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Freddie Mercury’s Birthday: ‘I Won’t Be a Rock Star. I Will Be a Legend’

Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar in 1946 under the name of Farrokh Bulsara. His family led a modest life and had to flee to England in the wake of political turmoil in the 1960s.

Pictured in the photo above: Kashmira Cooke, Freddie Mercury's sister, glances at a portrait of her brother during a photo exhibition in Bombay.

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Freddie Mercury was born in Zanzibar in 1946 under the name of Farrokh Bulsara. His family led a modest life and had to flee to England in the wake of political turmoil in the 1960s.

Pictured in the photo above: Kashmira Cooke, Freddie Mercury's sister, glances at a portrait of her brother during a photo exhibition in Bombay.

CC BY 2.0 / Carl Lender / Queen

During his school years, Mercury started his first-ever rock band, The Hectics, which existed for 4 years. Surprisingly, Freddie was the group's pianist.

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During his school years, Mercury started his first-ever rock band, The Hectics, which existed for 4 years. Surprisingly, Freddie was the group's pianist.

© AFP 2023

After moving to England, Freddie Mercury teamed up with musicians from the rock band called Smile. He insisted on rebranding it to Queen.

Pictured in the photo above: John Deacon, Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor, and Brian May pose after receiving a British Phonographic Institute Platinum, Gold and Silver award for record sales in London on September 8, 1976.

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After moving to England, Freddie Mercury teamed up with musicians from the rock band called Smile. He insisted on rebranding it to Queen.

Pictured in the photo above: John Deacon, Freddie Mercury, Roger Taylor, and Brian May pose after receiving a British Phonographic Institute Platinum, Gold and Silver award for record sales in London on September 8, 1976.

© AFP 2023 / Timothy A. Clary

Freddie Mercury designed the group's logo – a crown and the Zodiac signs of its musicians.

Pictured in the photo above: The signature crown of British singer-songwriter Freddie Mercury is displayed during the media preview for Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own. The Evening Sale at Sotheby’s in New York City on June 1, 2023.

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Freddie Mercury designed the group's logo – a crown and the Zodiac signs of its musicians.

Pictured in the photo above: The signature crown of British singer-songwriter Freddie Mercury is displayed during the media preview for Freddie Mercury: A World of His Own. The Evening Sale at Sotheby’s in New York City on June 1, 2023.

© AFP 2023 / Jean-Claude Coutausse

At that time he decided to change his surname from Farrokh Bulsara to Freddie Mercury for he believed Mercury to be his patron planet.

Pictured in the photo above: Freddie Mercury performing at the Palais Omnisports in 1984.

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At that time he decided to change his surname from Farrokh Bulsara to Freddie Mercury for he believed Mercury to be his patron planet.

Pictured in the photo above: Freddie Mercury performing at the Palais Omnisports in 1984.

CC BY-SA 4.0 / Unknown author / Freddie Mercury u. Barbara Valentin in der Dt. Eiche München (cropped photo)

After the “Killer Queen” single written by Mercury in 1974, the band found itself in the limelight. The single reached number two on the British charts. The tune is about a rich and beautiful yet spoiled woman.

Pictured in the photo above: Freddie Mercury and his friend, German actress Barbara Valentin.

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After the “Killer Queen” single written by Mercury in 1974, the band found itself in the limelight. The single reached number two on the British charts. The tune is about a rich and beautiful yet spoiled woman.

Pictured in the photo above: Freddie Mercury and his friend, German actress Barbara Valentin.

© Photo : Public domain

In 1975, Queen releases its signature song – "Bohemian Rhapsody" – a six-minute suite, which was put together by Mercury during the early 1960s – long before the band was created.

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In 1975, Queen releases its signature song – "Bohemian Rhapsody" – a six-minute suite, which was put together by Mercury during the early 1960s – long before the band was created.

© AP Photo / Chris Pizzello

The hit "Bohemian Rhapsody" remained vague, since Mercury never explained its meaning, though he always used to say that it was about relationships.

Pictured in the photo above: An image of Freddie Mercury appears on-screen as Brian May (L) and Adam Lambert perform at the Oscars on February 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

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The hit "Bohemian Rhapsody" remained vague, since Mercury never explained its meaning, though he always used to say that it was about relationships.

Pictured in the photo above: An image of Freddie Mercury appears on-screen as Brian May (L) and Adam Lambert perform at the Oscars on February 24, 2019, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles.

© AFP 2023 / Jean-Claude Coutausse

In the mid-1980s, Mercury was diagnosed with HIV – a disease that was incurable at that time. He struggled with it for years while continuing his work.

A file picture taken on September 18, 1984, showing Freddie Mercury and bass player John Deacon during a concert at the Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy (POPB).

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In the mid-1980s, Mercury was diagnosed with HIV – a disease that was incurable at that time. He struggled with it for years while continuing his work.

A file picture taken on September 18, 1984, showing Freddie Mercury and bass player John Deacon during a concert at the Palais Omnisports de Paris Bercy (POPB).

© AP Photo / Martin Cleaver

He collaborated with operatic soprano Montserrat Caballe to create a studio album called Barcelona. The music was chosen as the theme for the 1992 Summer Olympics in the city of Barcelona, Spain.

Pictured in the photo above: Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

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He collaborated with operatic soprano Montserrat Caballe to create a studio album called Barcelona. The music was chosen as the theme for the 1992 Summer Olympics in the city of Barcelona, Spain.

Pictured in the photo above: Freddie Mercury and Montserrat Caballe at the Royal Albert Hall in London.

© AP Photo / Shizuo Kambayashi

Practically on his deathbed, Freddie Mercury composes his legendary tune the Show Must Go On, where he reflects on his achievements and vows to work until the very end.

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Practically on his deathbed, Freddie Mercury composes his legendary tune the Show Must Go On, where he reflects on his achievements and vows to work until the very end.

© AFP 2023 / Anthony Wallace

Freddie Mercury died of AIDS in 1991, yet his glory has endured, and his legacy and immeasurable musical influence lives on.

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Freddie Mercury died of AIDS in 1991, yet his glory has endured, and his legacy and immeasurable musical influence lives on.

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