Death is imminent for all, but it seems to have this ridiculous impact on famous (or about to be famous) musicians. The impact of death on a musician is a topic that will be explored here, and often.
Freddie Mercury passed away November 24, 1991. He was 45. Freddie had AIDS, a disease caused by HIV. His death was ultimately the result of bronchopneumonia, which was brought on by AIDS. Freddie Mercury sang in a band called Queen. He lived a relatively-private existence the last few years of his life.
I’ll never forget the day at school when all of my friends were talking about something bad that had happened to Magic Johnson. I was in fifth grade and had no idea what any of this meant. It was something brand new to our young worlds, and apparently to a lot of other people. Johnson announced on November 7, 1991 that he had HIV.
November of 1991 changed a whole lot of things.
Queen was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001. The band has multiple songs in the Grammy Hall of Fame, and according to the RIAA’s website, Queen has sold 32.5 million albums (U.S. only). Worldwide estimates top the 300 million album mark.
The movie “Wayne’s World” introduced a whole new generation to the music of Queen in 1992, with its inclusion of the song, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” a song written by Mercury and originally included on the band’s 1975 album release, A Night at the Opera.
The way Freddie said goodbye is a point not to be missed.
On Saturday, November 23, 1991, Mercury made the following official announcement to the press:
“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 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.”
Just over a day later, Freddie was gone.
A few months later, on April 20, 1992, some of Freddie’s friends got together and played a show in his honor. The remaining members of Queen, Elton John, Roger Daltrey, Robert Plant, David Bowie, Annie Lennox, George Michael, and many others, played the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert at London’s Wembley Stadium. All proceeds went to AIDS research.