Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara on September 5, 1946 in Zanzibar. After the 1964 revolution, the Bulsara family left the country and settled in England.
After attending English boarding schools, Mercury enrolled in the Ealing College of Art where he studied music and art. Inspired by the music of Jimi Hendrix and local bands, including Smile, which included guitarist Brian May and drummer Roger Taylor, Mercury began performing around London. He joined Smile in 1971 when the lead singer left, and quickly changed his name to Freddie Mercury. John Deacon soon joined Mercury, May and Taylor and the new group became known as Queen.
Queens debut album was released in 1973 with the self titled Queen. The album featured songs written by all four members of the band. The over the top, operatic style of the songs and performances built a cult following throughout Europe and eventually overseas and the 1974 releases of Queen II and Sheer Heart Attack were successful. Queen was soon one of rock musics elite bands.
Over the next 10 years, Queen would write, tour and produce memorable albums. 1975s A Night at the Opera reached #4 on the pop charts; 1977s A Day at the Races reached #5; 1977s News of the World reached #3. The bands greatest success came with the 1980 release of The Game, which reached #1 on the pop charts.
Mercurys songwriting would hold the same resonance as his performances. Some of his most successful songs include Crazy Little Thing Called Love (#1 in 1980), Somebody to Love (#13 in 1977) and We Are the Champions (#4, 1978).
Queens last album,…