Tuesday, November 24, 2009

AIDS Awareness Week: Remembering Freddie

On this day 18 years, the world lost one of the most amazing voices it has ever known. Though I was only 5 years old when he passed away, Freddie Mercury holds the spot as my favourite musical artist of all time.

I remember learning Queen songs when I took piano lessons in elementary school and listening to Greatest Hits II on my Fisher Price tape recorder.
I remember singing We Will Rock You and We Are The Champions along with the rest of my baseball team during games.
Bohemian Rhapsody had a special place in my high school career. I remember the performance piece 3 friends and I did with that song for our 10th grade drama class, and reprised for the Arts Banquet that year.

It is nearly impossible to come up with my favourite Queen song. However, without a doubt my favourite Queen music video (and probably my favourite music video period) is for I Want to Break Free.

November 24, 1991 Freddie Mercury died of bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS, just one day after publicly announcing he had the disease in the following statement 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 me, 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.

The last music video filmed with Freddie was for the song These Are The Days of Our Lives. The words "I still love you" at the end of the video were Freddie's last words ever recorded on camera.

After his death, the remaining members of Queen, along with their manager Jim Beach, launched The Mercury Phoenix Trust with The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness. The concert was held April 20, 1992 at Wembley Stadium.

The Mercury Phoenix Trust has been active ever since, raising millions of dollars for AIDS related charities all over the world.

RIP Freddie Mercury
September 5, 1946 - November 24, 1991

No comments: