Happy birthday Freddie Mercury!

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Freddie Mercury (September 5, 1946—November 24, 1991) was a British Indian musician, songwriter, and singer. He is best remembered as the lead singer and songwriter for the rock band Queen.

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Mercury was born Farookh Bulsara in Zanzibar, now a part of Tanzania. His parents were Parsis, originally from British India, and worked for the British Colonial Office in Zanzibar. Mercury spent most of his childhood in India. He began learning to play piano at the age of seven. He studied at a British-style boarding school near Mumbai. By the time he was 12, he had started a band called The Hectics.

When he was 17, his family fled Zanzibar as a result of the Zanzibar Revolution and moved to Feltham, Middlesex, England. Mercury enrolled at Isleworth Polytechnic and later at Ealing Art College, studying art. It was around this time that he met his future Queen bandmates, drummer Roger Taylor and guitarist Brian May. But he played in a number of bands before the three joined up. One of Mercury's previous bands was Ibex.

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It wasn't until 1971 that the three met John Deacon, who was to become their bassist. Queen formed and they began performing. In 1973, they released their first self-titled album. Their sound was unique and it took two more recordings before they scored a hit, with the song "Killer Queen" on the album Sheer Heart Attack (1974).

 

In 1975, they released A Night at the Opera, with the hit "Bohemian Rhapsody." The song made it to the top of the charts both in Britain and the United States.

Over time, Mercury cultivated an impressive stage presence, wearing elaborate costumes and engaging constantly with the audience.

The 1970s saw Queen skyrocket in popularity. Some of the band's other biggest hits include "Good Old Fashioned Lover Boy", "We Are the Champions", "Somebody To Love" and "Don't Stop Me Now," and "Under Pressure," a collaboration with David Bowie.

 

 

Mercury's writing covered a wide range of genres, from disco to rockabilly. He also put out two solo albums, Mr. Bad Guy (1985) and Barcelona (1988).

One of Mercury's most impressive performances came in 1985 at the Live Aid charity concert.

Mercury was open about his bisexuality. In 1989, he retreated from public life, and rumors began to circulate about his health. It wasn't until 1991 that he confirmed that he had contracted HIV and was then suffering from AIDS. He died the next day. His bandmate, Roger Taylor, later explained Mercury's decision to keep his illness private, "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."

Following his death, there was a spike in the band's popularity and many other rock legends, including Elton John, spoke out in support of the fight against HIV/AIDS.

Additional Info

  • Birthday Date: Friday, 05 September 2014
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