On this day in history….24th November 1991

On this day in history : 24th November 1991 – Freddie Mercury dies at the age of 45, at his West London home – just one day after announcing publicly that he was HIV positive….

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Photo credit : Mike Davis via Flickr

The lead singer of Queen died from bronchial-pneumonia brought on by AIDS….it is thought he had been suffering from the disease for at least two years…. Even as his health declined Freddie continued to make music….

As news of his death broke tributes from around the world began to flood in…. Dr. Patrick Dixon, the director of an AIDS education charity told the BBC that by admitting that he was a sufferer of the disease he was giving his fans the greatest of gifts…. “His hope was no doubt that through his openness many people throughout the world would see that AIDS is a real illness”….

Five months later, on Easter Monday 20th of April 1992, a Freddie Mercury tribute concert for AIDS awareness was held at Wembley Stadium – with an audience of 72,000 people…. It was broadcast in 70 countries and raised approximately £20m for AIDS charities….

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Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert Poster – Fair use

The concert opened with a tribute message from the three remaining Queen members :- Roger Taylor, Brian May and John Deacon…. The first half of the concert saw performances from bands who had been influenced by Queen’s music – such as Guns N’ Roses, Metallica, Def Leppard and Extreme…. The second half featured a performance from Queen with guest vocalists:- David Bowie, Elton John, Roger Daltry, George Michael, Robert Plant, Annie Lennox, Paul Young, Seal, Lisa Stansfield, Liza Minnelli and so many more took part – all wanting to pay their own tribute to Freddie Mercury, rock legend….

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Photo credit : Kentarotakizawa via Flickr

On this day in history….5th September 1946

On this day in history : 5th September 1946 – The birth of one of our most well-loved musicians, Freddie Mercury…. He was born Farrokh Bulsara in Stone Town, Zanzibar, which is now part of Tanzania….

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Via Pinterest

Freddie was born a British citizen but spent much of his childhood in India; he began to learn to play the piano at the age of 7…. In 1964 the Bulsara family fled Zanzibar due to the revolution and came to live in England – at 22, Gladstone Avenue, Feltham, Middlesex….

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The house in Zanzibar where Freddie lived during his childhood – Image credit : Moongateclimber CC BY-SA 3.0

Freddie studied art at Isleworth Polytechnic, West London and went on to earn a diploma in Art and Graphic Design at Ealing Art College…. After graduating he had a variety of jobs, including selling second-hand clothing at Kensington Market and working as a baggage handler at Heathrow Airport…. He also joined several bands but it was in April 1970 that he teamed up with Brian May and Roger Taylor (and they were joined by bassist John Deacon in 1971)…. It was also around this time that he changed his name to Freddie Mercury….

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Compilation by KPFC – CC BY-SA 4.0
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Image credit : Carl Lender via Flickr
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Image credit : Kentarotakizawa via Flickr
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Queen, Frankfurt, Germany, 1984 – Image credit : Thomas Steffan CC BY-SA 3.0