He and his family (parents and one sister, Kashmira) were Parsis and practiced Zoroastrian religion. Even though he hadn’t practiced in years, his funeral was performed by a Zoroastrian priest.
His birth name was Farrokh Bulsara; he started going by Freddie when he was at St. Peter’s, a boarding school for boys near Mumbai. He legally changed his name to Freddie Mercury around 1970, when Queen was formed.
Even his official passport read ‘Frederick Mercury’, despite the fact that his birth name was Farrokh Bulsara. Calling him anything but Freddie would not be well received, however – he started using the name ‘Freddie’ prior to ever arriving in England, and ‘Mercury’ when Queen first started.
Although he was obviously very flamboyant on stage, most people who knew him intimately said he was very shy in his personal life ““ one of the reasons he very rarely granted interviews.
Freddie was born in Zanzibar. His family moved there so his dad could continue his career at the British Colonial Office.
He loved cats and had as many as 10 at one point. He even had an album and a song dedicated to his cats (Mr. Bad Guy). He wrote a song about his favorite cat, Delilah
He designed the Queen emblem (AKA the Queen Crest) himself, thanks to a degree in art and graphic design from Ealing Art College. The crest is made of the zodiac signs of the whole band ““ two Leo lions for John Deacon and Roger Taylor, a Cancer crab for Brian May and two fairies to represent Freddie’s Virgo sign. The “Q” and the crown represent the band name, of course, and a phoenix protects the whole thing.
He had a long-term girlfriend in the early 70s named Mary Austin. Even after they broke up, they remained incredibly close. He gave an interview in 1985 and said that she was his only friend and he didn’t want any other friends. He wrote “Love of My Life” about her and was the godfather of her first son. When he died, he left her most of his money, his house, and his recording royalties.
Freddie had a recorded range of three (almost four) octaves. Mariah Carey claims five, for some perspective. When he spoke he was more of a baritone, but majority of his singing fell in the tenor range.
Freddie and his manager issued a statement confirming that he had AIDS the very day before he died. It had been widely speculated for a couple of years due to his gaunt appearance and Queen’s sudden lack of touring. Some people were very upset by this delayed statement, saying that an earlier announcement could have raised a vast amount of money for the cause.