Freddie Mercury was born on September 5, 1946, in the British protectorate of Zanzibar. The son of a local government functionary, Mercury was raised a Zoroastrian and showed an early interest in music. At the age of 17, he moved to England to study at London’s Ealing Art College, and there formed what would become one of rock’s most iconic bands, Queen. Mercury quickly became known for his flamboyant stage presence and powerful vocals that led the band to international success. However, as AIDS began to take its toll, he kept his diagnosis private until shortly before his death in 1991.
Freddie Mercury, Melina
September 5, 1946
November 24, 1991 (age 45)
In this success story, we share the biography of Freddie Mercury, British singer-songwriter, producer, unparalleled performer, and lead singer of Queen, with a four-octave vocal palette. He spent most of his childhood in India and began learning to play the piano at the age of seven. He got his first musical experience in the boys’ choir. Mercury was active in school musicals and formed his first band, The Hectics, at the age of 12.
At the dawn of his musical career, he played in the band ‘Smile,’ where future Queen guitarist and drummer Brian May and Roger Summers already performed. The singer soon discovered his love for art and music, both subjects he avidly studied (around this time, he began taking piano lessons), putting his newly discovered talent for piano to good use by playing in bands, and rock and roll with friends.
Bassist John Deacon joined the following year, and Mercury chose the name ‘Queen’ for the rock band over objections from band members and management. Mercury had met Roger Taylor (drums) and Brian May (guitar) when he moved to London in the 1960s. One of the founding members of Queen since its inception in 1970, Mercury amazed audiences around the world with his majestic vocal numbers until his tragic death in 1991 at the age of 45. Mercury remains one of the most famous and iconic singers in the world. His life and career were filled with amazing highs and tragic lows, leaving behind a legacy that will never be forgotten.
Freddie Mercury joins a band named ‘Smile’, the previous name of Queen.
Queen releases their self-titled debut album on July 13, featuring the singles ‘Keep Yourself Alive’ and ‘My Fairy King.’
Queen releases their third album entitled "A Night at the Opera," which is considered one of the band's best and includes one of their most well-known songs — ‘Bohemian Rhapsody.’
This album reaches number one in the U.K. and number six on the U.S. Billboard 200 chart, yielding five hit singles including ‘Crazy Little Thing Called Love’ and ‘Another One Bites the Dust.’
Titled "Mr. Bad Guy," the album contains the 11 songs that Mercury has written himself.
“Innuendo” becomes the last album that Queen releases with Mercury still alive.
Why We Love Freddie Mercury
He was a master of showmanship
Freddie Mercury could entertain an audience with his powerful voice and flamboyant stage personality. He was also a skilled musician and songwriter, which helped him create memorable songs that the audience would love. His ability to entertain combined with his great musical skills resulted in one of the most successful rock bands of all time, Queen.
He had an amazing voice
Mercury was able to hit high and powerful notes without any trouble. He also had a lot of control over his voice which allowed him to create different sounds and effects.
He was an excellent songwriter
There is no doubt that Mercury was one of the greatest songwriters of all time. His songs are timeless and continue to be enjoyed by audiences worldwide. He was a master of melody and harmony, and his lyrics were both thoughtful and poetic.
5 Surprising Facts
He changed his name
Freddie Mercury adopted his first name during his school days in India and changed his surname when Queen was formed.
He liked to paint
Mercury enjoyed painting as a hobby although many of his paintings were kept private, while a few were shown in galleries and auctioned off to collectors.
He was a cat person
Throughout his life, Mercury had 10 cats and even dedicated his first solo album to his cats.
He joined a little-known band
Mercury joined Ibex, his first band, in 1969 as lead singer and keyboard player.
He was a philatelist
Mercury was an avid collector of stamps, a hobby he had taken after his father.
Freddie Mercury FAQs
What were Freddie Mercury’s last words?
His assistant Peter Freestone said Mercury’s last words were “Thank you.”
Is Freddie Mercury Indian?
No, he was born in Tanzania to Parsi-Indian parents who were British citizens.
Who got all of Mercury’s money?
Half of his royalties and most of his possessions were given to his ex-girlfriend Mary Austin and Mercury’s family.
Freddie Mercury’s birthday dates