GMB: Brian May remembers Freddie Mercury's final days
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On November 23, Freddie Mercury issued a statement regarding his condition, confirming speculation he had tested positive for Aids. He said: “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.”
When did Freddie Mercury die?
Freddie Mercury died on November 24, 1991, at the age of just 45.
This means that today marks the 30th anniversary of his death.
Freddie died as a result of bronchial pneumonia relating to an AIDS diagnosis, just a day after announcing he was HIV positive.
He was first diagnosed with the condition in 1987 but he choose to keep the matter private.
Mercury increasingly appeared gaunt on stage towards the end of this life, and Queen’s absence from touring further fuelled rumours over his ill health.
Freddie made his final public appearance on February 18, 1990, at the Brit Awards, where he – alongside the other members of Queen – collected the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music.
On the evening of November 24, 1991, just 24 hours after issuing a statement about his diagnosis, Freddie died at his home in Kensington.
But 30 years on his work is just as iconic as ever and Queen’s iconic hits such as “We Will Rock You,” “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Are the Champions,” are still as popular as they were at the band’s peak in the 1970s and 1980s.
In fact, the band has now spent more collective weeks on the UK Album Charts than any other musical act (including the Beatles), according to the BBC.
Queen’s album “Queen’s Greatest Hits” is the best-selling album of all time in the UK.
Freddie, who was the band’s lead vocalist, has been heralded as one of the greatest performers of all time.
He was best known for his flamboyant stage persona and incredible four-octave vocal range.
Two of Freddie’s tunes, “We Are the Champions” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” have also each been voted as the greatest song of all time in polls by the Guinness World Records and Sony Ericsson.
In 2001 Queen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and all members of the band were inducted into the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003.
Their Rock Hall of Fame citation reads: “In the golden era of glam rock and gorgeously hyper-produced theatrical extravaganzas that defined one branch of ’70s rock, no group came close in either concept or execution to Queen.”
Does Queen still perform today?
The band began to play some shows again after the tragic death of their frontman.
Queen played some shows with singer Paul Rogers taking on the duties of frontman, they even released another album with Rodgers in 2008, but their collaboration had ended by 2009.
Renewed interest in Queen’s music spiked after the success of the 2018 film Bohemian Rhapsody, which tells the story of the life of Freddie.
Queen was revitalised and started touring again when they adopted Adam Lambert as their lead singer from 2011.
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