Freddie Mercury was a British singer/songwriter and musician who had a net worth of $50 million dollars at the time of his death in 1991 (after adjusting for inflation). At the time of his death in 1991, Freddie owned real estate worth the inflation-adjusted equivalent of $40 million and had $13 million worth of other liquid assets. In total, his net worth was approximately $50-60 million.
Mercury is best known for being the lead singer of the rock band Queen. He had a four-octave vocal range and was known for his flamboyant and theatrical stage persona. As a songwriter, he composed many 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.” In addition to his work with Queen, Freddie led a solo career, and occasionally produced music and guest-starred as a musician (piano or vocals) for other artists.
Since Mercury’s death from AIDS complications in 1991, he has been posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (2001), the UK Music Hall of Fame (2004), and the Songwriters Hall of Fame (2003) as a member of Queen, and the band received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2002. Also in 2002, Freddie was placed at #58 in the BBC’s poll of the 100 Greatest Britons. In 2005, a poll organized by “Blender” and MTV2 ranked Mercury as the greatest male singer of all time. In 2008, “Rolling Stone” editors ranked him #18 on their list of the 100 greatest singers of all time, and a “Classic Rock” poll voted him the greatest rock singer of all time.
Early Life: Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara on September 5, 1946, in Stone Town, Sultanate of Zanzibar (now Tanzania). Freddie grew up in India with parents Bomi and Jer and sister Kashmira and started taking piano lessons when he was 7 years old. He began attending St. Peter’s School, a boarding school near Bombay, at the age of 8, and at 12, he formed a rock and roll cover band called the Hectics. Mercury started using the name Freddie at St. Peter’s, and he later studied at St. Mary’s School in Mumbai.
In 1964, the Bulsara family emigrated to Middlesex, England, and Freddie attended Isleworth Polytechnic and graduated from Ealing Art College with a diploma in Art & Graphic Design in 1969. Mercury then worked at Kensington Market, where future Queen drummer Roger Taylor was one of his coworkers. Freddie joined a few bands, including Ibex and Sour Milk Tea, before becoming the lead vocalist of Smile, a band formed by Taylor and guitarist Brian May, in April 1970. Bassist John Deacon joined the band in 1971, and Mercury decided the new band should be called Queen and designed their logo, the “Queen crest.”
Career: During his lifetime, Mercury released 14 studio albums with Queen, including “Queen II” (1972), “Sheer Heart Attack” (1974), and “News of the World” (1977), and two solo albums, 1985’s “Mr. Bad Guy” and 1988’s “Barcelona.” Queen’s “Greatest Hits” (1981) is the U.K.’s highest-selling album, and it has sold more than 25 million copies worldwide; it was certified 22x Platinum in the U.K. and 8x Platinum in the U.S. Queen’s debut self-titled album was released in July 1973, and all their albums have been certified Gold or higher in the U.K. “A Night at the Opera” (1975) included the band’s biggest hit, “Bohemian Rhapsody,” which reached #1 on the charts in seven countries. Queen also composed the score for the 1980 film “Flash Gordon,” releasing a soundtrack album in December of that year. Most of the tracks were instrumental, but the single “Flash,” sung by Mercury and May, broke the top ten on charts in three countries. Freddie passed away during the recording of the album “Made in Heaven,” and since he knew that he wouldn’t make it much longer, he recorded vocal and piano parts when he could and told May, Taylor, and Deacon to finish the tracks later. The band released the album in November 1995, and they dedicated it “to the immortal spirit of Freddie Mercury.”
Personal Life: Freddie was in a relationship with Mary Austin from 1970 to 1976, and they lived together in West Kensington. During the relationship, Mercury had an affair with Elektra Records executive David Minns, and his romantic relationship with Austin ended after he told her about his sexuality. Freddie and Mary remained good friends, and he said that he considered Austin the only true friend he had. He later had relationships with German restaurateur Winfried Kirchberger and hairdresser Jim Hutton. Mercury considered Hutton his husband, and the two were together from 1985 until Freddie’s death in 1991.
Illness and Death: Jim Hutton has said that Freddie was diagnosed with AIDS in April 1987, though Mercury did not publicly confirm that he had the disease until November 23, 1991. Freddie passed away the next day at the age of 45, and the official cause of death was cited as bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS. His funeral service was held at West London Crematorium on November 27th, and only Mary Austin knows where his ashes are buried. Mercury left the vast majority of his estate and wealth to Austin, giving the remainder to his parents and sister and delegating some funds to be distributed to his chef, his personal assistant, his driver, and Hutton.
Legacy: Mercury’s songs continue to be popular nearly three decades after his death, and both “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We Are the Champions” have been voted the best song of all time in various polls. Queen continues perform Freddie’s songs all over the world with Adam Lambert on lead vocals, and the band received a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2018. Mercury has been honored with statues in London’s West End (at the Dominion Theatre, home of the Queen musical “We Will Rock You”) and Montreux, Switzerland as well as a 1999 Royal Mail stamp, and he has had two streets, an asteroid, and a frog genus named after him. Freddie was inducted into San Francisco’s Rainbow Honor Walk in 2019, and in 1992, Queen put on The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness and founded The Mercury Phoenix Trust. Mercury has been portrayed onstage in the plays “Mercury: The Afterlife and Times of a Rock God” and “Royal Vauxhall,” and Rami Malek won an Oscar and several other awards for his portrayal of Freddie in the 2018 film “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Awards and Honors: Before his death, Mercury won several Brit Awards, Ivor Novello Awards, Juno Awards, and British Video Awards as well as an American Music Award, Golden Lion Award, and Worldwide Music Award. Posthumously, Freddie won a Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to Music in 1992, and “Bohemian Rhapsody,” “We Will Rock You,” and “We Are the Champions” were inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame. Mercury was also nominated for four Grammys with Queen.
|Net Worth:||$50 Million|
|Date of Birth:||Sep 5, 1946 – Nov 24, 1991 (45 years old)|
|Height:||5 ft 9 in (1.77 m)|
|Profession:||Organist, Keyboard Player, Pianist, Record producer, Singer-songwriter, Singer, Musician|