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Freddie Mercury - One Of The Most Talented Male Vocalist In The History Of Recorded Music

Freddie Mercury


Freddie Mercury

Freddie Mercury was one of the most talented male vocalist of the twentieth century, and besides that - he was also one of the most respected and commercially acceptable male vocalist to have ever lived. A lot of people can't truly fathom it here in the Americas, but in England, Freddie's band, Queen, is regarded and adored at levels exceeding that of the band that most Americans would think the English should like best, The Beatles.

Freddie has lived and he has now gone from us - but he left us a legacy to appreciate, and that is what I do. His vocal range surpassed four octaves- technically astounding, his fame - long-standing and undiminished, his league of adoring fans - still growing. One of the very first well known tragedies of the AIDS virus, Freddie Mercury - you were one hell of a talent.

A Very Young Freddie Mercury


The Life Of Freddie Mercury

Farrokh Bulsara (Gujarati: ફારોખ બલ્સારા‌), 5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) - and otherwise known as Freddie Mercury, was born in Tanzania - the least likely of places for a major pop or rock star to be born. Tanzania, of course, is in East Africa, but the family moved to India, and that is where our Freddie would spend the majority of his childhood. At seven years of age Freddie was taking piano lessons, and at eight years of age he was attending a British themed and ran boarding school which would allow him to later on transition to becoming a proper subject of the Queen. Twelve years of age saw the person that would become known as Freddie Mercury - forming a band, clearly his musical inclination was a dominant trait and a dominant paradigm in his life from an early age, and who can argue that he wasn't the natural showman? Well nobody can - that is who.

It was at the British boarding school, St. Peter's, that he'd began to refer to himself and prefer that others call him "Freddie," and of course at such a Western institution the name would stick. He'd transition on upwards in the ladder of education to St. Mary's School, and he'd graduate from there while living with his grandmother and an aunt.

The 1964 Zanzibar Revolution, for whatever reason caused a healthy fear in the lives of the family of the man that would become known to the entire planet as Freddie Mercury, and had they not fled their homes, who can say what may have happened. It is best not to look back - and especially not after success, and the death of the subject, and so no bother about that.

Freddie's family would immigrate to Middlesex, England, and please and thank you for foregoing the jokes about sexual inclinations and the name of the town. Freddie would enrol in college, become a British citizen, graduate from Ealing Art College, - and in time, the entire British Empire and half, or more, of her colonies throughout the world, and then the other nations - would all learn his name, and know that he was an absolutely astounding and talented vocalist with one of the largest ranges of technical ability in singing that the recorded world of music would ever come to know.

Post graduation Freddie would sell second hand clothes at Kensington Market, be a part of two forgotten, except for Freddie's history, local bands, and then he'd meet in 1970 a guitarist that would help them both to become stars forever, Brian May, a man to this day known for the absolutely unique and special sound that he'd conjure from his mix of guitar, equipment, and studio.

Master Vocalist - Freddie Mercury


Freddie Mercury - Selling The Voice

Freddie Mercury knew that he had something special, and so he used what he had to the best of his ability. We each of us have something special about us - gifts from the creator, if you are humble enough to only see it that way, and perhaps Freddie DID see it that way - but regardless, he did use what he had to the best of his ability - and besides a flair for showmanship and song writing, what Freddie Mercury truly had that was above and beyond - special in every way, was his amazing vocal abilities.

Though he spoke naturally in a baritone range of tone - he'd most often sing in tenor. His range was astounding, amazing, and so far as I'm aware, totally unique and that range was extended from an F (F2) to an F (F6). He could belt up to a high F (F5). Now this is technical jargon that most won't understand - but the entire point is that he could hit notes and hold them while singing at highs and lows that nobody else could - and they'd be crystal clear vocal notes...for about as long as he'd decide to hold the notes, and that, my friends, isn't done by anyone, and probably has been done by very few in the past.

Nuances - a subtle little word that belies a great deal. I'm not a big follower of singers, but Freddie Mercury wasn't just some "random singer." The vocals of Freddie Mercury were often so nuanced as to boggle the mind and as Queen's career progressed, he would increasingly alter the highest notes of their songs when live, often harmonising with seconds, thirds or fifths instead. Mercury was said to have "the rawest vocal fold nodules" and claimed never to have had any formal vocal training. Many recordings exist ...and more can be downloaded on the peer to peer file sharing torrent networks. There was exactly one Freddie Mercury, and that is all that there ever will be.

As a song writer, Freddie Mercury excelled too, and he personally penned seventeen of Queen's greatest hits. Some of the most well known and most loved songs in the history of English language recorded music were penned by Freddie, and despite how well we Americans know and love them, the English love them even more, and know a ton of the ones that don't get played here on Rupert Murdoch radio land. Besides all of that, Freddie Mercury wasn't the slightest bit restrained in, well, anything - he'd pen songs in multiple genres, and they'd all wind up good, the dominant accepted labels for styles he'd used included but are not limited to, rockabilly, progressive rock, heavy metal, gospel and disco.

Freddie seemed able to create music that was vastly complex with multitudes of chord changes, and on the same damned album, make hits that were very basic three chord ditties - all of them featuring the explicitly wide vocal gymnastics within the four octaves, and highly nuanced phrasing he'd use.

Freddie Mercury Interview

Freddie Mercury With Mary Austin, And Child


Elaine Page with Freddie Mercury in Montreux


Freddie Mercury With Barbara Valentin


Freddie With Jim Hutton, and a Geisha

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Freddie Mercury -The Performer And In Life

Freddie Mercury was known for his ability to draw in an audience, and solicit their participation his performances- surely, the band Queen was one of the most highly acclaimed stage acts in history, and they'd break world records for concert attendance in South America. What is so hilarious to me about the phenomenon that was Freddie Mercury, is how folks couldn't seem to wrap their heads around the notion that the man was very publicly bisexual. Freddie would say that he was as gay as a daffodil and and even say that he was "tri sexual" - he'd try anything. Perhaps this was just Freddie being a bit of a performer even in interviews, and he didn't do many interviews because his true self was not the personality portrayed on stage - that was business, and artistic expression - and maybe to Freddie it was ....for lack of a better description, similar to an orgasm. When you have got it out of you - you're done for the moment, and can get back to other aspects and complexities of living the human life.

Maybe things were truly different in Western Culture during those years - and Freddie's bisexuality wasn't acceptable at all to the majority of his fans? I don't know how they could have missed it, but people will so often see what they want to see as some sort of defensive mechanism, and that allows them to remain comfortable with their own biases. If that isn't the case - the other thing could be that persons just took from Freddie the impressions and notions that they found to be most positive. I'm not so into being judgemental as I once was myself - and literally, I don't care that Freddie was bisexual.

He loved Mary Austin, and she'd inherit his fortune when he'd die - he'd famously stated that she was his only true friend, and love is timeless, after all. We all do make mistakes, we are only human, and Freddie's libertine ways were a mistake that he'd have to live with, and in the end, die with too. Said Freddie of Mary:

"All my lovers asked me why they couldn't replace Mary [Austin], but it's simply impossible. The only friend I've got is Mary and I don't want anybody else. To me, she was my common-law wife. To me, it was a marriage. We believe in each other, that's enough for me."

So Freddie Mercury was also gay - and how that could have been missed, whatever. I don't know how it wouldn't be apparent after seeing Freddie on stage or in interviews, or actually bothering to listen to the things he'd say, but the criticism for Freddie's silence concerning his HIV positive state is, to me, totally unfair. Freddie came down with AIDS at a time when the public was terrified of it, and how the hell anyone could think that Freddie wasn't also terrified, is beyond me. Of course he knew he was dying, and of course the famous thing about his death was that he'd never told anyone what was wrong with his health until the very day before he'd die. I recall those things myself, but not too well. I was a child then, and homosexuality was the most bizarre notion in the world to me. Mercury was quoted the day before he'd pass as follows:

"Following the enormous conjecture in the press over the last two weeks, I wish to confirm that I have been tested HIV positive and have AIDS. I felt it correct to keep this information private to date to protect the privacy of those around me. However, the time has come now for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth and I hope that everyone will join with me, my doctors, and all those worldwide in the fight against this terrible disease. My privacy has always been very special to me and I am famous for my lack of interviews. Please understand this policy will continue"

I've no political statements to make here. I'm not a bisexual, and I don't care should you be one. I know what it is like to have a female best friend, and so did the great Freddie Mercury, and to me it is touching that Mary had cared for him as best as she could as he was dying and as he'd die. I'm not the biggest Queen fan you'll meet...nowhere near it, but I've got a favourite Queen song, and you'll soon see it. It would be hard to imagine my own childhood without Freddie Mercury having been in it, and the near righteous head bobbing and fist pumping I'd done with Wayne and With Garth, and with Freddie's glorious Bohemian Rhapsody. We've all got a best friend, and and as we are all connected, the following song is my connection to perhaps the male vocalist with the greatest talent and technique in all of history.

Queen - You're My Best Friend!

© 2012 Wesman Todd Shaw


James A Watkins from Chicago on June 11, 2019:

Thank you for this incredible article about perhaps the finest singer there ever was. As you said so well: "His range was astounding, amazing, and so far as I'm aware, totally unique and that range was extended from an F (F2) to an F (F6). He could belt up to a high F (F5). Now this is technical jargon that most won't understand - but the entire point is that he could hit notes and hold them while singing at highs and lows that nobody else could - and they'd be crystal clear vocal notes...for about as long as he'd decide to hold the notes, and that, my friends, isn't done by anyone, and probably has been done by very few in the past."

Angie B Williams from Central Florida, USA on December 03, 2018:

Usually by the time I get around to seeing a movie, it has already made it to TCM, but I always have great intentions.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on December 03, 2018:

Thanks! I usually hate to try to read things from years ago. It always seems like I'm reading the thoughts of someone else entirely. I've deleted, rather stupidly, a LOT of successful pages - because I sometimes get embarrassed by things I was thinking a few years ago.

I've not seen it yet. I will see it though. I'm extremely poor. In other words, I will totally pirate the thing.

Angie B Williams from Central Florida, USA on December 03, 2018:

Great job on this one, from a while back I see.

Have you seen the recent movie about his life and if so, what are your thoughts?

I have not seen the movie, but I've read mixed reviews; some love it, believe it is accurate, while others are very critical of it. I've heard that the movie plays down parts of his personality/sexuality, for example, and many are upset by that.


Media Creeks on September 10, 2016:

Nice Hub. and looking very quite childhood pic of Freddie Mercury .

Boomer Music Man on July 22, 2016:

Freddie Mercury's voice has a range of it's own. He was special. I like your hub and what you wrote about him.

Alan Sharpe from Whitehouse, Texas on January 29, 2015:

I agree, he was one of the all time great vocalists AND performers. His tribute concert showed just how loved and respected he was in the music industry.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on September 18, 2013:

Thanks very much!!!

IslandBites from Puerto Rico on September 18, 2013:

Awesome hub!

Indian on January 06, 2013:

Queen’s lead vocalist Freddie was born in Zanzibar, a Gujarati region in India and his parents were Parsis. His real name was Farrokh Bulsara. Until his mid-teens he was in India. At his school days he formed a band and he used to play piano for that band. When he was 17, his family fled from India to Milldesex, because of 1964 Zanzibar revolution. After his graduation in Art and Graphic design he was involved in selling second-hand clothes to doing a job at Heathrow Airport. During that time he made a couple of failed attempt to establish a band and finally he joined guitarist Brian May, April 1970, and the legendary band Queen came into the history. He died 24 November 1991, at the age of 45 due to bronchial pneumonia caused by AIDS

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on December 26, 2012:

carlajbehr - I will look on Youtube!

The Black Alpaca - LOL! Yeah! Them teeth are a bit much!!!!!

THE BLACK ALPACA on December 26, 2012:

No fan of the teeth but a super fan of the voice and style. One of my favs.

Carla J Swick from NW PA on December 26, 2012:

Wes, we're going to see a band New Year's Eve in Pittsburgh called Foxy Shazam - some say the lead singer reminds them of Freddie - you'll have to google and check it out. Interesting hub!

Kris Oller from Modesto, Ca on December 25, 2012:


Dear Doctor,

Please give us a ride in the TARDIS.

Lots of love,


Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on December 25, 2012:



Kris Oller from Modesto, Ca on December 25, 2012:

If only we had a time machine, and we could go back to see them. That would be great. lol

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on December 25, 2012:

Thanks Kris! I was a bit too young for all that too. Seems like I missed the opportunity ...or never had the opportunity to see most of my favourite bands....all music from the 70's.

Kris Oller from Modesto, Ca on December 24, 2012:

Queen is my single, favorite band of all time. They were amazing ... Freddie was amazing. I just wish that I had been old enough to see them live while they were still touring.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on May 11, 2012:

fpherj48 - RIGHT!

annart - Thanks! I think overlooking differences in favor of admirable traits is most often the way to go!

bethperry - Thanks!! Yes it's a bit of a reach to call someone "greatest," but arranging a few more adjectives can always smooth thing the direction you'd want things to go!

Beth Perry from Tennesee on May 10, 2012:

Very nice article on Freddie. Now I wouldn't call him the greatest vocalist but he had that certain sublime command of voice that few could compare to while he was alive, and even fewer try to wield today.

Voting up.

Ann Carr from SW England on May 06, 2012:

An interesting and thoughtful reminder of one of the greatest 'entertainers' we've ever had. Thank you. I think his great popularity owed much to the fact that he was known as a generous, kind and sensitive person. His voice never ceases to amaze me and I love all the music - we have all of it in our house! I think people overlooked his sexuality because he was regarded as an extrovert showman above all. Voted up and interesting.

Suzie from Carson City on May 05, 2012:

More than likely, he had no biological children. After he died, they'd have lined up at the Funeral Home with DNA samples.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on May 05, 2012:

EFFER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I do not know of Sir Freddie having his own natural children.....but the guy was an all out libertine - so who knows?

Mary ...inherited the biggest part of Freddie's estate...and her oldest was his godchild - tis good to see someone leave the farm where they'd wanted it to go!

Suzie from Carson City on May 02, 2012:

Wes....I have to say that I did like Queen, very much....Bohemian Rhapsody brings back some really special memories of people who played a big part in my life.

I appreciate that you told me so much about Freddy Mercury that I never knew. Thank you. I Like the song you chose for the video too...You're My Best Friend

The picture of Freddy and Mary....would the baby be theirs? Does he have children? Since you didn't mention any, I figure he did not have any. UP +++

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on May 02, 2012:

EuroCafeAuLait Oh but I bet you can get that with Frostwire, or something like that!!!!!! :)

Anastasia Kingsley from Croatia, Europe on May 02, 2012:

Hi, Wes, thought of something else. Once I moved to Europe, a coworker and I were discussing Queen songs - that his favorite was "Barcelona" Huh? Turns out you can't get it in the USA! He did a fantastic duet with a legendary opera singer... now if I could only remember her name - begins with an M. Something to watch for. Best,

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on May 02, 2012:

Peggy when you are done with yours - come back and drop a link to it in my comments, and then I'll add in the statue picture, and a link capsule to your page :)

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 02, 2012:

OK...consider it done!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on May 02, 2012:

Peggy W - Thanks very much!!! You can always link to my stuff when you find a reason to. I saw pictures of that statue...I might possible edit that into this thing.

If I do...then that would give me a good opportunity to link back to you that way.

Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on May 02, 2012:


I would like to add a link regarding this hub to my "Vacation in Switzerland ~ Photos of Montreux, Swiss Alps and Lake Geneva" hub if you approve. That is where I got to see a looming statue of Freddie Mercury on the banks of Lake Geneva. I found his history to be very interesting, and obviously his ties to that area and the band, Queen, have left a legacy. Your hub will add additional information. I liked that last song in the video very much. He certainly had a great voice! Voted up and interesting.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on May 02, 2012:

EuroCafeAuLait - I love ironic things like that, when they happen. Unless I'm half tossed off, of course, then that sort of irony scares me.

I don't think the common law wife thing was "official," but I might be wrong about that.

Thanks very much for reading and approving!

Anastasia Kingsley from Croatia, Europe on May 02, 2012:

Hi WTS - Great hub, I never knew of his real name until now, nor that he'd had a common law wife. Ironically, "We are the Champions" were playing on the radio when I read this. Thumbs up, ECAL

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on May 02, 2012:

one2get2no - Thanks Very Much!!! I learned a lot in the researching - I'd just always assumed that his family had always lived in England, not so!

Philip Cooper from Olney on May 02, 2012:

Superb hub and I agree with you. Freddie was a great singer and Queen were one of the best bands ever. Voted up!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on May 02, 2012:

breakfastpop - Thanks very much!!!!!!!!! I can't even type "breakfastpop" without getting my hungry on!!!!!!!!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on May 02, 2012:

Billy - BRAD DELP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yeah that is a great one there!!!!!!!!!

I had a hub about Brad...but I deleted it because it was terrible. You might have inspired me to do another better one!

breakfastpop on May 02, 2012:

Loved tis hub and I adored Freddie Mercury. What an enormous talent. Up and interesting and awesome too!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 02, 2012:

The lead singer for Boston...and my mind has gone blank and I can't think of his name....he might have been close.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on May 02, 2012:

Thanks Billy!!! Strangely enough, the only guy I can think of that had a vocal talent in comparabilities would be Ronnie James Dio...who probably had nowhere near the range that Freddie had, and was a vastly different sort of singer. I can't think of anyone else...but I'd have to research a bit .

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on May 02, 2012:

The voice was truly unique, the talent unbelievable and this is a great tribute to a singer, the like of which, we may never see again. Fantastic hub!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on May 02, 2012:

Jason Marovich - Thanks!!!

I think that is absolutely right - I think great music most definitely enhances people's lives - just think of all the Indians that could look at him and see that we "Western World" folks loved Freddie, so that had to have helped a lot of the others living among us all.

Of course there are dozens of other examples, and that was only one of the ways Freddie's music was positive.

Jason F Marovich from Detroit on May 02, 2012:

Freddie Mercury is a great example of why we should never judge anyone's form of expression (in this case, music) by anything other than what it is - entertainment. His music enhanced many lives, his character onstage was unforgettable, and he rose above politics to keep the focus of his illness where it should have been, on finding a cure for AIDS. I'm still a big fan.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on May 02, 2012:

Theeyeballkid - Thanks Very Much!!! I'd do well to hit a peer to peer network and download at least the "greatest hits" package, there will probably be half the songs that I can't recall off the top of my head, or maybe even never knew.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on May 02, 2012:

Thanks Chris!!! I sure think so too. I wouldn't think it was anyone's business but my own who I was sleeping with and who I wasn't, and what sort of physical ailments I'd had for any reason.

If that guy owed "the homosexual community" anything at all...damned if I know what it is. I'd figure that they owed HIM, if anything.

Theeyeballkid on May 02, 2012:

Great hub!! You have really done his life and music justice with this one.

Where I was growing up Queen were far and away the biggest band at the time. Incredible to look back at all the hits they wrote, the hits just kept coming, write up till the final days.

I was never their biggest fan either, but the song "these are the days of our lives" always gets me a little teary eyed, I have to admit.

Christopher Antony Meade from Gillingham Kent. United Kingdom on May 02, 2012:

Great stuff Wesman. He was right to keep his private affairs as he did. We are all entitled to some privacy.

His voice will make hiom immortal. That is all that should count.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on May 02, 2012:

Nat Amaral - Thanks very much!!! I'm such a poor singer that ...vocals are just beyond me, but they sure posed no problems for Freddie!!!! Dang he could hit some notes!

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on May 02, 2012:

Nickalooch - I don't know the song "One vision." I might have to find that on the Youtube.

Led Zeppelin is one of my very favourite bands - and Robert Plant might be one of my very favourite singers. I'd listened to so much Zeppelin as a teen that ...I burned it through my brain.

Nat Amaral from BC Canada on May 02, 2012:

Very well researched and well written. You wrote it correctly; Freddie Mercury sure knew how to sing, and Queen was a talented band.

Nick from MD on May 02, 2012:

Fat Bottomed Girls, One Vision, Bohemian Rhapsody were some of my favorites for sure. Im a younger guy, 23, but I love classic rock personally. Led Zeppelin is another one of my favorites.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on May 02, 2012:

Nickalooch - Thanks very much!!! You know, I'm truly sort of ignorant about the music of Queen...I've only really ever heard their hits as played on American classic rock radio...I'll bet they've got a lot of music that I'd enjoy if I only knew about it.

Nick from MD on May 02, 2012:

Queen is up there as one of my favorite bands, but can't say they are my favorite. He had a very unique voice though, I don't think anyone can dispute that. Great hub though man.

Wesman Todd Shaw (author) from Kaufman, Texas on May 02, 2012:

Thank You, Georgie!

He wasn't my favourite vocalist...but then again I don't think I've ever had a favourite vocalist.

Queen wasn't and isn't my favourite band either - but I've always liked them, and I like Freddie Mercury ...he just seemed like a nice guy.

Georgie Lowery from North Florida on May 01, 2012:

Freddie Mercury was as good as they get. Great hub!

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