Freddie Mercury Was a Champion of the World

IMAGE Universal Music Group

Few would challenge the assertion that Queen had one of the greatest lead singers of all time. Before his untimely death in 1991, Freddie Mercury had built a legacy, both as an incredible vocalist with a four-octave range and as an electric performer whose energy on stage was unmatched.

That’s why Rami Malek, who will be playing Freddie Mercury in an upcoming biopic entitled after their hit song, Bohemian Rhapsody, has a lot to live up to. Last Tuesday, on what would have been Mercury’s 71st birthday, Entertainment Weekly released the first photo of Malek as Mercury, giving us all a little teaser of the film.

But since Bohemian Rhapsody the movie isn’t due until December 2018, we’re going to have to wait a long time to see Malek’s Freddie in action. So instead, it’s worth revisiting the real Freddie Mercury at his best, through some of his most epic live performances. 


Queen Rock Montreal, 1981
"Somebody To Love" was one of the songs that could really let Mercury's vocal range loose on an audience, both in its softer and more tender moments and in its bigger ones. This performance of it from Queen's show in Montreal demonstrates that.


Queen Live at Wembley '86
One of the most iconic images of Freddie Mercury—and indeed, the one that comes first to mind for most people—is the one of him in a yellow jacket and white pants with red stripes down the sides, head stretched back and almost on one knee. That image was taken at Wembley Stadium, during Queen's concert there in 1986.


Live Aid, 1985
One of the trademarks of Queen's live performances was a clapping sequence that the audience would take part in whenever the song "Radio Ga Ga" came on (02:45). It was especially awe-inspiring when they played the song at Live Aid, one of the greatest rock concerts ever staged—and perhaps Queen's single greatest live performance.


Hungarian Rhapsody: Queen Live in Budapest, 1986
Queen's 1986 concert in Budapest was one of the highlights of The Magic Tourthe band's last tour with lead singer Freddie Mercury. They played over twenty of their greatest hits, including an incredible performance of "Under Pressure" (24:28)


A Night At The Odeon: Hammersmith 1975
If there's only one song that Queen will be remembered for, it's "Bohemian Rhapsody". One of the first performances of the song was at A Night At The Odeon: Hammersmith 1975.

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Miguel Escobar
Assistant Features Editor for Esquire Philippines
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