What's your favorite Freddie Mercury song

Freddie Mercury, the legendary Queen singer

With rock anthems like “Bohemian Rhapsody” or “We Are The Champions” he became a world star. Queen frontman Freddie Mercury died on Thursday 25 years ago.

On April 20, 1992, London's Wembley Stadium was transformed into a billowing sea of ​​arms. 72,000 crowded fans - and an estimated one billion television viewers - celebrated with a farewell concert by a world star: Freddie Mercury. The singer of the legendary rock group Queen had died five months earlier. November 24, 1991, marks the 25th anniversary of his death.

The Queen's stadium tours in front of hundreds of thousands of fans are unforgettable. The rather shy and skinny Freddie Mercury transformed himself on stage into a dancing dervish with a naked torso, clenched fist towards the sky and a suggestive whirling microphone stand.

He had his audience completely in his hands, as his biographer Lesley-Ann Jones observed: “That was what he needed, a huge audience that was completely in tune with him. The music freed Freddie. "

No official coming-out

Mercury's personal life was just as extravagant as his rock opera stage shows. "Coming into an empty bedroom is his nightmare," a friend once said of him. Fans and friends puzzled over his sexual orientation - he never said anything himself. Perhaps many conservative supporters would otherwise have turned their backs on it?

But he made hints. In the video for "I Want To Break Free" he stages himself and the band dressed as housewives. And the bombastic, sometimes silly “Bohemian Rhapsody” (1975) is for many his hidden coming-out. Mercury always refused to interpret the song.

Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara on September 5, 1946 in Zanzibar - then British territory, now part of Tanzania. The family of Indian descent sent their eight-year-old son to boarding school in India for a better education. The distance was so long that he could only visit his family by ship once a year.

A revolution broke out in Zanzibar in the early 1960s and Mercury's family fled to a London suburb with a Zoroastrian community. Freddie was good at the time, but ambitious, and soon became part of Swinging London. He discovered Jimi Hendrix, lived out his love of extravagant clothing and opened a stand in the legendary Kensington Market department store.

In 1970 he founded the band Queen with Brian May on guitar and Roger Taylor on drums. Bassist John Deacon joined them later. Their bombastic combination of theatrics and heavy rock blew all genre boundaries. Even so, Mercury downplayed its exotic origins and got as British as possible.

AIDS remained a secret for a long time

Four years later they finally made their international breakthrough with the hit “Killer Queen”. Their comet flight as extremely rich superstars began with rock anthems such as “We Will Rock You”, “Don't Stop Me Now”, “Radio Ga Ga” and “A Kind of Magic”. They filled stadiums around the world, and Freddie in particular became known for his decadent lifestyle.

At the end of the 1980s, Mercury retired to his 24-room luxury villa in the Kensington district and only left his house completely emaciated for visits to the doctor.

The rainbow press speculated, of course, but the 45-year-old only confirmed his AIDS illness on a Saturday in November 1991. "The time has now come for my friends and fans all over the world to know the truth," the musician announced apologized for the secrecy. The next day - November 24, 1991 - Freddie Mercury died of pneumonia.

At the “Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert” at Wembley Stadium, the remaining members of the Queen and world stars such as Metallica, Elton John, David Bowie and Roger Daltrey took to the stage. The proceeds were used to fight AIDS.

Despite being a superstar in his lifetime, Freddie Mercury did not reach the zenith of fame until after his death, and Queen sold more records than ever before.

There are more memories of Freddie Mercury and Queen in Montreux, namely in the museum "Queen: The Studio Experience". Marc Krebs visited this in 2014.