Today marks the 20th anniversary of the sad death of Freddie Mercury, the Queen vocalist and solo performer extraordinaire who, for many, will go down as the finest rock front man of all time - reports The Hollywood Reporter. Tributes have been pouring in on Twitter with Mercury a trending topic.
Born Farrokh Balsara, the singer changed his stage name upon joining the group Smile - which featured Roger Taylor and Brian May - in 1971. Altering the name to Queen and added bassist John Deacon, the group released their self-titled debut album in 1973 to little fanfare, instead making a true breakthrough with third album 'Sheer Heart Attack' in 1974, which featured the UK number two charting single 'Killer Queen'. All that was to be superseded however with the following year's 'A Night At The Opera' which featured mega selling hit 'Bohemian Rhapsody' which went on to spend nine weeks at the top of the UK Single Charts and also earned the band their first top 10 hit on the US Billboard Charts. From there the rest was history, with the band eventually releasing 18 number one albums and 18 number one singles with estimates on complete worldwide albums sold ranging 150 million to a staggering 300 million copies.
Though the band as a whole were superb, a lot of acclaim has always fallen on the charismatic Mercury, an opera-trained singer whose stunning range, combined with his extroverted on stage theatrics made him one of the most-loved stars in music, with notable performances including two shows at Wembley Stadium, London for Live Aid in 1985 and on what would amount to Queen's final tour in 1986. Upon his death from complications with Aids in 1991, The Mercury Phoenix Trust was set up by the remaining band members and an AIDs awareness concert was held in 1992 featuring some of the biggest names in music at the time.