100 Greatest Singers

18

Freddie Mercury

Mazel/Sunshine/Retna

Born September 5th, 1946 (died November 24th, 1991)
Key Tracks "We Are the Champions," "Bohemian Rhapsody," "You're My Best Friend"
Influenced Axl Rose, Joe Elliott, George Michael

He's "the most inspirational frontman of all time," says My Chemical Romance's Gerard Way. A hard-rock hammerer, a disco glitterer, a rockabilly lover boy, Freddie Mercury was dynamite with a laser beam, his four-octave range overdubbed into a shimmering wall of sound on records such as "Bohemian Rhapsody" and "Killer Queen." Even as he was dying, Mercury threw himself into his majestic, operatic singing. Queen's Brian May recalls that Mercury could hardly walk when the band recorded "The Show Must Go On" in 1990. "I said, 'Fred, I don't know if this is going to be possible to sing,' " May says. "And he went, 'I'll fucking do it, darling' — vodka down — and went in and killed it, completely lacerated that vocal."

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