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Freddie Mercury is remembered today as a musical legend, a phenomenal force of nature who captivated the world as the flamboyant frontman of Queen.
True to his name, his personality was mercurial – on stage he was a born performer, a dazzling extrovert who oozed sex appeal and loved to play provocatively with his audience. But he was far more guarded behind the scenes, revealing only to his closest friends a gentle shyness and a vulnerability that was all-too human.
Whether he was in or out of the spotlight his charisma was unmatched, and to this day there’s never been anyone quite like Freddie Mercury. On the 30th anniversary of Freddie Mercury’s untimely death, here he is in his own words.
1. On living life to the fullest
“The most important thing is to live a fabulous life. As long as it’s fabulous I don’t care how long it is.”
2. On his many creative influences
“I’m just a musical prostitute, my dear.”
3. On heartbreak
“I am a romantic, but I do put up a barrier around myself, so it is hard for people to get in and to know the real me. I fall in love much too quickly and that results in me getting badly hurt. The problem with love is that you lose control and that is a very vulnerable state to be in. I would love to really have a beautiful relationship with somebody, but it never seems to work out. What I would like most of all is to be in a state of blissful love.”
4. Freddie Mercury on his unique sense of style
“I dress to kill, but tastefully.”
5. On the meaning behind his lyrics
“Does it mean this, does it mean that, that’s all anybody wants to know. I’d say what any decent poet would say if anyone dared ask him to analyse his work: if you see it, darling, then it’s there!”
6. On the power of music
“I love the fact that I can make people happy, in any form. Even if it’s just an hour of their lives, if I can make them feel lucky or make them feel good, or bring a smile to a sour face, that to me is worthwhile.”
7. Freddie Mercury on naming the band
“I thought up the name Queen early on. It couldn’t have been King; it doesn’t have the same ring or aura as Queen. It was a very regal name and it sounded splendid. It’s strong, very universal, and immediate. It had a lot of visual potential and was open to all sorts of interpretations.
“I feel that the name Queen actually fitted that time. It lent itself to a lot of things, like the theatre, and it was grand. It was very pompous, with all kinds of connotations. It meant so much. It wasn’t just one precise label. I was certainly aware of the gay connotations, but that was just one facet of it.”
8. On fame
“I always knew I was a star. And now, the rest of the world seems to agree with me.”
9. On death
“I don’t expect to make old bones, and what’s more I don’t really care. I certainly don’t have any aspirations to live to 70. It would be so boring. I will be dead and gone long before that. I won’t be here… as far as I’m concerned, I’ve lived a full life and if I’m dead tomorrow, I don’t give a damn. I’ve lived. I really have done it all.”
10. Freddie Mercury on Freddie Mercury
“The reason we’re successful, darling? My overall charisma, of course.”