This Day In Rock. FREDDY MERCURY. The Greatest Lead Singer Of All Time.
There is absolutely no denying that Freddie Mercury, the flamboyant frontman of rock group Queen, was one of the very best showmen in history. He could captivate and entertain millions with his incredible vocal range. But did you know that despite being so captivating on stage, Mercury was actually a very shy person, who rarely granted interviews? Take in these other quirky facts about one of the greatest singers who ever lived.
1 - Even his official passport read ‘Frederick Mercury’, despite the fact that his birth name was Farrokh Bulsara. Calling him anything but Freddie would not be well received, however - he started using the name ‘Freddie’ prior to ever arriving in England, and ‘Mercury’ when Queen first started.
2 - Mercury loved his cats, so much so that while on tour he would periodically call home to talk to them. His one-time girlfriend and long-time close friend Mary Austin would hold the cats up to the phone so they could listen to him speak. He also had portraits painted of them.
3 - He designed the Queen emblem (AKA the Queen Crest) himself, thanks to a degree in art and graphic design from Ealing Art College. The crest is made of the zodiac signs of the whole band "“ two Leo lions for John Deacon and Roger Taylor, a Cancer crab for Brian May and two fairies to represent Freddie's Virgo sign. The "Q" and the crown represent the band name, of course, and a phoenix protects the whole thing.
4 - Freddie 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.
5 - He and family were Parsi and practiced Zoroastrian religion. His funeral service was performed by a Zoroastrian priest.
6 . Kurt Cobain mentioned Freddie Mercury in his suicide note, explaining how he admired and envied his ability to perform and embrace the love of his audience.
7 - The "bottomless mic" was among Freddie's many trademarks. Here's how that happened: early in Queen's career, he was apparently mid-show when his mic stand snapped in half. Instead of having it replaced, Freddie just used it as-is. He must have liked it, because he used the mic "stick" from then on.
8 - Freddie was an accomplished ballet dancer, even performing with the royal ballet in 1979.
9 - Freddie had wanted to fix his overbite for quite some time, but feared the operation would damage his voice.
10 - When asked what one of Queen's most famous songs, “Bohemian Rhapsody” meant, Mercury replied, "It bears no real meaning. It's all rhyming nonsense."
Freddie Mercury died on November 24 1991, from Aids related pneumonia. He had only publicly announced he was suffering from Aids the day before.
Freddie’s speech on November 23rd, 1991:
“Following the enormous conjecture in the press, I wish to confirm that I have been 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 now come for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth, and I hope everyone will join with me, my doctor and all those worldwide in the fight against this terrible disease”. –Freddie Mercury, November 23rd, 1991
Freddy Mercury’s final resting place was never known. The star was cremated after his death and only long-time girlrfriend Mary Austin knew where the ashes were. However fans discovered a plaque in Kensal Green Cemetery bearing his name, which later disappered. The mystery continues…