On the 30th death anniversary of Freddie Mercury, songwriter and lead vocalist of rock band Queen, we look back at his best years in the German city of Munich. Mercury was born on September 5, 1946, in Stone Town, Tanzania as Farrokh Bulsara to Parsi-Indian parents. Freddie and his family later relocated to England during the Zanzibar Revolution. In the years to come, he went on to become one of the most iconic faces in the history of music, with his hit songs like Bohemian Rhapsody and We Will Rock You still resonating with global audiences.

Mercury contracted AIDS and battled the disease for years, passing away at 45 from related complications.

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Mercury’s biographer, Nicola Bardola, in her book “Mercury in Munich: His Best Years” talks about how his years in the German city came as a breath of fresh air for the superstar. Mercury stayed in Munich between 1975 and 1989, during which he experienced solitude, freedom, and some sort of an awakening, all thanks to the city letting him live in peace despite his worldwide fame.

The city attracted Mercury with its vibrant music culture. In fact, the very first song the band recorded in Munich was “Crazy Little Thing Called Love”, which went #1 on American music charts.

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Apart from the exuberant music culture, Freddie was drawn to Munich’s pro-homosexuality way of living. After separating from his long-term girlfriend Mary Austin, Freddie opened himself up to the discos, gay clubs, and bars that Munich had to offer. Mercury spent these years in Munich partying like a free spirit, away from the exciting yet suffocating fame of a music icon. Munich went on to honor Mercury by naming a street after him.

It has been 30 years since Mercury passed away, and yet the world continues to celebrate and honor his legacy.

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