Freddie Mercury would have celebrated his 76th birthday today
Freddie Mercury would have turned 76 today. People use the phrase ‘one in a million’ without understanding the statistics. Statistics show that for every thousand people there’s 1 smart person, for example. People unworthy of the ‘1 in a million’ title are more likely to be found in ‘1 in a Wal-Mart’.
It is possible for a phrase that has been overused to lose its meaning. When everyone and their mother can qualify as one in a million, what word will we use when the rare talents of Freddie Mercury pass through?
Freddie Mercury’s star seems to never dim and is still present in pop culture with the biopic of his life. With songs and fashion that are a permanent fixture, it’s impossible for Mercury to disappear.
On what would have been Mercury’s 76th birthday, let’s take some time to remember him.
About Freddie Mercury
Freddie Mercury was a Rockstar who became famous as a British songwriter and singer. He became widely recognized as the lead vocalist of the band Queen. His voice gained him worldwide fame as he was known for his 4-octave vocal range and flamboyant stage persona.
Mercury defied many conventions such as having a theatrical style, in many ways leading the artistic direction of Queen.
Freddie Mercury was born in 1946. From age eight, he went to English-style boarding schools in India and stayed there until he finished high school. His family fled the Zanzibar Revolution, with Freddie joining them in Middlesex, England. Freddie studied and wrote music for many years, teamed with Roger Taylor, a drummer and Brian May, a guitarist, to form the band, Queen.
Mercury wrote many songs for Queen, including “Somebody to Love”, “Killer Queen”, “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Don’t Stop Me Now”, “We are the Champions”, and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”. Mercury often interacted with audience through his charismatic stage performances, shown at the 1985 Live Aid concert.
He led a solo career and also contributed as a guest musician and producer for other artists.
Mercury was detected with AIDS in 1987. He still continued to record with Queen, but announced his diagnosis the day before his death, due to complications from the disease.
Freddie Mercury was an English singer, songwriter, record producer and the main lead vocalist of the rock band Queen.
Freddie Mercury is inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, The Songwriters Hall of Fame, as well as the UK Music Hall of Fame. The other members of Queen award him with the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music after being posthumously inducted in 1990. Freddie Mercury is later awarded it individually in 2004.
One of the band’s first awards was in 2005, when they were award an Ivor Novello Awards for Outstanding Song Collection from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors. The band were rated number 58 of the 100 Greatest Britons by BBC in 2002.
Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara in Stone Town on September 5, 1946. His parents were from the Parsi community of western India.
Situated in Gujarat, India, the Bulsaras are derived from the city of Bulsar (now Valsad). The family also has a younger sister: Kashmira.
Mercury had four extra incisors, which he attributed to his singing. The Bulsaras were Parsis and practiced Zoroastrianism, which is why they moved to Zanzibar. Mercury was born in Kisumu, Kenya on October 5th, 1946. He music genre of choice is jazz and he started playing music at a young age.
Mercury was a British subject who was born in Zanzibar. They became a citizen of the UK after emigrating to England.
Most of Mercury’s childhood was spent in India, where he was learning piano from age seven. In 1954, aged eight, Mercury went to stay and study at St Peter’s School, a British-style boarding school in Panchgani near Bombay. After 12 years, he formed his first band and covered rock and roll artists such as Cliff Richard and Little Richard.
Mercury thrived on Western pop music. His piano skills were enhanced by his uncanny ability to replay a musical piece he has heard on the radio.
Also read: Bed Bath and Beyond faces new crisis
Freddie Mercury moved back to Zanzibar and began going by his first name, Freddie. His parents allowed him to change his name so he would not be teased.
Mercury and his family fled to England to save themselves from the violence of the revolt against Zanzibar’s Sultan. Thousands of Indians and ethnic Arabs were killed in the incident.
They lived all over Middlesex, including in Feltham and in London (21km / 13 miles away). However, they finally settled in 22 Gladstone Avenue, late October.
After graduating from Ealing Art College with a diploma in graphic arts, Mercury went on to design heraldic arms for his band Queen.
Mercury started a number of bands after graduation. He also sold old and passed down Edwardian scarves and clothes in the market at Kensington with Roger Taylor. Taylor recalls, “Back then, I didn’t really know him as a singer—he was just my friend. My good friend! If there was fun to be had, Freddie and I were usually involved.”
He worked as a baggage handler in Heathrow airport. Other friends from the time remember him as shy and introverted but with a great interest in music. In 1969, he was recruited to the Liverpool based band Wreckage which played heavy blues in the style of Hendrix.
He lived above Dovedale Towers briefly in the flat above, which was a pub close to Penny Lane in Mossley Hill district. When this band couldnt find much success, he temporarily joined Sour Milk Sea an Oxford-based band, but by early 1970 this group had broken up as well.
When Mercury found other members for Smile, he chose the name Queen for the band.
One facet of Mercury was the name’s gay relevance. Rather than use that facet, he chose to legally change his surname to something else.
Freddie Mercury penned one of the most iconic rock songs in history to his mother.
Mercury designed the band’s logo to include their zodiac sign. It includes two lions for Taylor and Deacon, a crab for May, and two fairies for Mercury. The logo is called the Queen crest.
The logo features a stylised letter Q, with the letters L and I wrapped around it. The crab is perched on top of the letter, flame surges in front of it. There are four fairies show, each below one of the lions.
The Queen crest is inspired by the Royal coat of arms.