Freddie Mercury - Nominee

1946 - 1991

Born in 1946 to Persian parents living in Zanzibar, Farrokh Bulsara displayed great musical ability from an early age. Owing to political unrest, his family migrated to England when he was 17. At that time school friends began calling him Freddie. Though he graduated from Eton College in 1969 with a degree in art and design, his passion had become music. In 1970 he joined the band ‘Smile’ – which would evolve into ‘Queen’ – and soon after he adopted the surname ‘Mercury’. His huge voice and four octave vocal-range combined with a dynamic stage persona to make him a sensation. A skilled glamrock showman – energetic, cocky, charismatic – and adept at connecting with an audience – Mercury knew how to entertain. Queen and Mercury sought to be innovative in the recording studio and experimented in styles with such diverse hits as ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’, ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’, ‘We Are The Champions’, ‘Radio Gaga’, ‘Another One Bites the Dust’, ‘Killer Queen’, and ‘You're My Best Friend’. In 1985, among a superstar lineup, Queen and Mercury stole the show at Live Aid, the fundraising concert for African famine relief. Always open about being bisexual, Mercury rose above detractors by the sheer magnitude of his talent. Wanting only to be remembered for his music, and not wishing to be seen as an object of pity or curiosity, Mercury chose to avoid public disclosure of having advanced HIV disease and lived the final months of his life in seclusion. On November 23, 1991, he announced that he had AIDS and died the following day of bronchial pneumonia. He was 45.

Freddie Mercury Headshot

Demography

Gender Male

Sexual Orientation Bisexual

Gender Identity Cisgender

Ethnicity Asian/Pacific Rim

Nations Affiliated United Kingdom India Tanzania

Era/Epoch AIDS Era (1980-present) Information Age (1970-present)

Field(s) of Contribution

Music

Commemorations & Honors

Queen Received Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music (1990)

Mercury Received Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music (1992)

Statue of Mercury Erected in Montreux, Switzerland Overlooking Lake Geneva by Sculptor Irena Sedlecká (1996)

UK postal Service's Millennium Stamp Series Featured Royal Mail Stamp With Mercury on Stage (1999)

Posthumous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductee as a Member of Queen (2001)

Posthumous Hollywood Walk of Fame Star as a Member of Queen for Recording (2002)

Posthumous Songwriters Hall of Fame as a Member of Queen the First Band to be Given This Honor (2003)

Posthumous UK Music Hall of Fame as a Member of Queen Inductee (2004)

Bohemian Rhapsody Inducted Into the Grammy Hall of Fame (2004)

We Will Rock You and We Are the Champions Inducted Into the Grammy Hall of Fame (2009)

Google Doodle Commemorating Mercury's 65th Birthday (2011)

Tribute to Queen and Mercury Took Place During the 2012 Summer Olympics Closing Ceremony in London

English Heritage Blue Plaque Unveiled at Mercury's Home 22 Gladstone Avenue in Feltham, West London by his Sister Kashmira Cooke and Brian May (2016)

Asteroid 17473 Freddiemercury Named After Mercury on the 70th Anniversary of his Birth (2016)

Queen Awarded Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award (2018)

San Francisco Rainbow Honor Walk Honoree (2019)

Resources

Related Images

Freddie Mercury Outside Dressing Room Wearing Wembly Stadium Jacket

Freddie Mercury Performing at Live Aid

Freddie Mercury Commemorative Stamp

Queen at a Photo Shoot

Freddie Mercury Statue in Montreux Riviera Switzerland

Related Videos

Freddie Mercury's Rare 1982 Entertainment Tonight Interview

Authorship

Original Biography Author
Owen Keehnen
Biography Edited By
Victor Salvo
Resources Coordination
Carrie Maxwell