Freddie Mercury

About Freddie Mercury

Farrokh Bulsara—the given name of legendary singer-songwriter and musician Freddie Mercury—started playing Western music in bands in his native Zanzibar at age 12. ∙ In 1970, after joining guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor in the London-based rock band Smile, he renamed it Queen and created his larger-than-life Freddie Mercury persona. ∙ He wrote many of Queen’s enduring hits, including the intimate “Somebody to Love,” the stadium anthem “We Are the Champions,” and his opulent magnum opus, “Bohemian Rhapsody.” ∙ During the band’s set at the 1985 Live Aid benefit concert, he captivated the worldwide TV audience in what is widely considered the greatest live performance of all time. ∙ On his 1985 solo album, Mr. Bad Guy, he delved into disco, while he combined pop and opera alongside diva Montserrat Caballe for 1988’s Barcelona. ∙ Following his death in 1991, he and Queen were inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame and received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. ∙ In 1992, music’s biggest stars performed at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness, broadcasted live from London’s Wembley Stadium to 1 billion people in 76 countries. ∙ Rami Malek won an Oscar for his portrayal of Mercury in the 2018 Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, which introduced Freddie and his music to a new generation of fans. ∙ According to a BBC poll, Mercury ranks among the 100 Greatest Britons, along with Winston Churchill, Sir Isaac Newton, William Shakespeare, and King Arthur.

Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania
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