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."
Throughout his career, Mercury performed an estimated 700 concerts in countries around the world with Queen. A notable aspect of Queen concerts was the large scale involved. He once explained, "We're the Cecil B. DeMille of rock and roll, always wanting to do things bigger and better." The band was the first ever to play in South American stadiums, breaking worldwide records for concert attendance in the Morumbi Stadium in São Paulo in 1981. In 1986, Queen also played behind the Iron Curtain when they performed to a crowd of 80,000 in Budapest, in what was one of the biggest rock concerts ever held in Eastern Europe. Mercury's final live performance with Queen took place on 9 August 1986 at Knebworth Park in England and drew an attendance estimated as high as 160,000. With the British national anthem "God Save the Queen" playing at the end of the concert, Mercury's final act on stage saw him draped in a robe, holding a golden crown aloft, bidding farewell to the crowd.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
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
In 1981–1983 Mercury recorded several tracks with Michael Jackson, including a demo of "State of Shock", "Victory", and "There Must Be More to Life Than This". None of these collaborations were officially released at the time, although bootleg recordings exist. Jackson went on to record the single "State of Shock" with Mick Jagger for the Jacksons' album Victory. Mercury included the solo version of "There Must Be More To Life Than This" on his Mr. Bad Guy album. "There Must Be More to Life Than This" was eventually reworked by Queen and released on their compilation album Queen Forever in 2014. In addition to working with Michael Jackson, Mercury and Roger Taylor sang on the title track for Billy Squier's 1982 studio release, Emotions in Motion and later contributed to two tracks on Squier's 1986 release, Enough Is Enough, providing vocals on "Love is the Hero" and musical arrangements on "Lady With a Tenor Sax".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
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