The lead vocalist of the rock band Queen, Freddie Mercury is known for his charismatic and flamboyant stage attributes. He is still known and can be heard everywhere even after more than 30 years of his death. The voice of this guy changed the live performance and influenced millions.
Known for his hits like Bohemian Rhapsody, We Are The Champions and many more. He is the one and only icon to get to such a level of artistic creativity. A founding member of the band, the legend all began in 1970 when Freddie went all out with his vocals.
A month back on 24th November 2022, it was Freddie’s 31st death anniversary. On that occasion, here are some interesting facts about Mercury that made him a Legend.
Facts that made Freddie Mercury a Legend
1. Freddie Hung Out With Princess Diana
The story of Freddie and Kenny dressing up Diana as a man to take her to a London gay pub is still famous. We don’t really know if it’s true or not, but it has been mentioned a lot of times. On top of that, they would also watch Golden Girls reruns.
Cleo Rocos elaborated in her book Kenny and Me: Bananas Forever that they would watch Golden Girls together. She wrote, “Diana and Freddie were giggling, but she did order a white wine and a beer. Once the transaction was completed, we looked at one another, united in our triumphant quest. We did it!”
2. ‘Bottomless Mic’ happened in an accident
It is revealed that the trademark happened by accident. While the Queen was performing a show early in their career, his mic snapped in the middle of the performance. That’s when he carried on the performance without replacing it. And that’s how they got their trademark.
3. Master of Vocal Cords
In 2016, research was done to analyze the voice of Freddie. The cords that the singer produced and imitated were filmed with a high-speed camera. Also, the audio was analyzed. The result showed that he was able to activate undertones through throat singing. He could also produce high-speed vibrations. He managed to produce vibrations of 7.04 Hz which is not common. The research was done at the Czech University of Olomouc.
4. Graphic Artist
The star was a student of Ealing College of Art. And believe it or not, he wasn’t alone. He was alongside Pete Townshend and Rolling Stone’s guitarist Ronnie Wood. He used many of his designs, and he also used his training to design Queen’s crest. He got his degree from Ealing Art College.
5. Maybe Mercury’s teeth are responsible for the rise of the Sex Pistols
One thing about him is that he had four extra teeth. The teeth were in the back of his mouth which proceeded to push his front teeth forward. And in December 1976, Queen had to cancel an appearance on Bill Grundy’s Today Show. It was because Freddie had a severe toothache and had to visit the dentist. That’s when The Sex Pistols were brought in as a replacement and their appearance is often in headlines as the moment that marked their era.
6. Freddie wrote ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ in the bathtub
The idea of ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ came to him while he was taking a bubble bath at Hilton Hotel in Germany. The Elvis-inspired song was written by him between five and 10 minutes. He said the song was, “typical of my work, but that’s because nothing is typical of my work.” It was Queen’s first number 1 hit in the United States.
7. The album ‘Mr Bad Guy’ was for his Cats
‘Mr Bad Guy’ was the only solo studio album by Queens. It was released in 1985 and featured 11 songs that were written by Mercury alone. On the album notes, he had,
“This album is dedicated to my cat Jerry – also Tom, Oscar and Tiffany, and all the cat lovers across the universe – screw everybody else!”
8. Freddie was mentioned in Kurt Cobain’s suicide note
Cobain’s last note mentioned Freddie Mercury. He wrote, “When we’re backstage and the lights go out and the manic roar of the crowds begins it doesn’t affect me the way in which it did for Freddie Mercury, [He] seemed to love, relish in the love and adoration from the crowd, which is something I totally admire and envy.”
9. Mercury’s song was used as the theme of the 1992 Olympics
He was a fan of Caballe and even mentioned that she possessed the best voice of anyone in existence. Back in 1988, he put his talents to good use and operated with opera singer Montserrat Caballe for the album ‘Barcelona’. The title track was written with an intention of using it as the theme for the 1992 Olympic Games in Barcelona but Caballe had to take the stage alone.
10. Ballet Dancer
Mercury didn’t shy away from his artistic performances. He was a great ballet dancer even though he had no training. In 1979, he performed with The Royal Ballet. During that performance, he also sang Bohemian Rhapsody and Crazy Little Thing Called Love. It was a sold-out charity performance.
11. Devoted Friend
Mary Austin was his closest friend. Yes, he was gay but he had a long-term relationship with Mary Austin in the 1970s. She was also the inspiration for his song ‘The Love of My Life’. In 1985 he said, “All my lovers asked me why they couldn’t replace Mary, but it’s simply impossible.” He also left her most of his money, his house, and his royalties.
12. He even recorded several songs with Michael Jackson
They actually worked on three demos. They were, “There Must Be More to Life Than This”, “State of Shock”, and “Victory”. It was all done when Mercury visited Jackson in 1983 in his home. They were never finished. Freddie once said, “We never seemed to be in the same country long enough to actually finish anything completely.”
13. The location of Mercury’s ashes is a big secret
Mary Austin told The Daily Mail, “He didn’t want anyone trying to dig him up as has happened with some famous people, Fans can be deeply obsessive.” After Mercury’s death, Mary was given Mercury’s ashes, which were mentioned in his will. She also waited two years to remove them from his home and never disclosed what he really did with them.
14. Statues of Freddie Mercury
There are various statues of Freddie Mercury throughout the world. The most seen and famous one is in Montreux, Switzerland. It was unveiled on 25th November 1996 and overlooks Lake Geneva.
Even the drummer of Queen Roger Taylor revealed that he has a statue of Freddie in his back garden. He said, “I have the statue of Freddie in the garden, which I love, it’s great, it’s very big.”
“I also thought it would be very funny to have the statue there and I think Freddie would have found it hilarious. He would have found it really funny.”
15. Keeper of the Band
Once you’re in a band, it’s no surprise that there are chances that it will break up. Queen also had such an incident in the 70s. Mercury recalled that the bandmates “argued about everything even the air that we breathe.”
While that was the case, Brain May and Roger Taylor remembered that Freddie was the band’s peacemaker and kept the band alive.