On November 24, 1991, rock singer Freddie Mercury of Queen died at age 45 of pneumonia brought on by AIDS. Here are five 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
Freddie Mercury attended Ealing Art College and held a degree in graphic design and art. He used his talent to design the logo for Queen. The crest he designed for the band is made of the zodiac signs of the whole band—two Leo lions for John Deacon and Roger Taylor, a Cancer crab for Brian May, and two fairies to represent Freddie's Virgo sign. A large “Q” and crown of course represents the band’s name.
He Revealed He Had AIDS The Day Before He Died
Rumors were afloat for several years that Mercury had AIDS because the band had stopped touring, and the singer looked ill. He, along with his manager, announced it the day before he passed away. Mercury was 45 at the time of his death.
He Wrote a Song About His Cat Over the years, Mercury owned at least 10 cats. 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. One of his albums, “Innuendo,” contains a song about his favorite cat, Delilah. He even dedicated his solo album, Mr. Bad Guy to his cats and cat lovers across the world.
A llama Got In The Way Of A Duet With Michael Jackson
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. The two began work on demos for three tracks in Jackson’s home studio in 1983: “There Must Be More to Life Than This,” “State of Shock” and “Victory.” Unfortunately, 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.