November 24, 1991, Queen frontman Freddie Mercury died from complications of HIV. He was 45 years-old.
Mercury may be the most enigmatic talent and flamboyant character to ever pick up a microphone. His mastery of song and the range of his voice solidified the Queen singer’s spot among in Rock and Roll royalty. His was the purest voice and when he sang it was like the heavens had come to call.
Born Farrokh Bulsara, September 5, 1946, in Stone Town, Zanzibar, Mercury spent the bulk of his childhood in India. He began playing the piano at age seven.
In the midst of the Zanzibar Revolution in 1964, the Bulsara family fled India and settled in Middlesex, UK. Mercury enrolled at Isleworth Polytechnic (now West Thames College) in West London where he studied art. He ultimately earned a Diploma in Art and Graphic Design at Ealing Art College, later using these skills to design the Queen crest. Mercury remained a British citizen for the rest of his life.
In April of 1970, Freddie Mercury joined guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor to form the band that would become Queen. Shortly after the trio recruited bassist John Deacon and Queen was complete.
Throughout their years Queen released a total of 18 number one albums, 18 number one singles, and 10 number one DVDs, and have sold over 150 million albums, with some estimates in excess of 300 million albums, making them one of the world’s best selling artists.
Mercury’s songwriting credits include:
Seven Seas of Rhye
Somebody to Love
Good Old-Fashioned Lover Boy
We Are the Champions
Crazy Little Thing Called Love
Play the Game
Don’t Stop Me Now
Queen’s performance at Live Aid in Wembley Stadium on July 13, 1985, is regarded by many in music from artists to recording executives as the greatest live performances in the history of rock. Freddie Mercury led the throng of 72,000 to join him in song and for 20 minutes electrified the massive crowd.
It’s been 20 years since Freddie Mercury set off for the great gig in the sky. He left a void in music that has yet to be filled.
When I’m dead, I want to be remembered as
a musician of some worth and substance.
— Freddie Mercury