Freddie Mercury

The life of one of the world's most versatile musicians

6 November 1946

Freddie Mercury Graces the Earth

Freddie Mercury was born on November 5, 1946. The singer-songwriter who later became one of the most versatile and engaging entertainers in the world of rock was born in Stone Town, Zanzibar (Tanzania). Freddie’s father was a cashier at the British Colonial Office.

2 January 1953

Freddie Developed a Liking for the Piano

Freddie began taking piano lessons in 1953. 

2 September 1954

Freddie Attends St. Peter’s Boarding School

In 1954, Freddie Mercury was sent to St. Peter’s Boarding School. The school was in Panchgani, Maharashtra, India. 

2 January 1958

‘The Hectics’ is Formed

While in school, Freddie formed a school band that went by the name ‘The Hectics’. The band’s primary work revolved around playing covers of popular songs. It was during this time that the singer started to use the Christian name, Freddie. 

13 January 1964

The Zanzibar Revolution

On January 12, 1964, Freddie and his family had to leave Zanzibar due to the Zanzibar Revolution. The family escaped to England. While in England, Freddie and his relatives resided in Feltham.

2 September 1968

Smile is Formed

Freddie attended Isleworth Polytechnic (West Thames College) in 1964 and then attended Ealing Art College in 1966. The young musician formed a group called Smile with fellow art student Tim Staffell and an astronomy student Brian May. 

2 January 1969

Freddie Joins Ibex

Freddie caught the attention of the Liverpool band Ibex. Freddie moved to Liverpool to be a member of the band. While in Liverpool, the singer lived in a flat. 

19 July 1970

The Birth of Queen

Freddie eventually left Ibex because the group was not doing well. He moved on to another group called Sour Milk Sea. This group also failed. Freddie then encouraged the band Smile to change their name to Queen early in 1970. The group made their first performance under the new name on July 18, 1970.

2 March 1971

Queen’s Demo Tape

‘Liar’, ‘Keep Yourself Alive’, ‘The Night Comes Down’, and ‘Jesus’ was compiled by the group into their first demo tape. The group zealously sent the demo to several recording companies. None of the companies that received the four-track demo responded favorably to the group. 

2 January 1972

Queen Signs to Trident Studios

Trident Studios took interest in the group and ultimately signed them in 1972. The group was managed by Neptune Productions. Neptune Productions was a subsidiary of Trident Studios. The group recorded their new records at Trident Studios.

2 January 1973

Queen Signs with EMI

As the group’s fame continued to increase, they caught the attention of EMI. The group landed a recording deal with EMI in 1973.

14 July 1973

Queen’s Debut Album

The group released their first studio album on July 13, 1973. The album was titled ‘Queen’. The album received much success as it made it to number 83 in the United States and 47 in the United Kingdom.

9 March 1974

“Queen II” is Released

Following the great success of the group’s debut album, the group released a second album entitled “Queen II”. The project reached number 5 on the charts in the United Kingdom and number 49 in the United States. The second album from the group far surpassed the success of their first release. Shortly after releasing this album, the group started a tour of America as a supporting act to Mott The Hoople. 

9 November 1974

Queen Releases ‘Sheer Heart Attack’

The group released ‘Sheer Heart Attack’ on November 8, 1974. This album made its way to number 2 on the UK charts and number 12 in the US. This project received tremendous support from the fans of the popular group.

2 May 1975

Freddie Mercury Receives Ivor Novello Award

The song ‘Killer Queen’ was well received by the world. It led to Freddie Mercury receiving the Ivor Novello Award in May 1975.

1 November 1975

Freddie Writes and Releases ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’

Freddie wrote ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ for the group. It was criticized for its length of 5 minutes and 55 seconds. The group was told that no one would play a song that long. Freddie shared the song with his close friend, DJ Kenny Everett. Everett was told not to play the song, but he did. After playing it, many other radio stations did the same. The song was officially released on October 31, 1975.

22 November 1975

Queen Releases ‘A Night At The Opera’

The group released ‘A Night At The Opera’ on November 21, 1975. The album reached number 1 on the charts in the United Kingdom and number 4 on the charts in the United States.

2 December 1976

Freddie Ends Relationship with Mary Austin

Freddie Mercury broke up with Mary Austin in December 1976. He moved on to form a relationship with a male employee at Elektra Records. While the intimate relationship with Mary ended in 1976, the two remained friends for the rest of the singer’s life.

11 December 1976

Queen Releases ‘A Day At The Races’

Queen released ‘A Day At The Races’ on December 10, 1976. This album made it to number 1 in the United Kingdom and number 5 in the United States.

29 October 1977

‘News of The World’ is Released

Queen released ‘News of The World’ on October 28, 1977. The album made it to number 4 in the United Kingdom and number 3 in the United States.

11 November 1978

‘Jazz’ is Released

Queen released ‘Jazz’ on November 10, 1978. The album was very successful, reaching number 2 in the United Kingdom and number 6 in the United States.

30 April 1985

Freddie Released His First Solo Album

After releasing many more albums with Queen, Freddie Mercury released his first solo album on April 29, 1985. The album was titled ‘Mr. Bad Guy’. The album reached number 6 in the United Kingdom; unfortunately, the album did not perform well in the United States. Freddie would move on to make many more projects with Queen.

2 April 1987

Freddie is Diagnosed with AIDS

Freddie Mercury was diagnosed with AIDS in April 1987. The singer kept this diagnosis from the public.

25 November 1991

Freddie Mercury Dies

After denying being ill for years, Freddie finally announced that he had AIDS on November 23, 1991. The singer died the day after of bronchial pneumonia, which developed as a complication of AIDS.