Pencils on paper 42×30 cm
Frederick Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara; 5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) was a British singer, songwriter and record producer, best known as the lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. He was known for his flamboyant stage persona and three-octave vocal range. Mercury wrote numerous hits for Queen, including “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Killer Queen”, “Somebody to Love”, “Don’t Stop Me Now”, “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, and “We Are the Champions”. He led a solo career while performing with Queen, and occasionally served as a producer and guest musician for other artists. Mercury was born of Parsi descent in the Sultanate of Zanzibar, and grew up there and in India before moving with his family to Middlesex, England, in his teens. He formed Queen in 1970 with guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor. Mercury died in 1991 at age 45 due to complications from AIDS, having confirmed the day before his death that he had contracted the disease. In November 1995, Queen released Made in Heaven, an album featuring Mercury’s previously unreleased final recordings from 1991—as well as outtakes from previous years and reworked versions of solo works by the surviving members. The album cover features the Freddie Mercury statue that overlooks Lake Geneva superimposed with Mercury’s Duck House lake cabin that he had rented. This is where he had written and recorded his last songs at Mountain Studios. The sleeve of the album contains the words, “Dedicated to the immortal spirit of Freddie Mercury.” In 1992, Mercury was posthumously awarded the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music, and a tribute concert was held at Wembley Stadium, London. As a member of Queen, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003, and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. In 2002, he was placed number 58 in the BBC’s 2002 poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. He is consistently voted one of the greatest singers in the history of popular music.