Most people heard of the songs “We Are the Champions” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Freddie Mercury. But not everyone knows of Mercury’s background growing up. He is a culturally fluid musician, he is a Third Culture Kid (TCK).
Freddie Mercury or Freddie Bulsara (his original name) was the lead singer of the British rock band Queen. A true TCK, he was born in Zanzibar located in East Africa where his childhood began. Then he spent the rest of his childhood in India where he attended boarding school.
Following his days in boarding school he returned home, only to have to flee a year later due to a revolution on the island of his home. He went to London where he attended a college for art and engaged with a lot of people. From there he grew to join multiple bands.
Way to Fame
After being with multiple bands, he met a guitarist and drummer of a band called Smile. The lead singer left and Mercury became the lead singer. He eventually changed the group’s name to Queen and along with his to Freddie Mercury.
They intertwined heavy rock with glam rock, but struggled to get outside of the United Kingdom. The next two albums became hits and made it to international charts. The top single in Britain for weeks was written solely by Mercury, which was “Bohemian Rhapsody.”
Even better, Queen had “We Will Rock You” and “We Are The Champions” play all over the United Kingdom and the United States in sporting events.
Mercury said, “I’m not afraid to fall flat on my face.” As he performed he wore over the top outfits, but he did that for humor. He wanted people to see he was having fun. He wanted the fans to have fun with him because too serious and doesn’t work after years of performing.
With all of this happening, Mercury was struggling with his sexuality. He was known for being bisexual, but he may have been gay. He was only covering up to survive that era in time. Mercury was living a life of being bisexual and a TCK in the 1980s.
“I lived for sex. I was extremely promiscuous, but AIDS changed my life,” Mercury told RollingStone. AIDS was his downfall as he passed away in 1991.
Nevertheless, he has reshaped the way pop and rock music is seen by millions. Queen created anthems that will be played for years and years to come. Brandi Carlile relayed, “Freddie gave his all every time and he left it on the stage. I get the feeling if nobody ever came to see Queen, if there were 25 people in the audience, he would have still been out there shirtless with a microphone screaming his head off. He was the best front person that ever existed.”