Born Farrokh Bulsara in 1946, Freddie Mercury made a name for himself as one of the greatest frontmen in rock history as the lead singer and lyricist for Queen. In 1991, he passed away at 45 from broncopneumonia brought on by AIDS, one day after announcing he suffered from the disease. He would have turned 65 on Sept. 5.
To celebrate his legacy, NewsFeed brings you five videos to honor the rock god.
“Bohemian Rhapsody,” one of Queen’s enduring hits, is known for its vocal audacity. Mercury dubbed his vocals over one another to form an operatic chorus. The song saw a second life when Mike Myers and Dana Carvey rocked out to the tune in Wayne’s World.
In 1975, Mercury achieved one of his lifelong dreams by performing “Bohemian Rhapsody” with the Royal Ballet at the Royal Coliseum.
Though Queen’s commercial success saw a decline in the early 1980s, their profile was raised during their 1985 performance at Live Aid. Mercury captivated the packed Wembley Stadium in what some have called one of the best live performances of all time. Below, see nearly 100,000 fans clap their hands in unison to “Radio Ga Ga,” and then watch a documentary clip about the show here.
Queen’s final concert with Freddie Mercury as lead singer was in 1986 at Knebworth Park in the U.K.
On April 20, 1992, the surviving members of Queen held a tribute concert for their departed frontman. The show, held at Wembley stadium, featured a packed lineup of celebrity guests. Here, Elton John sings Queen’s “The Show Must Go On,” a chilling tribute to Mercury.
Another way to celebrate Mercury’s legacy is to participate in Freddie for a Day, a worldwide event created by the Mercury Phoenix Trust, a foundation set up in Mercury’s name to fight HIV and AIDS. The foundation urges fans to dress as Mercury (or at least wear his mustache) for the day, as well as donate to their cause. Find out more here.