Freddie Mercury was a true champion, known for his outstanding voice and vocal range, his flamboyant stage presence and so much more. When Mercury died on November 24 1991 at the age of 45, he took most of his secrets with him to the grave. But, we have dug up the icon’s past. Take a deeper look at the real Freddie Mercury.
Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar under the name of Farrokh Bulsara to Parsi parents from India. Mercury grew up in Zanzibar and then India, before moving with his family to Middlesex, England, in his late teens. When Queen was formed in 1970, he decided to legally change his name to Freddie Mercury. Thanks to his diploma in Art and Graphic Design, Mercury designed the Queen crest. The crest, by the way, consists of each band member’s zodiac sign. Two Leo lions for John Deacon and Roger Taylor, a Cancer crab for Brian May and two fairies to represent Mercury’s Virgo sign. The phoenix protects the entire crest.
Very surprisingly, Mercury was not the original singer of Queen. The position was formerly occupied by a dear friend of Mercury, Tim Staffell. Staffell, however, thought that Mercury was better suited for the band and recommended him to Queen’s bandmates and the rest is history.
One of Mercury’s idols was the King of Pop himself – Michael Jackson. Mercury got a chance to collaborate with Jackson as the two recorded three demos that were sadly never completed. Jim Beach, the manager of Queen, revealed that Jackson brought his pet llama into the studio, which frustrated Mercury’s attempts to record and caused the demos to be scrapped.
When Freddie Mercury and Princess Diana went on nights out together, Mercury would disguise Diana as a man so she would go unnoticed. A well-known example is when Mercury helped dress Diana in drag so she could join him on a night out at a gay bar. Before becoming a worldwide famous singer, Mercury used to work at Heathrow Airport as a baggage handler. It seems like his past job was foreshadowing Freddie’s future as he went on to become an international star.
Freddie Mercury loved cats! Rumor has it that he had as many as 10 cats simultaneously at one point. Mercury even dedicated his first solo album – Mr. Bad Guy – to his cats, stating: “To my cat Jerry – also Tom, Oscar and Tiffany, and all the cat lovers across the universe – screw everybody else”. As it turns out, Mercury treated his cats as family and while on tour, he would call the house and have them put the phone up to the cats’ ears so they could hear his voice.