Twenty-nine years ago, on November 24, the music world lost one of its most influential rock stars, Freddie Mercury. Known for his flamboyant style, gaze-stopping stage presence, and impressive high-octave vocal range, the singer-songwriter lived a short but large life.
Before he was the lead singer of Queen, before he was an icon, and long before he was even known as ‘Freddie,’ Mercury was born as Farrokh Bulsara to Indian-Parsi Parents on September 5, 1946. He adopted the stage name in the 1970s after stepping into the world of music.
He was born with the vocal talent as many experts attribute his exceptional vocal range to the four-extra teeth in his mouth. His flair for music presented at a young age when he formed a band called ‘The Hectics’ with his classmates at a boarding school in Panchgani, Maharashtra. This school is where he came up with his own nickname- Freddie. After an early life in India and then in Zanzibar, his family eventually settled in the United Kingdom.
During his college years, he met with guitarist Brian May who would eventually go on to form the legendary band, Queen.
The graphic-design student-turned-singer also designed their band’s logo and was involved in the cover arts. Queen’s extraordinary global recognition was in no short credit due to Mercury’s persona.
The singer kept his sexuality, and his AIDS a secret for a long time. He eventually passed away due to Bronchopneumonia, a complication of AIDS at the age of 45.
Nearly three decades after his death, let’s remember the singer’s best performances.
1. Don’t stop me now-1978
The career of Freddie Mercury might not have begun with Queen, but the band is where he, along with the band-mates, reached their heights in the world of rock music, eventually becoming a household name. This song is a great example of Freddie’s famous vocal range.
2. Love Me Like There’s No Tomorrow- 1985
Created while Freddie was a resident in Munich and was partnering up with more local musicians. This is one of his solo songs, created outside the band.
3. The Great Pretender- 1987
Another one of Freddie’s solos. The video is full of drama and flair that suit the tone of the lyrics exceptionally well. The song is one of the most viewed Freddie solos on YouTube with over 30 million views.
4. Barcelona- 1987
Freddie the Rockstar is recognizable across the globe. But Freddie the musician had a greater range, as evidenced in this opera with its high notes and low baritones. He partners up with famous Opera artist Montserrat Caballé in this ethereal number.
5. Bohemian Rhapsody- 1975
A song that most recording producers felt was “impossible.” It has no genre. It has no single track. It not only revolutionised recording style but also broke barriers of genre by mixing rock, pop, funk, and Opera. Queen’s memorable music and Freddie’s amazing voice made this ballad one of the most popular songs of all times with over 1 billion views on YouTube.