Over twenty years after Freddie Mercury‘s passing, and his birthday is still an event celebrated by millions of Queen fans all over. Today marks what would have been Mercury’s 67th birthday, and to honor that different news outlets have made top 10 lists celebrating his life and work.
Mercury, born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar, was the famed vocalist for the power rock band Queen. Best known for his soaring vocals, as well as his flamboyant showmanship, Mercury defied sexual norms and popular societal views while performing with his band. Penning and composing many of the songs that went on to be hits, some of his greatest contributions to rock include “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “Killer Queen,” “Somebody to Love,” “Don’t Stop Me Now,” “We Are the Champions,” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.”
In 1991 Freddie Mercury died from complications brought on by AIDS. This was only a day before he publicly acknowledged that he had the disease, which at the time was a mystery to most people in the medical field. Since his passing Mercury has been honored with prestigious titles for his two decade career with Queen. In 2008 Rolling Stone put him at number 18 of 100 greatest singers of all time. The following year Classic Rock’s poll voted him as the greatest rock singer of all time.
Mercury was so beloved that a statue of the singer was erected in 1996 in Monteux, Switzerland. The statue of Freddie Mercury stands at 10 feet, and is said to be a big attraction for vacationers. Another statue also stands at the entrance to the Dominion Theater in London’s West End as of 2002.
Not only did his death leave a mark on the music industry, but it also put a famous face on AIDS awareness, as Mercury was the first major rock star to die of the AIDS disease. Since his passing the remaining members of Queen have gathered together to support AIDS research. The Mercury Phoenix Trust was created and has made millions of pounds for various AIDS related charities. One particular tribute concert saw 72,000 people gather to watch rock icons including Robert Plant, Roger Daltrey, Metallica, David Bowie, and Tommy Iommi to perform in Mercury’s honor.
Currently there’s a Freddie Mercury biopic in the works that is being headed up by Brian May. For years throughout its development Sacha Baron Cohen was originally attached to play Mercury. Recently the actor bowed out over creative differences.
Happy 67th Birthday to the late Freddie Mercury!