Farrokh Bulsara, 5 September 1946, Stone Town, Zanzibar, Tanzania, d. 24 November 1991, London, England. Best known as the flamboyant lead singer of the multi-million selling UK rock band Queen, Mercury also branched out into extra-curricular musical activities. In 1973, while Queen was about to release its debut album, Mercury recorded a revival of the Beach Boys I Can Hear Music under the glam rock name Larry Lurex. It was not until late 1984 that he again attempted a solo work, this time with the UK Top 20 hit Love Kills, from the new Giorgio Moroder soundtrack to Fritz Langs Metropolis. A second solo single, I Was Born To Love You, reached the UK Top 20 early the next year. A solo album and some lowly-placed solo singles followed.
In 1986, Mercury contributed some tracks to the cast recording of Dave Clarks musical Time. His greatest solo success, however, came in 1987, with a kitsch revival of the Platters The Great Pretender, which reached the UK Top 5. Later that year, Mercury emphasized his love of opera by teaming up with Monserrat Caballe for the grandiloquent Barcelona, another Top 10 success. An album of the same title was also successful and, in late 1988, the operatic duo played a major show at the Avinguda De Maria Cristina Stadium in Barcelona. Mercury retained a low profile thereafter, and, following much speculation over his health, in November 1991 he finally admitted that he was suffering from AIDS. Within 48 hours, on 24 November, he died from bronchial pneumonia at his Knightsbridge home. A major concert was arranged in April 1992 at Londons Wembley stadium. Known as the Freddy Mercury Aids Benefit, it attracted the largest ever worldwide viewing audience when televised live.
Source: The Encyclopedia of Popular Music by Colin Larkin. Licensed from Muze.