Apart from his intoxicating, flamboyant one-of-a-kind stage persona, Freddie had a voice range that was very extraordinary and extremely uncommon among other artists. And people, in general. He could hit a four octave range with his voice. To give you a little perspective, Whitney Houston and Mariah Carey are among few other artists with a four octave vocal range – not your standard singers, are they?
As soon as the band heard Freddie’s voice, they knew he was something else. Add to that his unique and charismatic personality, and his incomparable performance every time he went on stage, and you’ve got yourself a rock and roll legend.
“I’m not going to be a pop star. I’m going to be a legend!”
Freddie knew he was destined to be a legend since he was a little boy. His unparalleled passion for music was something out of this world, which was what made him the rock and roll giant he became. Before he became their lead singer, Mercury listened to the band Smile every time they had a gig. He loved their sound, and was determined to be a part of it.
Freddie was so sure that he was going to make it as a musician, that he used to say he was going to be a big pop start all the time, to anyone who would listen. Chris Smith, once a member of Smile, recalls seeing Mercury with his hands on his face one time, and when he asked if he was okay, Freddie just shouted, “I’m not going to be a pop star. I’m going to be a legend!” You were right, Mr. Mercury.
Mercury's first time on stage
Freddie became Smile’s lead singer in the most unexpected way. The band’s lead singer at the time left the band in 1970, leaving a spot open for new talent. Being so in love with their sound and not wanting them to disband for good, Freddie took the chance and told the other band members he wanted to be their lead singer. All it took was for the other band members to hear his voice.
Mercury immediately became part of the band, and later changed its name to Queen, which caused a lot of controversy at the time, due to its association to the LGBTQ community. Freddie simply said he loved the name because “it was regal and sounded splendid! Controversy or not, Queen was about to change the history of music, forever.
Queen created a new sound
Queen started gaining fans and establishing itself as a popular band in 1973. Once people started seeing Mercury on stage, they were mesmerized. He left audiences in awe and they started to fall in love with his stage persona, he would bring the crowds to life with a simple movement of hands.
It was a time when heavy rock was very mainstream, with bands like The Rolling Stones, The Who and Led Zepellin. Even though Queen was considered rock and roll, it had a different sound than the rest of the heavy rock bands of the time, because they created new sounds and melodies that nobody had ever heard before.
Farrokh Bulsara officially changes his name to Freddie Mercury
With the band becoming more popular by the day, Freddie decided that it was time for him to have a name worthy of start status. And so, he decided to officially change his last name from Bulsara to Mercury.
As we mentioned above, Freddie chose the name ‘Mercury’ because of his love for its significance in Persian mythology - which regarded it as a messenger of truth and love, due to the fact that it was the closest planet to Earth. And, Freddie was a firm believer in astrology, and Mercury was his star sign.