On 1 September 2016, an English Heritage blue plaque was unveiled at Mercury's home in 22 Gladstone Avenue in Feltham, west London by his sister Kashmira Cooke and Brian May. Attending the ceremony, Karen Bradley, the UK Secretary of State for Culture, called Mercury "one of Britain's most influential musicians", and added he "is a global icon whose music touched the lives of millions of people around the world". On 24 February 2020 a street in Feltham was renamed Freddie Mercury Close during a ceremony attended by his sister Kashmira. On 5 September 2016, the 70th anniversary of Mercury's birth, asteroid 17473 Freddiemercury was named after him. Issuing the certificate of designation to the "charismatic singer", Joel Parker of the Southwest Research Institute added: "Freddie Mercury sang, 'I'm a shooting star leaping through the sky' — and now that is even more true than ever before." In an April 2019 interview, British rock concert promoter Harvey Goldsmith referred to Mercury as "one of our most treasured talents".
During the 1970s, Everett became advisor and mentor to Mercury and Mercury served as Everett's confidante. Throughout the early- to mid-1980s, they continued to explore their homosexuality and experiment with drugs. Although they were never lovers, they did experience London nightlife together. By 1985, they had fallen out, and their friendship was further strained when Everett was outed in the autobiography of his ex-wife Lady Lee. In 1989, with their health failing, Mercury and Everett were reconciled.More Info
During his career, Mercury's flamboyant stage performances sometimes led journalists to allude to his sexuality. Dave Dickson, reviewing Queen's performance at Wembley Arena in 1984 for Kerrang!, noted Mercury's "camp" addresses to the audience and even described him as a "posing, pouting, posturing tart". In 1992, John Marshall of Gay Times opined: "[Mercury] was a 'scene-queen,' not afraid to publicly express his gayness, but unwilling to analyse or justify his 'lifestyle' […] It was as if Freddie Mercury was saying to the world, 'I am what I am. So what?' And that in itself for some was a statement." In an article for AfterElton, Robert Urban said: "Mercury did not ally himself to 'political outness,' or to LGBT causes."More Info
In 1987, Mercury celebrated his 41st birthday at the Pikes Hotel, Ibiza, several months after discovering that he had contracted HIV. Mercury sought much comfort at the retreat and was a close friend of the owner, Anthony Pike, who described Mercury as "the most beautiful person I've ever met in my life. So entertaining and generous."According to biographer Lesley-Ann Jones, Mercury "felt very much at home there. He played some tennis, lounged by the pool, and ventured out to the odd gay club or bar at night." The birthday party, held on 5 September 1987, has been described as "the most incredible example of excess the Mediterranean island had ever seen", and was attended by some 700 people. A cake in the shape of Gaudi's Sagrada Família was provided for the party. The original cake collapsed and was replaced with a 2-metre-long sponge cake decorated with the notes from Mercury's song "Barcelona". The bill, which included 232 broken glasses, was presented to Queen's manager, Jim Beach. Before his death, Mercury had told Beach, "You can do what you want with my music, but don't make me boring."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
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.More Info
We don't show ads. Help us keep it that way.