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Freddie Mercury Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Trade Mark (9) | Trivia (60) | Personal Quotes (55)

Overview (4)

Born in Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania
Died in Kensington, London, England, UK  (AIDS)
Birth NameFarrokh Bomi Bulsara
Height 5' 9½" (1.77 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Freddie Mercury was born on the Tanzanian island of Zanzibar. His parents, Bomi and Jer Bulsara, sent him off to a private school in India, from 1955 til 1963. In 1964, he and his family flew to England. In 1966 he started his education at the Ealing College of Art, where he graduated in 1969. He loved art, and because of that, he often went along with his friend Tim Staffell, who played in a band called Smile. Also in this band where Brian May and Roger Taylor.

When Staffell left the band in 1970, Mercury became their new singer. He changed the band's name into Queen, and they took on a new bass-player in February 1971, called John Deacon. Their first album, "Queen", came out in 1973. But their real breakthrough was "Killer Queen", on the album "Sheer Heart Attack", which was released in 1974. They became immortal with the single "Bohemian Rhapsody", on the 1975 album "A Night At The Opera".

After their biggest hit in the USA in 1980 with "Another One Bites The Dust", they had a bad period. Their album "Flash Gordon" went down the drain, because the movie Flash Gordon (1980) flunked. Their next, the disco-oriented "Hot Space", was hated not only by rock critics but also by many hardcore fans. Only the song "Under Pressure", which they sang together with David Bowie, made a difference. In 1983, they took a year off. But, in 1984 they came back with their new album called "The Works". The singles "Radio Ga Ga" and "I Want to Break Free" did very well in the UK but a controversy over the video of the latter in the USA meant it got little exposure and flopped. Plans to tour the USA were cancelled and the band would not recover their popularity there during Mercury's lifetime.

In April 1985, Mercury released his first solo album, the less rock-oriented and more dance-oriented "Mr. Bad Guy". The album is often considered now to have been a flop, but it actually wasn't. It peaked at number six in the UK and stayed on the chart for 23 weeks, making it the most successful Queen solo project. The band got back together again after their barnstorming performance at Live Aid (1985) in July 1985. At the end of the year, they started working on their new album, "A Kind Of Magic". They also held their biggest ever world tour, the "Magic Tour". They played Wembley Stadium twice and held their very last concert in Knebworth, in front of 125.000 people.

After 1986, it went silent around Queen. It was in 1987 or '88, when Mercury told the band he had AIDS, and only had a few years to live. After Mercury told the band, he refused to talk about it anymore. He was afraid that people would buy their records out of pity. He said he wanted to keep making music as long as possible. And he did. His second big solo album, "The Great Pretender", got out in 1987. After that, he flew to Spain, where he made the magnificent album "Barcelona", together with Montserrat Caballé, whom he saw performing in 1983. Because Mercury loved opera, he became a huge fan of her. For him, this album was like a dream becoming reality. The single "Barcelona" went huge, and was also used as a theme song for the 1992 Olympics in Barcelona.

After Barcelona, he started working with the band again. They made "The Miracle", which was released in 1989. It was a success, with hits as "Breakthru", "I Want It All" and "The Invisible Man". After "The Miracle", Mercury's health got worse. They wanted to do one more album, called "Innuendo." They worked on it in 1990 and early 1991. Every time when Mercury would feel well, he came over to the studio and sang. After "Innuendo" was released in January 1991, they made two video clips. The first one was the video clip of "I'm Going Slightly Mad", shot in March 1991. Because Mercury was very thin, and had little wounds all over his body, they used a lot of make-up. He wore a wig, and the clip was shot in black and white.

Mercury's final video clip was released in June 1991. The clip, "These Are The Days Of Our Lives", later turned out to be his goodbye song, the last time he appeared on film. You could clearly see he was ill, but he still hadn't told the world about his disease. Rumours went around that he some kind of terrible disease. This rumor was confirmed by Mercury himself, one day before he passed on. His death was seen as a great loss for the world of popular music.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Arjan@arjanpijper.myweb.nl

Trade Mark (9)

Sings with the top half of microphone stand
Loved to do a vocal duet with the crowd, especially before "Under Pressure"
Placing microphone under his belt
Wide-ranging, multi-octave, powerful pseudo-operatic vocals
Mustache
Overbite
Energetic and dynamic moves during live performances which covered the whole stage
Outrageous camp performances and colorful costumes
Balletic turns on stage

Trivia (60)

He was a staunch supporter of the British monarchy and named the band Queen as both a reference to this and for the word's sexual innuendo.
His ancestors, the Parsees, originated in Persia and fled to India in the 7th century. The reason being they are Zoroastrians and did not want to get converted to Islam.
He was the lead singer and pianist of the rock group Queen.
He chose not to to get corrective oral surgery to fix his famous overbite (caused by the presence of four extra teeth which pushed his incisors out). He commented early in his career that he wished to have work done on his teeth, but regretted that he didn't have time to do it out of fear that it would damage his voice. Also, chose not to have surgery to remove polyps on his vocal cords for the same reason. Ironically, Freddie was a smoker.
He attended Ealing College of Art.
When the rock group Smile (formed by Brian May with Roger Taylor and Tim Stafell) split, Freddie joined Brian and Roger to form Queen.
In his will, Mercury left the vast majority of his wealth (including his mansion home and recording royalties) to Mary Austin a woman he had a close friendship with (and once had a relationship with). The remainder was left to his parents and sister. He also left £500,000 to his chef Joe Fanelli, £500,000 to his personal assistant Peter Freestone, £100,000 to his driver Terry Giddings, and £500,000 to his partner Jim Hutton.
He attended many operas and released a semi-classical album with Spanish opera diva Montserrat Caballé.
He was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 as a member of Queen.
On 19 July 1986, he sang a duet of "Tutti Frutti" with Marillion front man Fish at the Mungersdorfer Stadion, Cologne, West Germany.
He was an avid and fastidious philatelist (stamp collector). His extensive collection is still exhibited at stamp shows world-wide as being under the estate of his birth name.
He loved his cats, and dedicated his solo-album "Mr. Bad Guy" to them. When he was out touring, he used to phone his cats and talk to them for hours. On one of his waistcoats, he has painted portraits of all of his cats.
He was educated at St. Peter's boarding school near Bombay, India, where he had his first musical training (grade four piano, both in practical and theory) and also his first experience of performing onstage, with his band, the Hectics. It was at St. Peter's where he picked up the name 'Freddie', soon even his parents addressed him by that name.
His song "Bohemian Rhapsody" (1975) was named Britain's favourite pop single of all time on 2002 in a poll by Guinness World Records (GWR). More than 31,000 people voted in the poll for GWR's "British Hit Singles" book.
After a revolution in Zanzibar, he and his family were forced to flee to England, where he pursued a Diploma in Art and Graphic Design. This knowledge was to come in useful when he designed Queen's famous crest.
In 2002, he came in 58th place in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons.
While buried in the Zoroastrian tradition, Freddie, himself, seldom practiced the family religion.
He designed Queen's famous crest using his and his fellow band mates' birth signs: Two lions for Roger and John (Leo), a crab for Brian (Cancer), and two fairies for himself (Virgo).
He had a vocal range of 4 octaves.
He achieved grade IV in practical piano and theory.
He was of Persian descent. His ancestors were Persians who fled to India.
Aretha Franklin was one of his favorite singers.
There is a breed of yellow rose named after him.
The song "Delilah" was written about his favorite cat.
His baby photo won photograph of the year in 1947 in his hometown.
He was diagnosed HIV positive in the spring of 1987.
Despite being a classically trained pianist, he admitted in an interview (Melody Maker, 2 May 1981) that he could read "very little" sheet music.
Queen won the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution in 1990. All four members of the band came to the stage to accept the award. It was Mercury's last appearance in front of an audience.
Queen won the 1992 Brit Award for British Single for their song "These Are The Days of Our Lives" and Mercury was the posthumous winner of the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution. Only John Lennon, Paul McCartney and Sting have also managed to win the Outstanding Contribution Award as both a member of a band and as an individual.
On 11 November 2004, he was inducted as part of Queen into the UK Music Hall of Fame for their outstanding contribution to British music and integral part of British music culture.
He was a huge fan of actress and Broadway star Liza Minnelli.
He penned the hits "Killer Queen", "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Somebody To Love", and "Crazy Little Thing Called Love". He wrote "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" in the bathtub.
He was survived by Jim Hutton, his partner since 1985.
He released his first solo album, "Mr. Bad Guy", in early 1985. Although it is often remembered now as a flop (and described as such by Queen's manager), it actually performed reasonably well in the UK, where it peaked at number six and stayed on the chart for 23 weeks, making it ultimately the most successful Queen solo project.
While living in Asia, he listened to many Indian artists but also listened to Cliff Richard and The Shadows. Upon arriving in England, in common with the other members of Queen, he became influenced by acts like The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix and Led Zeppelin.
He used a piano as a headboard for his bed and taught himself to play the piano backwards so if a song idea popped into his head when lying in bed, he could reach backwards and play it or record it.
His band Queen was awarded a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for Recording at 6356 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California.
He was voted the No.1 'Greatest Singer In Rock' by Classic Rock magazine (May 2009/Issue 131).
Queen's performance at Live Aid (1985) was voted the "World's Greatest Concert" in a 2005 poll for Channel 4 in the U.K. The historic gig fought off competition from Jimi Hendrix's 1969 Woodstock show in second place and The Sex Pistols' raucous show at the Manchester Free Trade Hall in 1976.
His favorite movies were Some Like It Hot (1959), George Cukor's The Women (1939) and Imitation of Life (1959) with Lana Turner.
In September 2010, he was named as "The Greatest Rock Legend Of All Time" in a poll for OnePoll.com, beating the King of Rock N'Roll, Elvis Presley, into second place.
Following the announcement of his death, tributes came from some of the biggest names in the British music industry. David Bowie said: "We'll all miss him a lot. Together with his band Queen he made a great contribution to popular music." George Michael said: "Freddie Mercury was a huge source of inspiration to me as a child. I religiously attended Queen's concerts year after year. This is a sad day." Phil Collins said: "This is a great tragedy. I had the greatest admiration and a lot of affection for him." Elton John said: "Freddie Mercury was an incredible, innovative singer and frontman for a band. He was a very dear friend of mine and it was a privilege to have known him for some of his life. He was very funny, he was extremely outrageous, he was very kind and he was a great musician and one of the great frontmen of rock and roll bands." In a concert the next day, Sting dedicated his song "Shadows in the Rain" to Mercury.
Freddie and Eric Carr (second drummer for KISS) passed away within hours of each other on the very same day of November 24, 1991. Mercury died from AIDS. Eric died from cancer, which led to a brain hemorrhage.
In 2007, over 2,400 music fans were asked by O2 to vote for their dream supergroup. They chose Mercury as lead singer, Jimi Hendrix on lead guitar, Elton John on piano and Phil Collins on drums.
He once gave the actor Dustin Hoffman a guided tour of his mansion as Hoffman was thinking of hiring the same designer, Robin Moore-Ede, to renovate an old house he had bought in London.
Mercury is the second most impersonated rock and roll performer in the UK after Elvis Presley.
He shared an apartment with Barbara Valentin in Hans Sachs Straße, Munich, Germany, during the 1980s.
He was the cousin of Perviz Darukhanawalla.
He was the son of Bomi and Jer Bulsara.
He was the older brother of Kashmira Cooke.
He wrote the Queen song "Love of my Life" about Mary Austin.
In 1973, while Queen were recording their first album, Freddie Mercury released a single under the name Larry Lurex. The name is a pun of glam rock star Gary Glitter's name and the metallic yarn Lurex. The songs on the single were covers of The Beach Boys "I Can Hear Music" and The Byrds "Goin' Back".
Mercury recorded "The Show Must Go On" two months before his death to AIDS. Barely being able to stand because of his illness, Brian May told Mercury that he would sing the vocals for him. Mercury refused, mustered all of his strength, and sang his first take perfectly.
He was inducted into the International Mustache Hall of Fame in 2015 (inaugural class) in the category Music & Arts.
He didn't socialize with the other members of Queen because he had different interests, such as spending time on the gay scene and visiting ballet and opera productions.
He had a huge crush on the film star Burt Reynolds and liked men who had a similar rugged look.
He disliked giving interviews and rarely spoke to the press. He only trusted a select group of journalists.
He went to college with Bollywood Legend actress Kumkum's husband Sajjad's brother, Zahid. Zahid Abrar and Feddie had a band in Bombay called "The Hectics". They played at local schools, parties and restaurants. Zahid appeared in the Feddie Mercury documentary released in 2000. Zahid Ali Abrar's son is a leading Bollywood director by the name of Hadi Abar.
He was born on the same day as Dennis Dugan.
His friend, the DJ Paul Gambaccini, has said in several interviews that he knew Mercury was going to die of AIDS as early as 1983 because he had met him in a gay bar and asked him if he was taking precautions against this "new disease", to which Mercury had responded "fuck it, I'm doing everything with everybody".

Personal Quotes (55)

If I didn't do this well, I just wouldn't have anything to do...I can't cook, and I'd be a terrible housewife.
I'm just a musical prostitute my dear
The bigger the better; in everything.
Years ago, I thought up the name Queen...It's just a name, but it's very regal obviously, and it sounds splendid...It's a strong name, very universal and immediate. It had a lot of visual potential and was open to all sorts of interpretations. I was certainly aware of the gay connotations, but that was just one facet of it.
[speaking in 1974] I am as gay as a daffodil.
[on Mary Austin, late 1970s interview] All my lovers asked me why they couldn't replace Mary but it's simply impossible. The only friend I've got is Mary and I don't want anybody else. To me, she was my common-law wife. To me, it was a marriage. We believe in each other, thats enough for me. I couldn't fall in love with a man the same way as I have with Mary.
[statement released on 23 November 1991] Following the enormous conjecture in the press over the last two weeks, I wish to confirm that I have tested HIV positive and have AIDS. I felt it correct to keep this information private in order to protect the privacy of those around me. However, the time has come for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth and I hope that everyone will join with me in the fight against this terrible disease.
Oh, I was not made for heaven. No, I don't want to go to heaven. Hell is much better. Think of all the interesting people you're going to meet down there!
Modern paintings are like women, you'll never enjoy them if you try to understand them.
I think I'm totally original. I'm sure there are many people who see themselves in me, but that's to them. I'm me, basically, and that's how I like to be.
My voice takes a beating. The more vocal gymnastics I do in the studio, the more I have to do on stage.
The Carmen Miranda of rock 'n' roll. But what can I say? I'm a flamboyant personality. I like going out and having a good time.
Oh God, I pray I'll never get AIDS. So many friends have it. Some have died, others won't last much longer. I'm terrified that I'll be next. Immediately after each time I have sex I think, 'Suppose that was the one? Suppose the virus is now in my body? I jump in the shower and scrub myself clean, although I know it's useless and anyway it's too late.
Fame and success have brought me everything, except a loving, on-going relationship. I seem to eat people up and destroy them no matter how hard I try to make things work. Sometimes I wake up in a cold sweat, screaming with fear because I'm so alone. That's why I go out looking for someone who will love me, even if it's just for a one-night stand. I fall in love far too quickly, and I end up getting hurt and scarred. It seems I just can't win.
I am a manipulator of life.
I have to go out every night. I hate staying in one room for too long anyway. I just like to keep moving.
[on his band Queen] We're in the music business. It's in my blood. The only thing I can do is to write music and perform. That's what I'm going to be doing and I think all of us are going to be doing until we die.
I'm not married to music, I'm married to love.
I always knew I was a star, and now the rest of the world seems to agree with me.
I'm a very tragic person, but there's always an element of humour at the end.
The most important thing, darling, is to live a fabulous life. As long as it's fabulous, I don't care how long it is.
I don't think I'll make old bones and I don't care. I've lived a full life. I really have done it all and if I'm dead tomorrow I don't care a damn
One of my early inspirations came from Cabaret (1972). I absolutely adore Liza Minnelli, she's a total wow. The way she delivers her songs, the sheer energy, the way the lights enhance every movement of the show. I think you can see similarities in the excitement and energy of a Queen show. It's not glam rock, you see; we're in the show-business tradition.
[on Queen] We're the bitchiest band on earth, darling. We're at each other's throats. One night Roger Taylor was in a foul mood and he threw his entire bloody drum set across the stage. The thing only just missed me - I might have been killed.
I don't like to explain what I was thinking when I wrote a song. I think that's awful, just awful. When I'm dead, I want to be remembered as a musician of some worth and substance.
I like to enjoy myself and what better way to do it than on stage in front of 300,000 people?
[admitting his sexual promiscuity] I'm just an old slag who gets up every morning, scratches his head and wonders what he wants to fuck.
I love George Michael because he moves so well and has a sense of dignity and fun.
Something like Bohemian Rhapsody didn't just come out of thin air. I did a bit of research, although it was tongue-in-cheek and it was mock-opera. Why not? I certainly wasn't saying I was an opera fanatic and I knew everything about it.
I don't want to keep playing the same formula over and over again, otherwise you just go insane. I don't want to become stale. I want to be creative.
I'm a flamboyant person. I like to live life. I certainly work hard for it, and I want to have a good time. Don't deny me that. It might not come again and I want to enjoy myself a little.
I liked to sing, I don't know, call it natural gift or whatever, you know, I'm not afraid to say it. It's just I like to sing and then I suddenly realized that I could actually write songs and then make my own music rather than before I would, you know, sort of copy Elvis Presley songs and things as I do, then I realized that I could actually write my own songs and do it my own way. Then suddenly, you know, there was a little taste of success.
In terms of press and things, I'm a very hated person, but I hate the press as well. So that goes both ways, but to me I think I've learned to live with it. I'd be a liar to say I'm not hurt by criticism because I mean everybody is, you know, of course I want everybody to say I'm wonderful and they like my songs, but I mean I don't mind actually a sort of genuine well thought out criticism, but I mean of course you're going to get... just... people review our albums without even listening to them and things like that, but I mean that's the way of the world and before I used to get really mad and start tearing my hair out but now I don't have anymore sleepless nights, so just I learned to live with it. Let them all come.
It's lovely to hear that We Are The Champions is a song that's been taken up by, you know, football fans 'cause that's a winners' song which keeps coming back, I can't believe that somebody else hasn't written a new song to take it over.
I relax in ways most people can't understand. I can relax by actually just sleeping on a plane when I'm flying for 20 minutes, that's my relaxation. That's all I need. I don't need too much sleep. I don't, you know, I don't need tons of sleep, I can go with 3 or 4 hours sleep every night. That's enough for me. I recharge my batteries in that short a time and I'm up again.
When I'm dead are they going to remember me ? I don't really think about it, it's up to them. When I'm dead, who cares ? I don't.
[on Jimi Hendrix] He really had everything a rock & roll star should have - style, presence; he didn't have to force anything. He'd just make an entrance and the whole place would be on fire. He was living out everything I wanted to be.
[speaking at his last concert with Queen at Knebworth Park, August 9th, 1986] Earlier on there were rumors of us splitting up, but I mean - fuck 'em - how can you split up when you have an audience like this?
[on rumors he had AIDS] AIDS changed my life. I was extremely promiscuous but I stopped that. Anyone who is promiscuous should have a test. I'm fine. I'm clear.
[on Manhattan in the 1980s] It's sin city, but you have to come away at the right time. Stay a day too long, and it grips you. Very hypnotic. It's all tripping in at 8 or 9 every morning, and taking throat injections so I can still sing. It's a real place. I love it.
[on what other people thought his songs were about] If you hear it, darling, then it's there.
We started off on a sort of heavy metal footing in the days of Led Zeppelin. I think Led Zeppelin are still one of the greatest heavy metal bands that ever lived.
[in 1985] I think right now George Michael is very, very good.
Stevie Wonder, writing a ballad, you just can't top that guy.
A concert is not a live rendition of our album. It's a theatrical event. I have fun with my clothes onstage; it's not a concert you're seeing, it's a fashion show.
I've worked hard for money. Nobody's given it to me dear! I've earned it so it's mine to do what I want with. So if I want a pyramid in Kensington and I can afford it, I'll have it.
[after "I Want to Break Free" became a gay liberation anthem] To start off with, that song was written by John Deacon and he's a very happily married man with about four children. I don't know where you've got that message from, it's got nothing to do with gay people at all. It's basically about everybody, it's just somebody who has a very tough life and he just wants to break free from whatever problems he's got. It's got nothing to do with the gay thing.
[referring to his time in Munich and his love for the Bavarian carnival] I live life to the full, everyday is Fasching for me.
Paul Young's very good. He does a lot of covers, though, doesn't he? I mean, he's got a beautiful voice. I don't know about his writing talent. His cover versions seem to be the best.
[on "We Are The World" by USA for Africa] It's a very good song. I think it's a beautiful song and I was gripped by the video 'cos I mean it's nice to have all those stars, there were no ego trips, to be honest, going from one to the other, it was lovely to see all those stars all together.
[in a 1984 interview, 7 years before his death] What will I be doing in twenty years' time? I'll be dead, darling! Are you crazy?
[after playing with Queen to 500,000 people over two nights at Brazil's Rock In Rio Festival in 1985] We came to South America originally because we were invited down. They wanted four wholesome lads to play some nice music. Now I'd like to buy up the entire continent and install myself as President.
[on heavy metal fans who don't like anything else] That's their problem.
[complimenting David Bowie on his immaculate powder blue suit at Live Aid (1985)] If I didn't know you any better I'd have to eat you.
I don't want anybody to make it easy for me, which I like, because I'm a survivor. I want to work hard for it.

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