Freddie Mercury’s Legacy Still Lives On
By: As Nurul ‘Ainaa Awanudin
Editor: Bhavanpreet Kaur
The lead singer of British rock band Queen, Freddie Mercury passed away on 24th November 1991. It has been 29 years since Mr Fahrenheit left us. However, his legacy still lives on by his music, stage charisma and fashion style. Many celebrities such as Katy Perry, Lady Gaga and Harry Styles from One Direction look up to the late Freddie Mercury as their musical idols. From Mercury’s extraordinary singing talent and his high creativity of composing music, it’s not a surprise that his legacy still continues to the new generation to hear the bits of his music.
Early Life Of Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury or formerly known as Farrokh Bulsara was born on 5th September 1946 at Stone Town, Sultanate of Zanzibar. Mercury went to Bombay, India to study at all-boys boarding school when he was 8 years old. Mercury and his family moved to England and studied graphic arts and design at Ealing Art College. During his college years, he met Roger Taylor and Brian May who had a band called Smile at that time. After their lead singer left the band, Mercury joined them and renamed the band Queen. Later on, the new bassist John Deacon joined the band and signed the contract with Trident Studios. Queen had produced many amazing songs. Their famous hit, Bohemian Rhapsody, become one of most memorable song of all times. Their performance during Live Aid 1985 became one of most memorable performance of all time. From Mercury’s singing abilities, May’s amazing guitar skills, Taylor’s great drumming performance and Deacon’s ability of playing bass guitar, it’s not surprising Queen form many fans from each generation around the world.
Freddie Mercury’s Personal Life
Mercury was diagnosed with AIDS on April 1987. He decided to keep his illness a secret to continue his music career. He had informed the other bandmates about his AIDS diagnosis and helped Mercury to keep it as a secret from the press. However, Mercury’s physical appearance started to deteriorating and many press claimed that Mercury had suffered from AIDS and started to dig up his personal life. Many believed that Mercury had AIDS due to his promiscuous sex behaviour and his sexual orientation. Some said that Mercury was gay, some said that Mercury was bisexual. In the end, no one knows about Mercury’s sexual orientation until this present day.
On 23rd November 1991, Mercury announced to the media that he was suffering from AIDS. 24 hours after the announcement, Freddie Mercury was pronounced dead due to bronchopneumonia as a complication of AIDS. Many fans were shocked of Mercury’s sudden death. His funeral was held at West London Crematorium on 27 November 1991. His long-time friend, Mary Austin fulfilled his wishes to bury his cremated remains to an unknown location to whom only Austin know of his burial location. After his passing, his family, friends and remaining members of Queen (May, Taylor and Deacon) paid tribute to Freddie Mercury in purpose to continue Mercury’s legacy in his music career. How does his legacy still live on?
Freddie Mercury’s Legacy
Before Mercury’s passing, he released a duet song with Spanish soprano vocalist, Montserrat Caballe titled, ‘Barcelona’. ‘Barcelona’ officially became a theme song for 1992 Summer Olympics Games that was held at Barcelona, Spain. Queen’s songs, ‘We Will Rock You’ and ‘We Are the Champion’ often play in many sport events. American singers Britney Spears, Beyonce and Pink covered Queen song, ‘We Will Rock You’ for the Pepsi commercial in the 2000s. Katy Perry also covered one of the Queen’s song in one of her concerts.
On 20 April 1992, Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon organised a charitable concert, The Freddie Mercury Tribute for AIDS awareness to honour Mercury’s legacy and raise money for AIDS charities. Celebrities such as George Micheal, David Bowie, Annie Lennox, Seal, Elton John and more were performing in front of 72,000 people at Wembley Stadium, London. American actor Rami Malek portrayed Freddie Mercury in Queen’s 2018 biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody. His portrayal earned Malek a big success as he won The Best Actor in Academy Award, British Academy Film Award, Golden Globe Award and Screen Actors Guide Award.
Source: Vanity Fair
Freddie Mercury’s musical talent will always be remembered by everyone. Not many singers are able to sing like Mercury as Mercury was able to sing 4-range octave. Thus, his stage charisma made audience felt entertained and participate in one of Mercury’s impromptu cheer. Many musicians looked upon Mercury as a prime example as an all-star entertainer. Beneath the extravagance stage persona, Mercury was said to be a generous man by his inner circle of family and friends. He was also described as a shy and modest man. However, he was extremely passionate towards music and never let his AIDS diagnosis as a burden of continuing his music career.