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Wednesday, 5 September 2012

5th September: Freddie Mercury

b.  5 September 1946
d. 24 November 1991

Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara ) was a British musician, singer and songwriter, best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. As a performer, he was known for his flamboyant stage persona and powerful vocals over a four-octave range.As a songwriter, Mercury composed many hits for Queen, including "Bohemian Rhapsody", "Killer Queen", "Somebody to Love", "Don't Stop Me Now", "Crazy Little Thing Called Love" and "We Are the Champions". In addition to his work with Queen, he led a solo career, penning hits such as "Barcelona", "I Was Born to Love You" and "Living on My Own". Mercury also occasionally served as a producer and guest musician (piano or vocals) for other artists. He died of bronchopneumonia brought on by AIDS on 24 November 1991, only one day after publicly acknowledging he had the disease.

Freddie Mercury of Queen live in Frankfurt, Ge...
Freddie Mercury of Queen live in Frankfurt, Germany (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Mercury, who was a Parsi born in Zanzibar and grew up there and in India until his mid-teens, has been referred to as "Britain's first Asian rock star". In 2006, Time Asia named him as one of the most influential Asian heroes of the past 60 years, and he continues to be voted one of the greatest singers in the history of popular music. In 2005, a poll organised by Blender and MTV2 saw Mercury voted the greatest male singer of all time In 2008, Rolling Stone editors ranked him number 18 on their list of the 100 greatest singers of all time.In 2009, a Classic Rock poll saw him voted the greatest rock singer of all time. Allmusic has characterised Mercury as "one of rock's greatest all-time entertainers", who possessed "one of the greatest voices in all of music".

n the early 1970s Mercury had a long-term relationship with Mary Austin, whom he had met through guitarist Brian May. He lived with Austin for several years in West Kensington. By the mid-1970s, however, the singer had begun an affair with a male American record executive at Elektra Records, which ultimately resulted in the end of his relationship with Austin.[53] Mercury and Austin nevertheless remained close friends through the years, with Mercury often referring to her as his only true friend. In a 1985 interview, Mercury said of Austin, "All my lovers asked me why they couldn't replace Mary [Austin], 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, that's enough for me."[54] He also wrote several songs about Austin, the most notable of which is "Love of My Life". Mercury was also the godfather of Mary's oldest son, Richard.
I was a freshman in high school in my quiet, Appalachian home town when “Bohemian Rhapsody” came screaming out of our radio speakers like an alien from outer space. Nobody was quite sure what to make of it, and nobody wanted to be too enthusiastic about this very flamboyant song. But whenever it came on the radio we always turned it up. And we listened, trying to figure out exactly what it was we were hearing. Queen had already been popular in the U.K. for several years, but we had almost nothing to prepare us for the — well, I’ll say it again — flamboyance of the band’s lead singer. Even the band’s name was provocative. One of my friends bought a Queen teeshirt, but his mother prohibited him from wearing it. It was “too homosexual.” "
- full tribute at Box Turtle Bulletin

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