7 Facts That Prove Freddie Mercury’s Music God Status
A Rock God
Freddie Mercury with his flamboyant onstage persona, impressive vocal range, superb songwriting skills, and overall artistry was undeniably a cut above the rest. His passion for music showed through with every song. He was unlike any other rockstar and even decades after his death, no one else comes close to how he was as a musician and performer.
Here are some interesting things about him.
7. He loved his cats so much he dedicated an entire album to them.
When Queen went on hiatus in 1985, Freddie worked on what would be his only solo studio LP titled “Mr. Bad Guy”. He said, “I had a lot of ideas bursting to get out and there were a lot of musical territories I wanted to explore which I really couldn’t do within Queen.” It took two years to record and in the album’s notes, Freddie wrote: “This album is dedicated to my cat Jerry – also Tom, Oscar and Tiffany, and all the cat lovers across the universe – screw everybody else!”
6. He performed while perched on Darth Vader’s shoulders.
During “The Game” Tour in 1980, photographer Tom Callins was lucky enough to be at Houston’s Summit Center on August 10, 1980 where Freddie arrived for the encore on Darth Vader’s shoulders. The image became one of Freddie’s most iconic photos. Callins told AV Club, “It was during the encore, and it was during “We Will Rock You.” And he came out sitting on Darth’s shoulders. I guess it was a shtick he did that tour, because I’ve seen other photos of other shows. But I just happened to be at the right angle at the right place in front of the stage to get the shot.” He recalled that it was an absolute “pandemonium” and “so over-the-top”. He never found out but he reckoned it was either a roadie or a bodyguard who dressed up as Darth Vader.
5. He installed a piano as a headboard.
Afraid of forgetting songs and melodies whenever inspiration would strike, he had a piano as the headboard of his bed. So if he comes up with something in the middle of the night, all he had to do was reach back and start playing.
4. He left the bulk of his estate to his soulmate Mary Austin.
She was his girlfriend for many years but even after their romantic relationship ended, they remained close friends and Freddie made it no secret how much he loved Mary. Speaking about her, he said: “Our love affair ended in tears, but a deep bond grew out of it, and that’s something nobody can take away from us.” After his death, he left her his £20 million mansion in West London and most of his £9 million fortune.
3. His bandmates set up a charity organization to fund AIDS research in honor of Freddie.
The Mercury Phoenix Trust was founded by Brian May, Roger Taylor, along with manager Jim Beach. For over two decades, the MPT has funded more than 1000 projects aimed at fighting AIDS/HIV.
2. He made Princess Diana wear a disguise so she can go with him to a nightclub.
It has become one of the greatest urban legends. Freddie Mercury and Princess Diana became friends and they bonded over their shared love for “The Golden Girls”. Then, the story goes like this – Princess Di wanted to tag along with Freddie and their friends since they planned to go to a famous gay bar in South London called Royal Vauxhall Tavern. According to actress Cleo Rocos, they disguised her as a man and she wore a bomber jacket, a baseball cap, and sunglasses. Rocos added, “When we walked in … we felt she was obviously Princess Diana and would be discovered at any minute. But people just seemed to blank her. She sort of disappeared. But she loved it.” But Freddie’s close friend Peter Freestone denied that Freddie even met Diana.
1. He wouldn’t stop singing even towards the end of his life.
Even though his health deteriorated rapidly, Freddie refused to stop singing. Guitarist Brian May told Rolling Stone, “Freddie was in pain . . . but inside the studio there was a sort of blanket around, and he could be happy and enjoy what he liked doing best. . . . Sometimes it would only last a couple of hours a day because he would get very tired. But during that couple of hours, boy, would he give a lot. When he couldn’t stand up, he used to prop himself up against a desk and down a vodka: ‘I’ll sing it till I fu**ing bleed.'”