It Will Break Your Heart
When we hear the name Freddie Mercury, we think of the glamorous and flamboyant personality oozing with talent and charisma. He’s an accomplished musician whose influence remains strong even up to this day. As a singer and songwriter, he continues to be untouchable and anyone who recognizes talent cannot deny that the man was truly one-in-a-million.
However, nothing is ever perfect. And beyond the fame and success lie some tragedies that made Freddie Mercury who he is.
1. He and his family were forced to flee.
While he grew up in India, he later joined his family back in Zanzibar, Tanzania when he was around 16 years old. At 17, however, they were forced to leave their home because of the the 1964 Zanzibar Revolution where thousands of Indians and Arabs were killed. They eventually settled in Middlesex, England.
2. He was bullied by his classmates.
Freddie was born with four extra incisors which gave him his distinctive buckteeth. This overbite actually helped with his incredible range which is why he never bothered having them fixed even though he could clearly afford it. Still, he was conscious and a bit insecure about it that he would often cover it with his hand or top lip. It all stems from the fact that he was called “Bucky” at school because of his teeth.
3. Homophobia affected how he sought treatment for his disease.
Freddie lived at a time when the rock ‘n roll world subscribed to the ultra-macho image. Homophobia was still prevalent which was probably the reason he wasn’t openly gay and therefore somehow affected his treatments.
4. “Bohemian Rhapsody” might be his coming out song.
This epic masterpiece is a complex song in more ways than one. The actual meaning of the track remains mysterious and it didn’t help that Freddie refused to explain the lyrics too. According to Freddie’s former lover Jim Hutton, “It was Freddie’s confessional. It was about how different his life could have been. How much happier he would have felt, had he been able to be himself. The world heard a masterpiece of imagination. It was so intricate, and had so many layers, but its message was simple.”
5. His bandmates weren’t fully aware of his health problems.
It isn’t clear when Freddie knew about his AIDS but Hutton once claimed that Freddie received his diagnosis on April 1987. And the rest of Queen probably didn’t have a full grasp of the condition which would eventually claim Freddie’s life. His sexuality alone was a bit of a mystery to them. According to Brian May, “We knew something was going on but it was not talked about.”