20 years without the KILLER QUEEN, Remembering Freddie Mercury
The British rockers, marking their 40th anniversary this year, are among the world’s biggest-selling artists ever – with most of their sales coming in the 20 years since Mercury died.
Queen’s guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor are busier than ever and Mercury’s songs such as “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “Don’t Stop Me Now” still endure as classics.
The Independent on Sunday newspaper said the singer’s death “seemed a mere hiccup in his career”.
In the years since, Mercury’s stock has risen, with a new generation of artists citing Queen among their influences, including Lady Gaga, Robbie Williams, Foo Fighters and Muse.
Mercury, 45, died at his London home on November 24, 1991. He had been diagnosed HIV positive several years earlier and died of bronchial pneumonia, brought on by AIDS.
Queen’s lead singer is remembered for his captivating live performances, spellbinding vocals and enduring hits including “We Are The Champions”, “Killer Queen”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”.
With interest still high, a film about Mercury, starring Borat creator Sacha Baron Cohen, is in the pipeline, focusing on the years leading up to Queen’s stellar performance at the Live Aid concert in 1985.
“Even though physically he is not here, his presence seems more potent than ever,” May wrote in a blog marking Mercury’s 65th birthday in September.
“He will always epitomise the perfect frontman – the consummate channel of communication between a band and an audience.
“He devoured life. He celebrated every minute. And, like a great comet, he left a luminous trail which will sparkle for many a generation to come.”
In a statement on November 23, 1991, Mercury confirmed from his death bed that he had AIDS.
Within 24 hours he had fallen into a coma and passed away, having handled his illness in private and never complained of his suffering.
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