Fans of the rock group Queen know frontman Freddie Mercury from his wildly flamboyant onstage presence and incredible ability to hit near-impossible notes with his voice. From the band’s classic song “Bohemian Rhapsody” to their epic Live Aid performance at Wembley Stadium in London, Queen rocked the world.
Although the group’s superfans are certainly familiar with their entire discography and live performances, many details surrounding Freddie’s secret lover are masked in mystery. From the day they first met, this was one rock romance for the ages.
Freddie Mercury, the man from Zanzibar who rose to rock-god status with Queen, was at the top of his game when he felt the pangs of cupid’s arrow. Funny enough, the “arrow” was a man who had turned him down once before.
It was 1985 when Mercury met Jim Hutton for the first time at Heaven, a gay club in London. Mercury was smitten immediately, but Hutton not so much; he didn’t recognize Mercury and actually refused the drink the rock star offered to buy him.
At that time, Hutton was romantically involved with someone. So he sent the rock ‘n’ roll god packing. About a year and a half later, however, they ran into each other for a second time while out clubbing.
Once again, Mercury offered to again buy him a drink, and this time, Hutton felt a bit more inclined to accept the offer. Sparks flew in both directions.
The men began dating soon after their second club encounter. Not even one year later Hutton packed up his things and officially moved into Mercury’s London estate, a gorgeous mansion called Garden Lodge.
As Hutton soon found out, maintaining a relationship with someone as famous as Freddie Mercury was far from easy. Mercury was constantly in the spotlight, and this often led to heated arguments.
Hutton recalled one frustrating evening when he saw Mercury leaving a club with another man. When confronted about it, Mercury admitted to Hutton he did it purely to make him jealous.
The foundation of the relationship came to a true test when Hutton gave Mercury an ultimatum after he caught the singer with a yet another stranger: be with him and only him, or get lost.
While the singer might’ve enjoyed a more open relationship, Mercury ultimately chose to give up the secretive antics and committed solely to Hutton.
Even though you’d think dating and living with a rock star would be nothing but a party every minute of the day, the men spent their alone time quite mellowly. Mercury was surprisingly shy and reserved offstage.
Hutton said, “He loved his cats. I’d get in from work. We’d lie together on the sofa. He would massage my feet and ask about my day.” The men were in love, but amazingly, Mercury never publicly came out to anyone.
That Mercury never publicly revealed his sexual orientation didn’t bother Hutton at all. Both Hutton and Mercury sported wedding rings as proof of their commitment to each other, and that was enough.
Hutton said this of Mercury’s refusal to publicly come out: “He might have worried about how coming out would have affected him professionally but he didn’t say that. We both thought our relationship, and being gay, was our business.”
The pair managed to find a balance between the wild life Mercury lived with Queen and the calm and intimate time they spent together at Garden Lodge. In 1987, however, their blissfulness came to a screeching halt.
Mercury revealed to Hutton doctors diagnosed him with AIDS, and naturally, Hutton was destroyed by the news. Putting Hutton first, Mercury offered to end the relationship.
But Hutton, ever the romantic, was dedicated to making Mercury’s remaining years as meaningful and comfortable as possible.
At the time Mercury was diagnosed, AIDS treatment was still in its infancy. Mercury, having the wealth he did, could get private treatments in his home. Hutton stood by his side for each session.
Painfully, Hutton could only watch as Mercury slowly deteriorated. He sensed Mercury knew the end was coming when he made the choice to stop his AIDS medication.
So it was that on November 24, 1991, the man who mesmerized the world with his energetic aura, Freddie Mercury, passed away.
The world of music took a massive hit on the day Mercury died. Entertainers from all over showed up to offer their condolences. Afterwards, Mercury’s fortune was split between two people in his life who had impacted him most.
Mary Austin who was actually engaged to Mercury prior to his relationship with Jim Hutton, took over his Garden Lodge estate. Hutton was still living there at the time, but Austin forced him out. Mercury, however, made sure Hutton wasn’t left penniless.
The singer left one million dollars to Hutton, who used the money to move back to his home country of Ireland. Not long after the move, he wrote a book titled Mercury and Me detailing life with the singer. Hutton lived in Ireland until his passing in 2010.
Some might say it was fate that reconnected Mercury and Hutton 18 months after their first encounter. Either way, both men were committed to each other, and although Mercury was a massive celebrity, the love both men had for each other was always real.
Whether you’re a fan of Queen or not, you can’t dispute the fact Freddie Mercury and Jim Hutton had something special. When you take a look at the history of Mercury, Queen, and their rise to stardom, everything about the group screams special…
Mercury’s birth name was Farrokh Bulsara. He was born on the Zanzibar islands in 1946 to parents who worked for the British government. They had no idea they were raising a child who would one day take over the world of rock.
Although Mercury was born in Zanzibar, he attended school in Mumbai, where he realized he had a knack for the piano. He also joined his very first band, The Hectics. His journey to the top of the music game had begun.
One of the first major bands Mercury joined was called Smile. In the group, he met future Queen band mates Brian May and Roger Summers. Apparently, he would constantly talk about how he was going to be a huge pop star.
Mercury finally got the chance to lead Smile after the singer quit, and he did so with power. The band renamed themselves Queen, and people quickly fell in love with Mercury’s prodigious vocals.
It’s hard to picture Queen releasing an album that no one buys, but the first self-titled record they put out struggled to hit high numbers. This was because not many people had heard of the band yet.
The band members’ degrees are so varied they could start a small college: Brian May has a PhD in physics and astronomy, John Deacon has a doctorate in electronics, Roger Taylor is a trained dentist, and Freddie Mercury held a degree in graphic art.
Queen’s big break came after they opened for a popular British rock group called Mott the Hoople. Queen joined them for a United States tour shortly after and spread their music to millions of more fans.
When Queen first started selling copious amounts of records, they weren’t seeing much income because of their seedy management company. They went on to hire Elton John’s manager, John Reid, who helped carry them to greatness.
When the final version of “Bohemian Rhapsody” was unveiled to Elton John, he was skeptical it would succeed due to its length. However, Mercury refused to make it shorter, and the song ended up being number one for nine straight weeks in the United Kingdom.
Mercury managed to keep many aspects of his personal life private. However, fans did know about a woman named Mary Austin, whom Mercury was engaged to for six years before she called it off. The two remained close friends.
Freddie Mercury and Michael Jackson were two of the world’s biggest singers at the time, but they never wrote music together. Mercury allegedly was put off by Jackson’s somewhat strange behavior, such as always bringing his pet llama to the recording studio.
Queen was a household name by the 1980s, and fans all over the world loved singing along. However, there was one country where Queen was more popular than anywhere else: Argentina!
One of the biggest gigs Queen ever played was at a soccer stadium in Buenos Aires. The band played to over 100,000 fans, and the performance earned them a spot at one of the best music studios in Montreal, Canada, when it came time for them to record again.
Mercury was big on cats, and at one point, he owned 10 of them. His soft spot started when he was with Mary Austin after they adopted a pair of felines named Tom and Jerry. He even wrote a song called Delilah about his favorite cat.
When Queen came out with the song “I Want to Break Free,” people all over loved it. However, when the music video debuted and Americans saw the band dressed in drag, it left a sour taste in some mouths and several stations banned it.
Although the reaction of “I Want to Break Free” was unexpected, Queen wasn’t the least bit deterred. In 1985, they performed the most memorable show of the band’s career at the Live Aid Concert in Wembley Stadium.
Throughout much of Queen’s success, Mercury hid his HIV diagnosis from his family and friends. Eventually, they found out when his body began deteriorating in front of their eyes.
Mercury passed away shortly after turning 45 years old. He left all of his belongings to his ex-fiance and close friend Mary Austin. More importantly, he left a profound impact on the world music fans will remember for the rest of time.
Queen’s performance at Wembley Stadium during the Live Aid performance in 1985 was one of the most memorable shows any band has ever staged. Just watching footage of it is enough to send shivers down your spine.
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