Mercury and his inner circle of colleagues and friends continually denied the stories. It has been suggested that Mercury could have helped AIDS awareness by speaking earlier about his illness. Mercury kept his condition private to protect those closest to him; May later confirmed that Mercury had informed the band of his illness much earlier. Filmed in May 1991, the music video for "These Are the Days of Our Lives" features a very thin Mercury in his final scenes in front of the camera. The rest of the band were ready to record when Mercury felt able to come into the studio, for an hour or two at a time. May said of Mercury: "He just kept saying. 'Write me more. Write me stuff. I want to just sing this and do it and when I am gone you can finish it off.' He had no fear, really." Justin Shirley-Smith, the assistant engineer for those last sessions, said: "This is hard to explain to people, but it wasn't sad, it was very happy. He [Freddie] was one of the funniest people I ever encountered. I was laughing most of the time, with him. Freddie was saying [of his illness] 'I'm not going to think about it, I'm going to do this.'"
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
Mercury cared for at least ten cats throughout his life, including: Tom, Jerry, Oscar, Tiffany, Dorothy, Delilah, Goliath, Miko, Romeo, and Lily. He was against the inbreeding of cats for specific features and all except for Tiffany and Lily, both given as gifts, were adopted from the Blue Cross. Mercury "placed as much importance on these beloved animals as on any human life", and showed his adoration by having the artist Ann Ortman paint portraits of each of them. Mercury wrote a song for Delilah, "his favourite cat of all", which appeared on the Queen album Innuendo. Mercury dedicated his liner notes in his 1985 solo album Mr. Bad Guy to Jerry and his other cats. It reads, “This album is dedicated to my cat Jerry—also Tom, Oscar, and Tiffany and all the cat lovers across the universe—screw everybody else!”More Info
As well as his work with Queen, Mercury put out two solo albums and several singles. Although his solo work was not as commercially successful as most Queen albums, the two off-Queen albums and several of the singles debuted in the top 10 of the UK Music Charts. His first solo effort goes back to 1972 under the pseudonym Larry Lurex, when Trident Studios' house engineer Robin Geoffrey Cable was working in a musical project, at the time when Queen were recording their debut album; Cable enlisted Mercury to perform lead vocals on the songs "I Can Hear Music" and "Goin' Back", both were released together as a single in 1973. Eleven years later, Mercury contributed to the Richard "Wolfie" Wolf remix of the song "Love Kills", used as the end title theme for National Lampoon's Loaded Weapon 1. The song was originally recorded in 1984, when it was included on the soundtrack for the restoration of the 1927 Fritz Lang film Metropolis. First written by Giorgio Moroder in collaboration with Mercury, and produced by Moroder and Mack, "Love Kills" debuted at the number 10 position in the UK Singles Chart. Mack also produced the 1987 single "Hold On", which Mercury recorded with actress Jo Dare for the German action drama Zabou.More Info
In the early 1970s, Mercury had a long-term relationship with Mary Austin, whom he met through guitarist Brian May. He lived with Austin for several years in West Kensington, London. By the mid-1970s, he had begun an affair with David Minns, an American record executive at Elektra Records. In December 1976, Mercury told Austin of his sexuality, which ended their romantic relationship. Mercury moved out of the flat they shared, and bought Austin a place of her own nearby his new address of 12 Stafford Terrace, Kensington. While the Stafford Terrace apartment was undergoing renovations, Mercury lived with Minns in Dovehouse Street, Chelsea, London.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
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