As the first major rock star to die of AIDS, Mercury's death represented an important event in the history of the disease. In April 1992, the remaining members of Queen founded The Mercury Phoenix Trust and organised The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness, to celebrate the life and legacy of Mercury and raise money for AIDS research, which took place on 20 April 1992. The Mercury Phoenix Trust has since raised millions of pounds for various AIDS charities. The tribute concert, which took place at London's Wembley Stadium for an audience of 72,000, featured a wide variety of guests including Robert Plant (of Led Zeppelin), Roger Daltrey (of the Who), Extreme, Elton John, Metallica, David Bowie, Annie Lennox, Tony Iommi (of Black Sabbath), Guns N' Roses, Elizabeth Taylor, George Michael, Def Leppard, Seal, Liza Minnelli, and U2 (via satellite). Elizabeth Taylor spoke of Mercury as "an extraordinary rock star who rushed across our cultural landscape like a comet shooting across the sky". The concert was broadcast live to 76 countries and had an estimated viewing audience of 1 billion people. The Freddie For A Day fundraiser on behalf of the Mercury Phoenix Trust takes place every year in London, with supporters of the charity including Monty Python comedian Eric Idle, and Mel B of the Spice Girls.
Some have continued to refer to Mercury as bisexual; for example, regarding the creation of Celebrate Bisexuality Day, Wendy Curry said: "We were sitting around at one of the annual bi conventions, venting and someone – I think it was Gigi – said we should have a party. We all loved the great bisexual, Freddie Mercury. His birthday was in September, so why not Sept? We wanted a weekend day to ensure the most people would do something. Gigi's birthday was September 23rd. It fell on a weekend day, so, poof! We had a day." The Advocate said in May 2018, "Closeted throughout his life, Mercury, who was bisexual, engaged in affairs with men but referred to a woman he loved in his youth, Mary Austin, as 'the love of his life,' according to the biography Somebody to Love: The Life, Death, and Legacy of Freddie Mercury." Additionally, according to an obituary Mercury was a "self-confessed bisexual".More Info
A statue in Montreux, Switzerland, by sculptor Irena Sedlecká, was erected as a tribute to Mercury. It stands almost 10 feet (3 metres) high overlooking Lake Geneva and was unveiled on 25 November 1996 by Mercury's father and Montserrat Caballé, with bandmates Brian May and Roger Taylor also in attendance. Beginning in 2003 fans from around the world have gathered in Switzerland annually to pay tribute to the singer as part of the "Freddie Mercury Montreux Memorial Day" on the first weekend of September. The Bearpark And Esh Colliery Band played at the Freddie Mercury statue on 1 June 2010.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
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
The British press pursued the rumours over the next few years, fueled by Mercury's increasingly gaunt appearance, Queen's absence from touring, and reports from former lovers to tabloid journals. By 1990, rumours about Mercury's health were rife. At the 1990 Brit Awards held at the Dominion Theatre, London, on 18 February, Mercury made his final appearance on stage when he joined the rest of Queen to collect the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music. Towards the end of his life, he was routinely stalked by photographers. The Sun featured a series of articles claiming that he was ill; a front-page from November 1990 featured an image of a haggard Mercury with the headline "It's official — Freddie is seriously ill".More Info
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