A legend is born
Freddie Mercury (born Farrokh Bulsara; 5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991) was a British singer, songwriter, record producer, and lead vocalist of the rock band Queen. Regarded as one of the greatest lead singers in the history of rock music, he was known for his flamboyant stage persona and four-octave vocal range.
As a member of Queen, Mercury was posthumously inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2003, and the UK Music Hall of Fame in 2004. In 1990, he and the other Queen members were awarded the Brit Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Music, and one year after his death Mercury was awarded it individually. In 2005, Queen were awarded an Ivor Novello Award for Outstanding Song Collection from the British Academy of Songwriters, Composers, and Authors. In 2002, Mercury ranked number 58 in the BBC's poll of the 100 Greatest Britons..
The unique voice
The most notable aspect of his songwriting involved the wide range of genres that he used, which included, among other styles, rockabilly, progressive rock, heavy metal, gospel, and disco. As he explained in a 1986 interview, "I hate doing the same thing again and again and again. I like to see what's happening now in music, film and theatre and incorporate all of those things..
Although Mercury's speaking voice naturally fell in the baritone range, he delivered most songs in the tenor range. His known vocal range extended from bass low F to soprano high F. He could belt up to tenor high F. Biographer David Bret described his voice as "escalating within a few bars from a deep, throaty rock-growl to tender, vibrant tenor, then on to a high-pitched, perfect coloratura, pure and crystalline in the upper reaches."Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballé, with whom Mercury recorded an album, expressed her opinion that "the difference between Freddie and almost all the other rock stars was that he was selling the voice".