Freddie Mercury would turn 75 on 5 September. Deceased in November 1991, the charismatic and not infrequently flamboyant singer of Queen can still be heard everywhere after more than 30 years with worldwide hits like Bohemian Rhapsody, Another One Bites The Dust, We Are The Champions and many more. Freddie fascinated with his unmistakable voice and extroverted stage presence. Here, in this article, we remember the Queen frontman with some interesting facts.
1. Absolute identification with his artistic figure
His real name was Farrokh Bulsara, but he ignored it completely. Instead, he immersed himself so deeply in his stage persona, Freddie Mercury, that he wanted to be called Freddie by everyone without exception. But that wasn’t enough art identification: in the ’70s he had his name changed and had “Frederick Mercury” entered on his identity card!
2. Master of vocal cords
In 2016, researchers at the Czech University of Olomouc analysed the peculiarities of Freddie’s voice. The vocal cords of a rock singer who imitated Freddie’s tones were filmed with a high-speed camera, and various audio recordings were also analysed. The result: In addition to his chest and falsetto voice, Freddie was able to activate undertones through throat singing. In addition, his vocal cords could produce high-speed vibrations. Vibrations between 5.4 and in extreme cases 6.9 Hz per second are common. Freddie managed an incredible 7.04 Hz.
3. In top shape after quarrels
Freddie himself told in interviews that he gave the best performances after quarrels and lovesickness. Apparently, he needed emotionally draining and conflict-laden conditions to reach top form on stage and rise above himself. Among the well-known stories is the loud and violent argument with his then lover Bill Reid before a concert in Milton Keynes. Bill bit Freddie’s hand so hard that it bled profusely. The performance became legendary.
4. Queen logo from the graduated pen of Freddie
Freddie was a graphic design graduate from Ealing Art College. And so he also designed the opulent band logo himself. Besides the similarity to the coat of arms of the British monarchy, the elaborate logo is characterised by the symbolic combination of the band members’ zodiac signs. The two lions to the left and right of the “Q” and crown stand for Roger Taylor and John Deacon, the cancer in the middle for Brian May and the two fairies symbolise Virgo, Freddie’s sign.
5. Record breaking recording
A record from 2019 proves how timeless and everlasting Queen’s songs are: The music video for “Bohemian Rhapsody” had reached over 1 billion streams, making it the first video released before 1990 with this extreme number of clicks. YouTube record over 44 years after the first music video for this song was released.
6. Never let an inspiration evaporate
Together with Brian May, Freddie Mercury was Queen’s main composer. He was always ready to absorb ideas and impressions. To ensure that none of his flashes of inspiration got lost, his assistants were instructed to always carry a writing pad and pen with them. Life Is Real was written in this way as a homage to John Lennon during a flight across the Atlantic.
7. Ballet dancers
During his live performances with Queen, he always showed a diva-like and artistic stage presence. Freddie lived the music full of pathos from head to toe. In fact, he was also an outstanding ballet dancer. In 1979 he performed with The Royal Ballet. During the ballet performance, he sang Bohemian Rhapsody and Crazy Little Thing Called Love, two of his Queen hits.
8. Cat lover who even talked to his cats on the phone
Freddie was infatuated with cats. He even dedicated several songs to his purring pets, such as Delilah, a song on the album Innuendo, in which cat-like passages can be heard. When he was on tour, Freddie always called home. The reason: he wanted to talk to his cats. At peak times he had no less than ten cats.
9. Obsessed with music and creativity until the end
On 24 November 1991, Mercury died as a result of AIDS. The news of his illness was launched only one day before his death. Due to his rapidly deteriorating condition, he hastened the passing by refusing to take any medicine other than painkillers. According to Brian May, Freddie had no fear whatsoever, and instead was obsessed with music until the end. “Write me songs. (…) I just want to sing it and when I’m gone, you finish it.”
10. A dazzling myth even beyond his death
To this day, it remains unclear whether there is a resting place for Freddie. After his death on 24 November 1991, his body was cremated at the West London Crematorium. However, at the request of his mother, no memorial was erected in the cemetery. There is a pilgrimage site for fans, though: Freddie is immortalized with a statue in Montreux on Lake Geneva, where, it is rumoured, his ashes were scattered.
Happy 75th birthday Freddie; your voice will never fade away.
Are you fans of Freddie Mercury or Queen? If so, why? Tell us in the comments! 👇