11 Lively Facts About Freddie Mercury You Probably Didn’t Know

Freddie Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara, was one of the most successful and much loved vocalists and songwriters worldwide. His songs and his energetic performances captured the hearts of many and his amazing voice spanned over a four-octave range. In 1970, along with guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Tylor, he formed the band Queen which went on to become one of the greatest hits the world has ever seen. So, if you are feeling nostalgic about those good old days of Queen here are some facts about Freddie Mercury that we are sure you would enjoy reading.

1. Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara and raised in Zanzibar. He was a Zoroastrian. At the age of 8 his parents sent him to India to get a better education.

Freddie's Childhood
Image sources: imgurreddit

Freddie Mercury was born on September 5, 1946, in the British protectorate of Sultanate of Zanzibar, East Africa, where his parents moved to so that his father could continue work as cashier at the British Colonial Office. His parents were Parsis from the Gujarat region, British India, and practiced Zoroastrian religion. Freddie started taking piano classes at the age of seven and was sent to study at St. Peter’s School in Panchgani near Bombay (now Mumbai). Music had been a very important part of his childhood and by the age of 12, he formed a school band called The Hectics playing a lot of rock and roll music from artists such as Cliff Richard and Little Richard.(source)

2. In 1974, a then-unknown Queen performed to a jeering Australian audience who wanted Aussie bands instead. After finishing, Freddie Mercury responded, “When we come back to Australia, Queen will be the biggest band in the world!” When they came back in 1976, they were at the top of the charts.

Freddie Mercury
Image Source: giphy

During the Sunbury Pop Festival that ran between January 25 and 28, 1974, Queen’s performance had upset the established local bands and promoters as it was first non-Australian performance in the festival. The local DJ who was acting as the MC introduced the band saying “Well, we’ve got another load of limey bastards tonight. They’re probably going to be useless, but let’s give them something to think about!” The band was also looked down upon as snobs because they brought their own crew and lighting rig, which was sabotaged by local roadies. Mercury made his statement as the crowd were jeering and indeed, when they returned to Australia in 1976, they were quite famous.(source)

3. Freddie Mercury had an overbite which he did not want to get corrected because he was afraid it would affect his singing voice.

Freddie Mercury Overbite
Image Source: stevehoffman

It’s hard to miss Freddie Mercury’s one feature, apart from his good looks and great singing, that stands out – his teeth. The overbite was caused by four extra teeth that forced his incisors to look prominent. But he was worried that getting a corrective surgery to fix it might damage his voice and so he chose not to get it corrected.(source)

4. The a cappella introduction of Bohemia Rhapsody is a five-part harmony made entirely of multi track recordings of Freddie Mercury, not the whole band.

Though we see all the four members lip-syncing the intro, the B♭ major a cappella was song only by Freddie. Each voice was sung by him separately and put together to sound like chorus. Also after 14 seconds, when the grand piano enters, Mercury alternates his voice with the other vocal parts. If you are listening in a stereo, the words “little high” come from the left speaker and the words “little low” come from the right. The contrasting chords during “easy come, easy go” give it a dream-like atmosphere.(source)

5. During a concert in the 70s, someone in the audience shouted “You fucking poof” to Freddie Mercury. Freddie responded by demanding the crew to turn the spotlight on the crowd to find him and said, “Say it again, darling.”

Freddie MercuryFreddie Mercury
Image Source: rollingstone

After realizing and coming to terms with his sexuality, he told his then-girlfriend, Mary Austin, about it, who was very supportive, and stayed close to her for the rest of his life, also employing her as his personal secretary and adviser. According to Austin, since then Freddie never felt the need to explain himself to anyone. He also didn’t tolerate cheap defamation as could be seen in the incident mentioned above.(source)

6. Michael Jackson and Freddie Mercury collaborated in the 80s to make three tracks. But, Freddie broke it off because Jackson insisted on bringing his pet llama to the recording studio. 

Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson
Image Source: okayplayer

The three tracks named State of ShockVictory, and There Must Be More To Life Than This, written by the duo were recorded in Jackson’s home studio in Encino, California in 1983. However, the recording was never finished because of the conflicts between the two. According to Jim Beach, Queen’s former manager, Freddie called him and said, “Can you get over here? You’ve got to get me out of here, I’m recording with a llama.” Also, Jackson not approving of Mercury using too much cocaine in his living room soured their relationship.(source)

7. Freddie Mercury once helped dress Princess Diana up as a male model to sneak her into a gay bar. 

Freddie Mercury and Princess Diana
Image Source: vulturecloserweekly

According to comedian Cleo Rocos, she, Princess Diana, Freddie Mercury and comedian Kenny Everett were drinking at Everett’s home when they decided to go out to a bar. So, they dressed Diana up in an army jacket, a leather cap to conceal her hair and dark aviator sunglasses to pass her off as an eccentrically dressed gay male model. Though several people greeted them, none of them recognized Diana in those clothes.(source)

8. In 1985, Freddie Mercury released a solo album, Mr. Bad Guy, that he dedicated “to my cat Jerry—also Tom, Oscar and Tiffany, and all the cat lovers across the universe—screw everybody else”

Freddie Mercury and His Cat
Image Source: 4fun

Mr. Bad Guy is Freddie’s debut solo album that he made when Queen was on a break from recordings. The album has eleven songs, all written by him. The songs have influences ranging from disco to dance music, which is a contrast to the typical rock-oriented songs from Queen. The album was originally supposed to be the recordings he did with Michael Jackson, from which he later dropped out. It took him two years to record the album as he was also taking care of his band commitments.(source)

9. In May 1991, Freddie Mercury started recording for Mother Love, but upon reaching the final verse he told Brian May he wanted to “have a rest” and would return to finish it. He never made it back to the studio and May sang the last verse. 

Made in Heaven
Image Source: shakenstir

The song Mother Love from the album Made in Heaven was written by Mercury and Brian May, Queen’s lead guitarist. The song is Mercury’s last ever vocal performance, recorded in May between 13 and 16, 1991, 6 months before his death. The album was released on November 6, 1995, and was the final album containing original material featuring the band’s original members.(source)

10. Freddie Mercury spent his last months recording as many vocals as he could so that his band could finish them after his death. 

Freddie Mercury's Last Days
Image Source: emaze

After completing work on Innuendo in early 1991, Freddie recorded various songs, and those put to tape during this time primarily were A Winter’s TaleMother Love and another song that would eventually become You Don’t Fool Me. According to Brian May, Freddie was told by that time that he won’t be able to make it till the end of complete recording. So, every time he felt well enough to record, they get to the studio and get to work. After his death, the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness was held on April 20, 1992 and all the 72,000 tickets were sold out in just three hours of its announcement even though no performers were announced besides the remaining members of Queen.(12)

11. It was Freddie Mercury’s last wish that Bohemian Rhapsody be reissued to raise money for AIDS charities. When the song was re-released, it topped the charts for the second time and was number 1 for five weeks. 

Freddie Mercury and Mercury Phoenix Trust
Image Source: mercuryphoenixtrust

Freddie Mercury wanted to create awareness and help find a cure. To that end he revealed to the public that he was HIV positive on November 23, 1991, hoping to raise the profile of AIDS. However, he died the very next day due to AIDS related bronchial pneumonia. Roger Taylor, Queen’s drummer, later during 1992 Brit Awards announced a tribute concert to raise money for Mercury Phoenix Trust set up in Freddie’s name to provide financial help to AIDS charities around the world.(source)
11 Lively Facts About Freddie Mercury You Probably Didn’t Know 11 Lively Facts About Freddie Mercury You Probably Didn’t Know Reviewed by 1 on February 18, 2018 Rating: 5
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