Image for Freddie Mercury Lives On

Freddie Mercury Lives On

Written by John Ritchie on September 5, 2011

Twenty years on from his death, Queen frontman Freddie Mercury, the greatest performance artist of his generation, lives on. On what would have been his 65th birthday, the world remembered just how good he was. Web giant Google has set up a tribute, and his Queen band mates decided to stream their 1986 concert Queen – Live At Wembley Stadium on youtube for two days in memory of their legendary frontman.

His Death

Freddie Mercury died in 1991 at the age of 45 after a long battle with HIV. Although rumours circled, Mercury did his best to hide his illness from the public and press in the time leading up to his death. On the 23rd of November 1991 Mercury finally issued a public statement revealing the truth about his illness saying:

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.

He died the next day, the official cause of death was bronchial pneumonia resulting from the destruction HIV had caused to his body.

Mercury’s funeral was held on the 27th of November and a Zoroastrian priest conducted the service. 35 of his close friends and family including Elton John attended the service. He was cremated at Kensal Green Cemetery, West London and the whereabouts of his ashes are only known to his former wife and great friend, Mary Austin.

His Legacy

Queen’s popularity had lagged a bit in the 1980s, but sales of Queen albums went up dramatically in 1992, the year following his death. That, coupled with Bohemian Rhapsody being featured in the movie Wayne’s World, now forever being remembered as a classic movie scene.

As the first major rock star to die from AIDS, it helped bring the disease into the spotlight. The rest of Queen founded The Mercury Phoenix Trust and organised The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness to celebrate the life and legacy of Mercury and raise money for AIDS research.

His last video

The last Queen material Freddie Mercury worked on was the single These Are the Days of Our Lives and the video clip was shot in black and white to hide the full extent of Mercury’s illness. At the end of the song, with a knowing farewell look straight at the camera, Mercury whispers “I still love you” which would become his last words ever recorded on camera.

Watch: Queen – These Are The Days Of Our Lives

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ymLiw8dnHO4

Lyrics

Sometimes I get the feelin’
I was back in the old days – long ago
When we were kids when we were young
Things seemed so perfect – you know
The days were endless we were crazy we were young
The sun was always shinin’ – we just lived for fun
Sometimes it seems like lately – I just don’t know
The rest of my life’s been just a show

Those were the days of our lives
The bad things in life were so few
Those days are all gone now but one thing is true
When I look and I find I still love you

You can’t turn back the clock you can’t turn back the tide
Ain’t that a shame
I’d like to go back one time on a roller coaster ride
When life was just a game
No use in sitting and thinkin’ on what you did
When you can lay back and enjoy it through your kids
Sometimes it seems like lately – I just don’t know
Better sit back and go with the flow

Cos these are the days of our lives
They’ve flown in the swiftness of time
These days are all gone now but some things remain
When I look and I find no change

Those were the days of our lives – yeah
The bad things in life were so few
Those days are all gone now but one thing’s still true
When I look and I find
I still love you

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