As it turned out, Freddie had discovered he was HIV positive. He managed to keep this a secret from the public until the last days of his life. His partner, Jim Hutton, would later come to reveal that he was first diagnosed in 1987.
His band mates were destroyed by the news, they couldn’t believe such a beautiful and iconic person had so little time left. But Freddie, as always, decided he was going to enjoy every single minute of it, writing and singing until the very last second. And that’s exactly what he did. The band kept Freddie’s illness a secret, as he had requested. But soon enough, it started to show on Mercury’s physical appearance.
The biggest performance of their lives
This caused Queen to lose demand and popularity with their American audiences. But they managed to make a successful comeback with their historic performance in the 1985 Live Aid Concert at Wembley Stadium. One of rock history’s most iconic performances to this date.
Queen was allotted an 18-minute set, but performed for nearly an hour. No one knew how to captivate audiences, especially a stadium crowd, like Freddie Mercury. Anyone who’s seen recordings of this concert is mesmerized, imagine actually being there. He could’ve gone on for much more than an hour, and people would’ve never stopped him.
Something wasn't quite right with Freddie
The Live Aid concert gave Queen the energy it needed. It boosted their energies and filled their hearts with the love of music that had brought them all together in the first place. This had been the best performance of their careers, and they couldn’t wait to take on the world by storm once again.
However, something wasn’t quite right. There was something going on with Freddie, and strangely, somehow, it felt as if this had been one of the last times he would perform. Tragically, this proved to be true.
Freddie got weaker with time, and being such a fashion icon, he was worried about how he’d started to look. Eventually, he realized he was no longer able to perform live. With time, even performing for cameras became difficult. During the last year of his life, there were moments when he could barely stand.
Soon, he was confined to his bed and slowly started to realize that he had so many unfinished projects and works of art that he wouldn’t have time to complete. One of these was “Mother Love”, written by guitarist Brian May, which features the last ever vocals sung by Mercury, six months before his death.
A legacy that would last forever
Shortly after his 45th birthday, Freddie Mercury passed away on November 24, 1991. He was next to his husband, Jim Hutton, and his beloved animals, in their beautiful home in London. Freddie left 50% of what he owned to his best friend, Mary Austin, and his ten cats. The remaining 50% was left to his partner, Jim Hutton, some friends, and Freddie's mother and sister. But he left the world a much more precious inheritance.
Freddie Mercury was one of those musicians that only come around once in a lifetime. He was a true, natural-born artist than shone radiant light wherever he went. He gave the world music, in its most beautiful form. His persona and his music have continued to touch people’s lives over generations. Mercury taught the world there is nothing more important than being true to yourself and being in love with what you do because only then are we able to change the world.