Freddie Mercury

Rock Star

b. September 5, 1946, Zanzibar, Tanzania

d. November 21, 1991, London, England

“Success has brought me world idolization and millions of pounds. But it has prevented me from having the one thing we all need, a loving, ongoing relationship.”

Freddie Mercury ranks among the most sensational rock ’n’ roll vocalists in history. He was one of the leading musicians, record producers and songwriters of the 1980s.

Born Farrokh Bulsara to Parsi parents, Mercury was a British citizen who spent his childhood in India. At age 7, he began to study piano. When he was 8, he matriculated to an all-boys school near Bombay (now Mumbai). While enrolled there, he adopted the name “Freddie” and formed a band, the Hectics. In his teens, he moved with his family to Middlesex, England.

When he was 24, Mercury, with guitarist Brian May and percussionist Roger Taylor, formed Queen. Mercury designed the crest of the band, which features the zodiac signs of all the band members, a ribbon circled in the form of a Q and a phoenix symbolizing continual rebirth.

Mercury’s unique musical style blended pop, disco, rockabilly, and operatic influences. He wrote many of Queen’s most popular songs, including “Another One Bites the Dust,” “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” “We Are the Champions” and his elaborate masterpiece, “Bohemian Rhapsody.”

Mercury was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the UK Music Hall of Fame. He ranks 18 on Rolling Stone magazine’s list of 100 greatest singers of all time. “Bohemian Rhapsody,” one of the best-selling singles of all time, was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004.

Mercury died at 44 of AIDS-related illness.