Freddie Mercury died November 24, 1991 and when listening to his music, it seems as if he’s still here. The king of rock could hold crowds for hours with an amazingly wide range of music styles and an out of this world stage performance. He was truly an entertainer and the essence of Groovy! He died from AIDS complications. Elton John was a very good friend of his, and he was there, in Freddie’s final days.
The two use to hang out a lot and Elton got to know Freddie really well. They were so close that they both had nicknames for each other – “Freddie and I had developed pet names for each other, our drag-queen alter egos. I was Sharon, and he was Melina.”
Elton John shared some details about the Mercury’s last days in a book called Love is the Cure: On Life, Loss, and the End of AIDS. He wrote: “…Freddie told me he had AIDS soon after he was diagnosed in 1987. I was devastated. I’d seen what the disease had done to so many of my other friends. I knew exactly what it was going to do to Freddie. As did he. He knew death, agonizing death, was coming. But Freddie was incredibly courageous. He kept up appearances, he kept performing with Queen, and he kept being the funny, outrageous, and profoundly generous person he had always been.”
“As Freddie deteriorated in the late 1980s and early ’90s, it was almost too much to bear. It broke my heart to see this absolute light unto the world ravaged by AIDS. By the end, his body was covered with Kaposi’s sarcoma lesions. He was almost blind. He was too weak to even stand.”
“By all rights, Freddie should have spent those final days concerned only with his own comfort. But that wasn’t who he was. He truly lived for others. Freddie had passed on November 24, 1991, and weeks after the funeral, I was still grieving.”
“On Christmas Day, I learned that Freddie had left me one final testament to his selflessness. I was moping about when a friend unexpectedly showed up at my door and handed me something wrapped in a pillowcase. I opened it up, and inside was a painting by one of my favorite artists, the British painter Henry Scott Tuke. And there was a note from Freddie. Years before, Freddie and I had developed pet names for each other, our drag-queen alter egos. I was Sharon, and he was Melina. Freddie’s note read, “Dear Sharon, thought you’d like this. Love, Melina. Happy Christmas.”
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