He’s one of the biggest legends of rock and roll, and Freddie Mercury’s life will be front and center when ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ hits theaters. As the world goes gaga over the biopic’s trailer, get to know more about this rock god.
UPDATE: On Jan. 6, 2018, Rami Malek won a Golden Globe for playing Freddie Mercury in Bohemian Rhapsody!
ORIGINAL STORY: The trailer to the long-awaited Queen biopic, Bohemian Rhapsody, dropped on May 15, and the world was once again reminded just how awesome Freddie Mercury was. With Rami Malek, 37, taking on the gigantic task of resurrecting the late singer for the silver screen, it seems the Mr. Robot star did his homework. First impressions have left fans raving. With the movie due for a November release date, HollywoodLife.com is helping you brush up on everything there is to know about the late musician!
1. He was born in Zanzibar before relocating to Britain as a teen. The man who would become Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara in the East African island of Zanzibar, Tanzania in September 1946. The son of Bomie and Jer Bulsara, Parsis from the then-province of Bombay Presidency in British India, Farrokh attended St. Peter’s boarding school where he started taking piano lesson at age 7. At 17, Freddie and his family relocated in Middlesex, England, after fleeing Zanzibar due to the 1964 Zanzibar Revolution. He would start Queen after meeting Roger Taylor and Brian May while he was studying graphic design at the Ealing College of Art.
2. He’s responsible for some of the best hits of all time. With his rock band Queen, Freddie wrote iconic jams like “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Killer Queen”, “Somebody to Love”, “Don’t Stop Me Now”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, and “We Are the Champions,” among others.
3. Freddie died from AIDS-related pneumonia in 1991. “Freddie Mercury was one of the first high-profile stars to die from the disease, and his story and the story of AIDS are, to some extent, inextricably linked,” Somebody To Love co-author Mark Langhorne said, per The Advocate. Rumors that his blood had tested positive began filling the press in 1986. On Nov. 22, 1991, he issued a statement:
“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.” 24 hours after issuing the statement, on Nov. 21, 1991, he passed away at his home in Kensington. He was only 45.
4. He was private with his sexual orientation…sorta? During his time on earth, Freddie never really allied himself to LGBT causes and depending on who you asked, he either kept his sexuality away from the public or lived like he was openly gay. Freddie developed a deep relationship with Mary Austin, a woman from his youth whom he would called the love of his life. When he reportedly told Mary that he was bisexual, after he began having sex with men, she said, “No Freddie, you’re gay.”
5. Freddie has won tons of awards. He was posthumously awarded the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music in 1992, and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001 as a member of Queen. The band has received many other awards and nominations, which you can check out here.
Bohemian Rhapsody is set for a theatrical release on November 2, 2018.