Freddie Mercury, the lead vocalist of the popular band Queen, who is popularly associated with the song ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ is a British singer, songwriter and record producer. Such was his aura and personality that a film is being made that traces his life while focusing on the band Queen.
Other musicians who form the soul of Queen are Brian May (lead guitar, vocals), Roger Taylor (drums, vocals), and John Deacon (bass guitar). Freddie Mercury was born on September 5, 1946, of Parsi descent and spent the major years of his childhood in India. He was born as Farrokh Bulsara to Gujarati parents. The family later moved to Zanzibar for the job, while Freddie continued to study in Bombay province. They then went to England for security reasons.
Mercury’s friends quote him as someone who is shy and quiet with a deep interest in music. In 1969, he joined the Liverpool based band named Ibex. Following the failure of this band, he switched to a band called Sour Milk Sea. Like the previous one, his band too failed to take up and broke in early 1970.
In the same year, he met artists Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon, who were all part of various bands previously. And what the four did together is all history. After the formation of Queen, Freddie changed his surname from Bulsara to Mercury. The famous logo of Queen was designed by Mercury himself. The logo combines the zodiac signs of all four members: two lions for Leo (Deacon and Taylor), a crab for Cancer(May), and two fairies for Virgo (Mercury).
Mercury wrote 10 of the 17 songs on Queen's Greatest Hits album: 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. Apart from his songwriting skills, he was also noted for his distinct voice and for his persona on stage.
Freddie was dating Mary Austin even before the formation of Queen and later moved in with her. However, he began an affair with an American male record executive and in 1976 he revealed about his sexuality to Austin, which ended their relationship. However, they continued to remain friends and Mercury even left his home in London for Austin in his will. While some say that he hid his sexuality, his friends feel that he was openly gay. Mercury never confirmed or denied anything about his sexuality, but was proud of who he was.
Towards his death, there were reports that Freddie Mercury was HIV positive. However, the singer denied any such reports. But his deteriorating physical condition was proof to the naked eye. His partner James Hutton said that he was diagnosed with HIV in 1987. In his last music video These are the days of our lives that was filmed in 1991, the singer looked very thin and fragile.
On November 23, 1991, he released a public statement which 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. My privacy has always been very special to me and I am famous for my lack of interviews. Please understand this policy will continue.”
Queen's music redefined the rock and roll culture and has people grooving to its tune till date. Years after Freddie Mercury's death, the film Bohemian Rhapsody will be released. The trailer of the film that was launched in July 2018, gives glimpses of the struggle of the band and the creation of their popular hits.
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