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Freddie Mercury

L'indimenticabile Freddie Mercury, leader del gruppo Queen, torna alla ribalta grazie al film biografico Bohemian Rhapsody. In questo video Fergal Kavanagh di Tune into English ripercorre le tappe principali della sua carriera, raccontandoci anche qualche aneddoto singolare sul più grande cantante di tutti i tempi.

Do you know who this is? [singing] "Is this the real life? Is this just fantasy?" Yes, Freddie Mercury, lead singer of Queen, voted the best British band ever by BBC Radio 2 listeners in 2007. That’s better than the Beatles. But Freddie Mercury was not actually born on the British Isles. He was born in Zanzibar, on Stone Island, on September the 5th, 1946. His name was Farrokh Bulsara.
Zanzibar, at the time, was a British colony. Therefore, Freddie Mercury was a British citizen. He studied piano and also sang in a band called The Hectics when he went to school near Bombay in India. Then in 1964, there was terrible political unrest in Zanzibar and he and his family fled to Feltham, which is near London. Then, Freddie studied at the Ealing Art College, where he met lots of musician friends. He joined a few bands. They were called Ibex and Sour Milk Sea.
Then in 1970, he met guitarist, Brian May, and drummer, Roger Taylor, and together, they formed Queen. At the time, he changed his name to Freddie Mercury. He was already known as Freddie when he went to school in India. Mercury was the Roman God of eloquence and messages, which was perfect for a song writer. With bassist, John Deacon, Queen went on to release 15 studio albums and to have number one hits all over the world, including probably the most famous song, Bohemian Rhapsody, which is a six-minute operetta and showcases Freddie Mercury’s impressive four-octave vocal range.
In fact, Roger Daltrey of The Who said that Freddie was the best virtuoso of rock and roll singer of all time. He could sing anything in any style. He could change his style from line to line and God, that’s an art. He was brilliant at it. Freddie was also an incredible showman. To see him in concert was incredible. He gave, probably, the best performance of the day at Live Aid in 1985 with Queen.
In the 1980’s, he also launched his solo career and recorded with the legendary opera singer, Monstserrat Caballé. You can hear his voice soar in [sings] Barcelona. Freddie was sadly taken away from us when he was just 45 years old. In fact, on the 23rd of November 1991, he announced to the press that he was suffering from AIDS and he died the next day. Freddie Mercury, rest in peace.
Some Freddie facts. Freddie had buck teeth. This was because he was born with four extra teeth. In fact, at school his nickname was “bucky”. He never wanted to get them removed, because he was worried it would affect his vocal range. Freddie never married, although he did live with his girlfriend, Mary Austin, for six years until he revealed his bisexuality to her. They remain friends. In fact, he left her a lot of money in his will.
At the time of his death, Freddie was living with his lover, Jim Hutton. He loved cats. In fact, he once had 10 of them and he dedicated his album, Mr. Bad Guy, to them. He was a great friend of Princess Diana. In fact, he used to dress her up as a man to disguise her, so they could go out together without being recognized.