Despite his being dead for nearly 25 years, Freddie Mercury is still one of the most recognizable names in the music industry. The lead singer of Queen had an iconic voice, and nobody could deny his talent. However, despite all the information that has surfaced about Mercury since his death, there are still some things that many people don’t know about him. With that in mind, here we present our list of 15 things you probably didn’t know about Freddie Mercury.
15: He Designed the Queen Crest Himself. Mercury had a degree in art and graphic design from Ealing Art College, and he actually designed Queen’s emblem on his own. The crest is designed with the zodiac themes of the entire band.
14: 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, and when Queen was formed in 1970, he finally legally changed his name to Freddie Mercury.
13: He Was a Zoroastrian. Mercury’s family, which included his parents and one sister, practiced the Zoroastrian religion. Though Mercury had not been practicing at the time of his death, his funeral was still presided over by a Zoroastrian priest.
12: He Was Born in Zanzibar. Mercury’s family was in Zanzibar so his dad could continue working at the British Colonial Office.
11: He Had an Incredible Range. Mercury’s range was reportedly nearly four octaves. To put that in perspective, Mariah Carey has a range of five octaves. Though Mercury spoke in the baritone range, he sang as a tenor most of the time.
10: He Was Close With His Ex-Girlfriend. Mercury had a long-term girlfriend named Mary Austin in the early 1970s. Though they eventually broke up, he called her his closest friend, and he even wrote “Love of My Life” about her. Mercury was the godfather of Austin’s first son, and much of his money was left to her when he died.
09: He Was Very Shy. Though Mercury was a charming and expressive performer, he was reportedly very shy in real life, which is part of the reason he rarely gave interviews.
08: He Announced He Had AIDS the Day Before He Died. Though many people had been speculating about Mercury’s health and general condition because of his slim appearance, he did not actually announce that he had AIDS until one day before he died.
07: He Loved Cats. At one time, it was rumored that Mercury had 10 cats at the same time. He wrote an entire album dedicated to his cats, and the album was called Mr. Bad Guy. His song mentioning “Delilah” is about his cat.
06: He Was Known for Using the Bottomless Mic. During a performance, Mercury was mid-song when the mic stand he was using snapped in half. However, he didn’t feel like waiting to have it replaced, so he just used it that way. He reportedly liked it so much that he continued to perform with the half mic.
05: He Was an Amazing Songwriter. Mercury wrote “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Are The Champions,” and “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.” He even reportedly wrote “Crazy Little Thing Called Love” in the bathtub!
04: He Was a Genre Bender. Mercury obviously worked with rock and roll as part of Queen, but he also finished a solo opera album with Montserrat Caballe and wrote his own disco-inspired album. The disco-inspired album, titled Mr. Bad, was reportedly influenced by Mercury’s experience in the clubbing scene in New York.
03: He Collaborated With Michael Jackson. However, the songs were never released. This is reportedly because Jackson decided to bring a llama into the recording studio.
02: He Did Not Like Comparing Himself to Other Songwriters. Mercury once said, “I don’t like to write message songs, I’m not like a John Lennon or Stevie Wonder.” Interestingly, Mercury’s most popular songs are the ones he wrote about finding love.
01: His Last Appearance in Front of an Audience Was in 1990. Mercury’s last ever appearance in front of an audience was at the Brit Awards in 1990. He appeared in front of an audience to accept the award that Queen had won for Outstanding Contribution to Music.