Freddie Mercury: Queen star’s lover Mary Austin on TRUTH about Bohemian Rhapsody

Freddie Mercury may have been a larger-than-life figure on stage, going down in history as one of the greatest performers of all time, but away from the spotlight it was a different story. The Queen star’s friends remember him as a shy and modest person, worlds away from his public persona. In a newly unearthed interview, his former girlfriend Mary Austin revealed how Bohemian Rhapsody had changed something in Mercury.

Speaking out on the true Mercury, Austin told the Daily Mail the frontman was a complicated mixture of self-doubt and self-confidence.

It was his mini opera Bohemian Rhapsody, one of his greatest hits, which provided the key to unlocking his potential, however.

In 1975, Queen released the bombastic, six-minute epic that was to go on to become one of their career-defining songs.

Penned by Mercury, Bohemian Rhapsody, which gave its name to the 2018 biopic about his life, featured a introduction, ballad segment, operatic movement and a rock-heavy interlude, concluding with a coda.



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“I think Bohemian Rhapsody was the turning point,” Austin told the publication.

Revealing the truth about the iconic song, she added: “That made him realise that he didn’t need to doubt himself.

“Even though he was told the radio stations wouldn’t play it because it was too long, there was no way Freddie was going to cut it.”

Mercury’s instincts about the track proved to be shrewd as it topped the UK singles chart upon its release and, when it was re-released in 1991 after his death, became the UK’s third-best-selling single of all time.

Many of those who were closest to the Queen singer remember him being very different off stage to his public persona.

Mercury’s friend Dave Clark, of The Dave Clark Five, who was among those who cared for him in the last weeks of his life, has a similar take on the star’s true personality.

In an exclusive interview with, the musician and producer remembered the late rockstar, saying: “He was quite shy, Freddie was.

“On stage, the bigger the better. He’d play to 100,000 people and he was amazing.”


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“In private, he was a lovely person,” he continued. “Great style, I mean, he had a Picasso in his bathroom! It was amazing.

“He had great, great style and he cared about people,” Clark added.

“You see his videos and you think he’s just totally off the wall but he’s not. He’s a person.”

Elsewhere, Clark has described Mercury as “the real opposite” of the provoking personality he was on stage.

Queen’s longtime producer Reinhold Mack also once said: “It may sound strange but one of the things people never noticed was that he was unbelievably modest and shy.”

Mercury was diagnosed with AIDS in 1987 but kept his diagnosis private for several years.

In 1991, just days before he died, he went public with the news.

The Queen singer died of bronchopneumonia, a complication due to AIDS, on November 24, 1991.

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