan returned to the band in late 1971 and managed to stick around through their 1972 European tour. Then his health took a turn for the worse. His final appearance with the Dead was during their performance at the Hollywood Bowl in June 1972. A year later, at just 27, he tragically died of internal hemorrhaging and his landlady discovered his corpse in his apartment in Corte Madera, California. He'd been dead for two days, according to Rolling Stone.

They never quite hit it big


The Grateful Dead were undeniably popular, but they never enjoyed what you might call "mainstream success." The closest thing they ever came to a chart-topper was "Touch of Grey," a track they recorded in the mid-1980s. It made it as far as No. 9 on the Billboard charts. "Truckin," their second most successful song, only got as far as No. 64. The next two in line: "Uncle John's Band" (No. 69) followed by "Sugar Magnolia" at a lowly No. 91.

Rock radio was never too kind to them, either. These songs received fairly steady airtime following their releases, according to Billboard, but there was about a 15-year gap from 1972 to 1987 when the Dead's music was largely ignored on the dials.

Their albums didn't fare much better. The only studio album to make into the Top 10 on Billboard's album charts was the one that featured "Touch of Grey," 1987's In the Dark. It hit No. 6. However, in 2017, an album and a box set of live performances from 1977 debuted at No. 10 and No. 15.

The powers-that-be at the Grammy Awards were never big fans, either, but the Dead won an honorary Hall of Fame Award in 1999 and a Lifetime Achievement Award in 2007. Not that a lack of Grammy Awards hurt their sales. As of 2014, they'd sold over 35 million albums, according to the New York Times.

The troubled times of Donna Jean Godchaux and her husband Keith


Keyboardist Keith Godchaux joined the band with his wife, singer Donna Jean Godchaux, in late 1971 following a fortuitous encounter with Garcia at San Francisco's Keystone Club. Donna Jean had served as a studio vocalist prior to that and had performed with the likes of Elvis Presley, Dionne Warwick, and Neil Diamond.

Godchaux was sometimes chided for her off-key vocals during her shows with the Grateful Dead, which she blamed on inebriation and poor stage acoustics many years later in a 2014 interview with Rolling Stone. She and Keith fared much better during the band's studio sessions. They can be heard on Europe '72, Wake of the Flood, and Terrapin Station, three of their most popular '70s albums.

But their time with the band took a nasty turn toward the end of the decade. The couple began bickering heavily as lots of touring and drug use took their toll. As she told Rolling Stone: "Keith and I, we were wasted. We were exhausted. And the band was exhausted with us." There were allegations of marital abuse as Keith's drug use increased, and they were both booted in 1979.

The couple managed to quickly bounce back. They formed a new act called the Heart of Gold Band and even managed to cut a record. Despite their reversal of fortune, Keith tragically died in a car accident on July 23, 1980.

Jerry Garcia fell into a coma and forgot how to play guitar


Garcia struggled with three heavy addictions throughout his adult life: smoking, drugs, and overeating. This destructive trio began to get the better of him in the mid-'80s. In July 1986, an abscessed tooth resulted in an infection. Normally, this wouldn't pose a huge health risk, but Garcia waited to have it treated and it later caused him to fall into a diabetic coma, according to the LA Times.

As recounted on his official website, Garcia was in the coma for five days. When he regained consciousness, he'd lost the ability to play the guitar. Relearning all his old songs and solos definitely took some time, but one of his longtime collaborators, keyboardist Merl Saunders, was willing to step in and coach him. Saunders helped him regain not only his musical skills, but his strength and confidence as well. With Saunders' help, Garcia slowly but steadily recovered. Amazingly enough, the band was back to performing live by December 15, 1986, five months after he emerged from the coma.

And then another keyboardist died


After keyboardist Keith Godchaux departed in 1979, the impressively bearded Brent Mydland joined the Grateful Dead. Prior to that, he'd done time in Bob Weir's solo band and had recorded an album with Silver, a country-rock band based in Los Angeles.

Mydland proved to be an asset throughout the '80s, and not just for his skills on the keys. He was also a deft songwriter and wrote several tunes for the Dead throughout the decade that appeared on their studio albums. He penned a large portion of what would become their final studio effort, 1989's Built to Last, according to Ultimate Classic Rock. Mydland also managed to perform in several other bands throughout the '80s including Go Ahead, a short-lived side project with members of Santana.

He returned to his home in Lafayette, California, in July 1990 following the completion of the band's summer tour. He died there at the all-too-young age of 37, according to the New York Times. The culprit: a lethal dose of heroin and speed.

And then Jerry Garcia himself died


After surviving his diabetic coma in 1986, Garcia seemed like he was on the road to recovery and ready to finally kick his old bad habits. Back in the '60s, his regular usage of LSD earned him the nickname "Captain Trips" and he later developed a nasty heroin habit.

All of that was reportedly behind him as he welcomed a newborn baby daughter, his fourth and youngest child, in December 1987. He even took up scuba diving in the late '80s as part of an apparent commitment to clean living. Then, according to his official website, he fell ill in August 1992 due to exhaustion, forcing the band to cancel an upcoming fall tour.

As the New York Times explained, his struggles to lose weight and finally quit smoking continued in the years that followed. After ongoing battles with his various addictions, Garcia checked into Serenity Knolls, a drug treatment facility in Forest Knolls, California. He never checked out and sadly died a little over a week after his 53rd birthday while in his sleep on August 9, 1995.

They got criticized for a rainbow and their final concerts, too


Surviving members of the band gathered for a series of farewell concerts in 2015 that were dubbed "Fare Thee Well: Celebrating 50 Years of the Grateful Dead." While they did only five shows in Chicago and Santa Clara, the band made over $52 million in revenue … and a few waves in the process.

The concerts were legendary, some people said, for either their guest appearances, which included Phish's Trey Anastasio and singer/pianist Bruce Hornsby, and the high ticket prices. According to Time, many tickets, initially priced between a fairly reasonable $60 and $200, were quickly snatched up by scalpers. Some tried to sell them online for thousands, with one ambitious seller asking an astronomical $116,000 for a three-day pass. In the days leading up to the shows, however, the prices for tickets on the secondary market dropped dramatically.

By then, though, bad press and ill-tempered fans had roundly criticized the shows. Rolling Stone went so far to call the whole shebang a "50th anniversary hullabaloo [that] has been a rock & roll cash grab to rival any that have come before, on every level."

If that wasn't bad enough, Billboard and others even managed to critique a rainbow that majestically appeared over the crowd during the first show in Santa Clara. A rumor went around claiming that it was simulated and had cost $50,000 to slap up in the sky during a 17-minute version of "Viola Lee Blues." We may never know.

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