The music of Mercury’s group, Queen, reached the top of U.S. and British charts. Mercury died of AIDS-associated bronchial pneumonia on November 24, 1991, at age 45.
As the frontman of Queen, Freddie Mercury was among the very gifted and creative vocalists of the rock age. It had not been long before this charismatic young man joined his first band, the Hectics.
Moving to London together with his family in the 1960s, Mercury attended the Ealing College of Art. He befriended several musicians around now, including future bandmates, drummer Roger Taylor and guitarist Brian May. In 1969, Mercury joined up using a group called Ibex as their lead singer. He played with a couple of other groups before joining forces with Taylor and May. They met up with bassist John Deacon in 1971, as well as the quartet—who Mercury dubbed Queen—played their first show together that June.
In 1973, the group released their very first self-titled record, but it required two more records for Queen’s music to actually catch on. Their third record, Sheer Heart Attack (1974), featured their first hit, “Killer Queen,” a tune in regards to a high class call girl.
Having a sound that is called a fusion of hard rock and glam rock, Queen had an even larger hit the subsequent year by using their album, A Night at the Opera (1975). Mercury composed the song “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a seven-minute rock operetta, for the record. Overdubbing his voice, Mercury showed off his remarkable four-octave vocal range with this progressive track. The song hit the very top of the charts in Britain and became a Top 10 hit in America.
Along with his abilities as a vocalist and songwriter, Mercury was likewise a proficient showman. He knew the best way to amuse crowds and the best way to join together. He liked to wear costumes—frequently featuring skintight spandex—and strutted around the stage, encouraging supporters to join in the fun. Arty in nature, Mercury was also actively involved with designing the artwork for most of the group’s records.
Constantly exploring new and various sounds, Queen also tried their hand in the huge music tendency of that time period, using the disco-flavored “Another Bites the Dust” in 1980. Off that same record, The Game (1980), Mercury as well as the remaining part of the group revealed their range as performers using the rockabilly-influenced hit “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” which Mercury written.
A No. 1 hit in Britain, the tune’s distinctive bass line was after allegedly used by Vanilla Ice for his 1990 rap hit “Ice, Ice Baby.”
As a live act, Queen continued to attract enormous crowds all over the world. Among their most famous performances was in 1985 at the Live Aid charity concert. Plainly dressed in a tank top and jeans, Mercury directed the crowd through a few of the group’s greatest hits with great vigor and style. For many who saw the event live or on television, Queen gave among the best performances of the daylong event, that has been formed by singer and activist Bob Geldof and songwriter Midge Ure to raise cash for victims of famine in Africa. Inspired by the function, the group composed the hit “One Vision.”
Along with his work with Queen, Mercury released several solo albums, including 1985’s Mr. Bad Guy.
Offstage, Mercury was open about his bisexuality, however he kept his relationships private. He also lived a lavish lifestyle. He adored champagne and liked to gather artwork, once spending more than $400,000 on a set of hand-painted china. Consistently one for a celebration, Mercury threw himself complex parties; for one special birthday he flew several buddies to the isle of Ibiza. The event was marked by fireworks and flamenco dancing.
By 1989, Mercury mostly withdrawn from public life. He didn’t market or tour for Queen’s next record, Innuendo (1991), and gossips about potential health problems started to circulate. On November 23, 1991, Mercury released a statement: “I need to ensure that I’ve been analyzed HIV positive and have AIDS. I believed it right to keep this information private to date to defend the secrecy of these around me. But, the time has come today for my friends as well as supporters all over the world to be aware of the truth and that I am hoping that everybody will join with my physicians and all those world-wide in the struggle against this horrible ailment.” A day later, he died from AIDS-associated bronchial pneumonia at his London mansion. Mercury was just 45 years old.
Longtime friend and bandmate Roger Taylor provided some understanding to Mercury’s choice to maintain his struggle with AIDS private. The rock world mourned the loss of one of its most flexible and engaging performers.
A varied selection of rock acts—from Def Leppard to Elton John—performed to fete Mercury and improve the fight against the disease that took his life. The exact same year, Mercury’s mock operatic masterpiece, “Bohemian Rhapsody” made a return to the pop charts, exemplifying its classic allure.
Before his departure, Mercury had done some work in the studio with Queen. These attempts were released in 1995 on Made In Heaven, the group’s last record with the initial members. Gone but certainly not forgotten, this set of Mercury’s closing performances reached the very top of the British charts. In 2001, Mercury and remaining group received particular acknowledgement for his or her contributions to American music history when they were inducted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.