Freddie Mercury (biography)
Freddie Mercury (Queen)
piano keyboards guitar
-5 September 1946
-Stone Town , Sultanate of Zanzibar (now Tanzania )
-24 November 1991 (aged 45)
-Kensington, London , England
Cause of death Bronchopneumonia (brought on by AIDS)
Resting place Cremated at Kensal Green Cemetery , West London
Other names Freddie Bulsara
Education St. Peter’s Boys School
Alma mater Isleworth Polytechnic College
Ealing Art College
Occupation Singer-songwriter producer
Years active 1969–1991
Partner(s) Mary Austin (1970–76)
Jim Hutton (1985–91)
Instruments Vocals piano keyboards guitar
Labels Columbia Polydor EMI Parlophone Hollywood
Associated acts Queen Ibex / Wreckage Sour Milk Sea Montserrat Caballé
Freddie Mercury (5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) was a British singer, songwriter and producer, best known as the lead vocalist and songwriter 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, he 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 .” Mercury also led a solo career, and also occasionally served as a producer and guest musician (piano or vocals) for other artists.
Mercury was a Parsi born in the Sultanate of Zanzibar and grew up there and in India until his mid-teens.
He died of bronchopneumonia brought on by AIDS on 24 November 1991, one day after publicly acknowledging he had the disease. In 1992 he was posthumously awarded the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music, and his 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, the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004, and the band received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2002. In 2002, Mercury was placed at number 58 in the BBC’s poll of the 100 Greatest Britons .
Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara ; Gujarati: ફારોખ બલસારા, Pharōkh Balsārā) was born in the British protectorate of Sultanate of Zanzibar , East Africa (now part of Tanzania ). His parents, Bomi (1908–2003) and Jer Bulsara (1922–), [a] were Parsis from the Gujarat region of the then province of Bombay Presidency in British India .
The family surname is derived from the town of Bulsar (now known as Valsad) in southern Gujarat . As Parsis, Mercury and his family practised the Zoroastrian religion.
The Bulsara family had moved to Zanzibar so that his father could continue his job as a cashier at the British Colonial Office . He had a younger sister, Kashmira.
“His technique was astonishing. No problem of tempo , he sang with an incisive sense of rhythm, his vocal placement was very good and he was able to glide effortlessly from a register to another. He also had a great musicality.
His phrasing was subtle, delicate and sweet or energetic and slamming. He was able to find the right colouring or
expressive nuance for each word.”
Mercury wrote 10 of the 17 songs on Queen’s Greatest Hits album: ” Bohemian Rhapsody,” ” Seven Seas of Rhye ,” ” Killer Queen,” ” Somebody to Love ,” ” Good Old- Fashioned Lover Boy,” ” We Are the Champions ,” ” Bicycle Race ,” ” Don’t Stop Me Now,” ” Crazy Little Thing Called Love ” and ” Play the Game “.
The most notable aspect of his songwriting involved the wide range of genres that he used, which included, among other styles, rockabilly , progressive rock, heavy metal , gospel and disco . As he explained in a 1986 interview, “I hate doing the same thing again and again and again.
I like to see what’s happening now in music, film and theatre and incorporate all of those things.”Compared to many popular songwriters, Mercury also tended to write musically complex material. For example, “Bohemian Rhapsody” is acyclic in structure and comprises dozens of chords.
He also wrote six songs from Queen II which deal with multiple key changes and complex material. “Crazy Little Thing Called Love,” on the other hand, contains only a few chords. Despite the fact that Mercury often wrote very intricate harmonies , he also claimed that he could barely read music.
He wrote most of his songs on the piano and used a wide variety of different key signatures.