Tribute was paid to Queen and Mercury at the closing ceremony of the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. The band's performance of "We Will Rock You" with Jessie J was opened with a video of Mercury's "call and response" routine from 1986's Wembley Stadium performance, with the 2012 crowd at the Olympic Stadium responding appropriately. The frog genus Mercurana, discovered in 2013 in Kerala, India, was named as a tribute because Mercury's "vibrant music inspires the authors". The site of the discovery is very near to where Mercury spent most of his childhood. In 2013, a newly-discovered species of damselfly from Brazil was named Heteragrion freddiemercuryi, honouring the "superb and gifted musician and songwriter whose wonderful voice and talent still entertain millions" — one of four similar damselflies named after the Queen bandmates, in tribute to Queen's 40th anniversary.
After the conclusion of his work with Queen in June 1991, Mercury retired to his home in Kensington, West London. His former partner, Mary Austin, was a particular comfort in his final years, and in the last few weeks made regular visits to look after him. Near the end of his life, Mercury began to lose his sight, and declined so that he was unable to leave his bed. Mercury chose to hasten his death by refusing medication and took only painkillers. On 22 November 1991, Mercury called Queen's manager Jim Beach to his Kensington home to prepare a public statement, which was released the following day:More Info
Mercury never discussed his ethnic or religious background with journalists. The closest he came to doing so was in response to a question about his outlandish persona, he said, "that’s something inbred, it's a part of me. I will always walk around like a Persian popinjay", an oblique reference to his Indian Parsi background. Feeling a connection to Britain prior to arriving in England, the young Bulsara was heavily influenced by British fashion and music trends while growing up. According to his longtime assistant Peter Freestone, "if Freddie had his way, he would have been born aged 18 in Feltham." Harris states, "One of the things about Freddie was that he was very civilised and quite ‘English’. I’d go over to his flat near Shepherd's Bush in the afternoon, and he’d get out the fine china and the sugar lumps and we’d have a cup of tea."More Info
When asked by Melody Maker in 1981 if rock stars should use their power to try to shape the world for the better, Mercury responded, "Leave that to the politicians. Certain people can do that kind of thing, but very few. John Lennon was one. Because of his status, he could do that kind of preaching and affect people's thoughts. But to do this you have to have a certain amount of intellect and magic together, and the John Lennons are few and far between. People with mere talent, like me, have not got the ability or power." Mercury dedicated a song to the former member of The Beatles. The "Life is Real (Song for Lennon)" is included in the 1982 album Hot Space. Mercury did occasionally express his concerns about the state of the world in his lyrics. His most notable "message" songs are "Under Pressure", "Is This the World We Created...?" (a song which Mercury and May performed at Live Aid, and also featured in Greenpeace – The Album), "There Must Be More to Life Than This", "The Miracle" (a song May called "one of Freddie’s most beautiful creations.. it’s all so optimistic about the miracles that are being found in the world, which is incredible when you think what he’s looking at" (Mercury had been diagnosed with HIV two years previous) with the one miracle "we're all waiting for" is "peace on Earth and an end to war") and "Innuendo".More Info
By 1985, he began another long-term relationship with Irish-born hairdresser Jim Hutton (1949–2010), whom he referred to as his husband. Mercury described their relationship as one built on solace and understanding, and said that he "honestly couldn't ask for better". Hutton, who tested HIV-positive in 1990, lived with Mercury for the last seven years of his life, nursed him during his illness, and was present at his bedside when he died. Mercury wore a gold wedding band, given to him by Hutton in 1986, until the end of his life. He was cremated with it on. In his will, Mercury left his London home to Austin, rather than to Hutton, having told her, "You would have been my wife, and it would have been yours anyway." Hutton later relocated from London to the bungalow he and Mercury had built for themselves in Ireland.More Info
While some commentators claimed Mercury hid his sexual orientation from the public, others claimed he was "openly gay". In December 1974, when asked directly, "So how about being bent?" by the New Musical Express, Mercury replied, "You're a crafty cow. Let's put it this way: there were times when I was young and green. It's a thing schoolboys go through. I've had my share of schoolboy pranks. I'm not going to elaborate further." Homosexual acts between adult males over the age of 21 had been decriminalised in the United Kingdom in 1967, seven years earlier. During public events in the 1980s, Mercury often kept a distance from his partner, Jim Hutton. The tabloid newspaper The Sun referred to Mercury as a "bisexual rock star" in 1986, who had "confessed to a string of one-night gay sex affairs".More Info
We don't show ads. Help us keep it that way.