St. Peter's School, Near Baby Point, Panchgani, Bhim Nagar, Satara, Maharashtra 412805, India
West Thames College, London Rd, Isleworth TW7 4HS, Regno Unito
Ealing Art College, St Mary's Rd, London W5 5RF, Regno Unito
22 Gladstone Ave, Feltham TW14, Regno Unito
12 Stafford Terrace, Kensington, London W8 7BH, UK
1 Logan Pl, Kensington, London W8 6DE, Regno Unito
100 Holland Rd, Kensington, London W14 8BD, Regno Unito
Kensal Green Cemetery, Harrow Rd, London NW10 5NU, Regno Unito
Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara; 5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) was a British singer, songwriter and record producer, best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. He was known for his flamboyant stage persona and four-octave vocal range. Mercury wrote numerous 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". He led a solo career while performing with Queen, and occasionally served as a producer and guest musician for other artists.
Mercury was born of Parsi descent on Zanzibar, and grew up there and in India before moving with his family to Middlesex, England, in his teens. He formed Queen in 1970 with guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. Mercury died in 1991 at age 45 due to complications from AIDS, having confirmed the day before his death that he had contracted the disease.
In 1992, Mercury was posthumously awarded the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music, and a tribute concert was held at Wembley Stadium, London. As a member of Queen, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003, and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. In 2002, he was placed number 58 in the BBC's 2002 poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. He is consistently voted one of the greatest singers in the history of popular music./a>
IIn the early 1970s, Mercury had a long-term relationship with Mary Austin, whom he met through guitarist Brian May. He lived with Austin for several years in West Kensington, London. By the mid-1970s, the singer had begun an affair with a male American record executive at Elektra Records, and in December 1976, Mercury told Austin of his sexuality, which ended their romantic relationship. Mercury moved out of the flat they shared, into 12 Stafford Terrace in Kensington and bought Austin a place of her own nearby. They 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." He also wrote several songs about Austin, the most notable of which is "Love of My Life". Mercury's final home, Garden Lodge, 1 Logan Place, a twenty-eight room Georgian mansion in Kensington set in a quarter-acre manicured garden surrounded by a high brick wall, had been picked out by Austin. In his will, Mercury left his London home to Austin, rather than his partner Jim Hutton, saying to her, "You would have been my wife, and it would have been yours anyway." Mercury was also the godfather of Austin's oldest son, Richard.
DDuring the early- to mid-1980s, he was reportedly involved with Barbara Valentin, an Austrian actress, who is featured in the video for "It's a Hard Life"./a> However, in another article, Valentin was "just a friend", and Mercury was really dating German restaurateur Winfried Kirchberger during this time. By 1985, he began another long-term relationship with hairdresser Jim Hutton (1949–2010). Hutton, who was tested HIV-positive in 1990, lived with Mercury for the last six years of his life, nursed him during his illness, and was present at his bedside when he died. Hutton said Mercury died wearing the wedding band that Hutton had given him.
RRadio DJ Kenny Everett first met Mercury in 1974 when he invited the singer onto his breakfast show on Capital London. As two of Britain's most flamboyant, outrageous, and best-loved entertainers, they shared much in common and instantly became close friends. Everett would play a major role in Queen's early success when, in 1975, armed with an advance copy of the single "Bohemian Rhapsody", Mercury went to see Everett. While privately Everett doubted any station would play the song due to its length at over 6 minutes, he said nothing to Mercury and placed the song on the turntable, and, after hearing it, enthused: "forget it, it's going to be number one for centuries". While Capital Radio hadn't officially accepted the song, the anarchic Everett would talk incessantly about a record he had but couldn't play, before the song "accidentally" started playing, with Everett stating: "Oops, my finger must've slipped." Capital's switchboard was jammed with callers wanting to know when the song was going to be released – on one occasion Everett aired the song 36 times in one day.
During the 1970s, their friendship became closer, with Everett becoming advisor and mentor to Mercury, and Mercury as Everett's confidante, helping him to accept his sexuality. Throughout the early- to mid-1980s, they continued to explore their homosexuality, as well as experimenting in drugs, and although they were never lovers, they did experience London night life on a regular basis together. By 1985, they had fallen out over a disagreement on their using and sharing of drugs, and their friendship was further strained when Everett was outed in the autobiography of his ex-wife "Lady Lee", with Mercury taking Lee's side. With both suffering from failing health, Mercury and Everett started talking again in 1989, and they were able to reconcile their differences.
While some commentators claimed Mercury hid his sexual orientation from the public, others claimed he was "openly gay". In December 1974, when asked directly, "So how about being bent?" by the New Musical Express, Mercury replied, "You're a crafty cow. Let's put it this way: there were times when I was young and green. It's a thing schoolboys go through. I've had my share of schoolboy pranks. I'm not going to elaborate further." Homosexual acts between adult males over the age of 21 had been decriminalised in the United Kingdom in 1967, only seven years earlier. In the 1980s, he would often distance himself from his partner, Jim Hutton, during public events. In October 1986, The Sun claimed Mercury had "confessed to a string of one-night gay sex affairs".
DDuring his career, Mercury's flamboyant stage performances sometimes led journalists to allude to his sexuality. Dave Dickson, reviewing Queen's performance at Wembley Arena in 1984 for Kerrang!, noted Mercury's "camp" addresses to the audience and even described him as a "posing, pouting, posturing tart". In 1992, John Marshall of Gay Times expressed the following opinion: "[Mercury] was a 'scene-queen,' not afraid to publicly express his gayness, but unwilling to analyse or justify his 'lifestyle'... It was as if Freddie Mercury was saying to the world, 'I am what I am. So what?' And that in itself for some was a statement." In an article for AfterElton, Robert Urban stated: "Mercury did not ally himself to 'political outness,' or to LGBT causes."
On the evening of 24 November 1991, just over 24 hours after issuing that statement, Mercury died at the age of 45 at his home in Kensington. The official cause of death was bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS. Mercury's close friend, Dave Clark of The Dave Clark Five, had taken over the bedside vigil when he died. Austin phoned Mercury's parents and sister to break the news of his death, which reached newspaper and television crews by the early hours of 25 November.
OOn 27 November, Mercury's funeral service at West London Crematorium was conducted by a Zoroastrian priest. In attendance at Mercury's service were his family and 35 of his close friends, including the remaining members of Queen and Elton John. His coffin was carried into the chapel to the sounds of "Take My Hand, Precious Lord"/"You've Got a Friend" by Aretha Franklin. In accordance with Mercury's wishes, Mary Austin took possession of his cremated remains and buried them in an undisclosed location. The whereabouts of his ashes are believed to be known only to Austin, who has stated that she will never reveal where she buried them.
In his will, Mercury left the vast majority of his wealth, including his home and recording royalties, to Mary Austin and the remainder to his parents and sister. He left £500,000 to his chef, Joe Fanelli; £500,000 to his personal assistant, Peter Freestone; £100,000 to his driver, Terry Giddings; and £500,000 to Jim Hutton. Austin continues to live at Mercury's former home, Garden Lodge, Kensington, with her family. The outer walls of Garden Lodge in 1 Logan Place became a shrine to Mercury following his death, with mourners paying tribute by covering the walls in graffiti messages. Three years after his death, Time Out magazine reported, "Since Freddie's death, the wall outside the house has become London's biggest rock 'n' roll shrine." Fans continue to visit to pay their respects with messages in letters appearing on the walls. Hutton was involved in a 2000 biography of Mercury, Freddie Mercury, the Untold Story,, and also gave an interview for The Times in November 2006 for what would have been Mercury's 60th birthday.
BACK TO HOME PAGE