On November 24, 1991, rock singer Freddie Mercury of Queen died at age 45 from pneumonia brought on by AIDS. Here are 6 things you might not have known about the Queen frontman...
He Was Not Always Freddie Mercury. In fact, Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara. He did not go by Freddie until he was in a boarding school near Mumbai India, and when Queen was formed in 1970, he finally legally changed his name to Freddie Mercury. He changed his last name to Mercury because of its association with the liquid metal and because the mythological figure was associated with singing.
He Designed Queen’s Logo Mercury’s diploma in Art And Graphic Design from Ealing came in useful, as he designed the logo for Queen after John Deacon completed the line-up with Brian May and Roger Taylor in July 1971. It features the members’ zodiac signs: the two fairies represented Virgo which was Mercury’s, the crab was for Cancer (Brian May), and the two Lions were for Leo (John Deacon and Roger Taylor).
Mercury Worked as a Baggage Handler at Heathrow Airport Before Mercury became famous as the lead singer for Queen, he worked at Heathrow Airport in London as a baggage handler. In commemoration of their famous co-worker, baggage handlers at the airport in 2018 choreographed a tribute to Mercury and his band. They performed “You’ve Got to Break Free” complete with costumes and choreography along with some rather attractive suitcases.
Mercury Nixed a Duet With Michael Jackson Thanks to His Pet llama. Mercury was an admirer of pop superstar Michael Jackson, and when he went solo, he reached out to MJ to work with him for a number of collaborations -- a reworked version of one which appeared on Mr. Bad Guy. The two recorded a duet version of his song “There Must Be More to Life Than This,” but Mercury became upset when Jackson brought his pet llama to the studio. Jim Beech, Queen’s longtime manager, told London's The Times in 2013 that Mercury called him and asked to be picked up, because he was tired of being around the llama.
He’s Was a Cat Person It was even said that at one point, he owned 10 felines! Wait, exactly how much did he love his furry friends? He had portraits of them. And when he was away on tour, he would call them at home. His ex-girlfriend and long-time friend Mary Austin would hold them up to the phone so they can listen to Freddie’s voice. In his solo album, Mr. Bad Guy, he said that it was dedicated “to my cat Jerry—also Tom, Oscar and Tiffany, and all the cat lovers across the universe—screw everybody else”.
He Wanted His Final Resting Place To Be Kept Secret Mercury didn’t want anyone to know where he was buried. Apparently he told his closest friend and previous girlfriend, Mary Austin, where he wanted to be buried, but asked her to keep the location a secret. “He suddenly announced one day after Sunday lunch, ‘I know exactly where I want you to put me. But no one’s to know, because I don’t want anyone to dig me up. I just want to rest in peace.'”