Parsi-British singer Freddie Mercury is remembered as a musical genius and as an irreplaceable frontman who didn’t live long enough to enjoy his success. Search engine Google paid a special tribute to the late musician with an animated doodle to mark the 65th birth anniversary of the lead singer of the band Queen, who spent his formative years in Mumbai.
The Google homepage shows an animated Freddie singing on stage in front of screaming fans. Designed by Ryan Germick, the 100-second doodle is said to be Google's second longest after Charlie Chaplin's.
Flamboyance and high octane vocals made the legendary singer, born Fredun Balsara in Zanzibar, one of the greatest performers and songwriters of his time. He was just 45 when he died in 1991 after a long battle with HIV.
“Fred (Freddie Freddie) was probably from a different planet, I don’t think that the world will ever see such a charismatic and brilliant frontman ever again. Queen quit as a band after his death because Fred was and is irreplaceable,” Subir Malik, keyboardist of Indian rock band Parikrama, told IANS.
“Everyone was inspired by him. Fred had an integral part to play to many a bands and musicians’ careers,” added the self-confessed fan of the late artist.
Freddie showed interest in music from his school days. He was very young when he moved to Mumbai with his family. His family moved to Middlesex in England when he turned 17.
His love for music stayed with him and in 1971, he created Queen along with Brian May (guitar, vocals), John Deacon (bass guitar, vocals), and Roger Taylor (drums, vocals).
Thanks to their love for innovativeness, Queem went to become one of the greatest bands of the 1980s. While soaring high on his success, Freddie released hit songs like 'Bohemian Rhapsody', 'Somebody to Love', 'Crazy Little Thing Called Love' and 'We Are the Champions' among others.
His fans, who love his inimitable style of singing, still miss him.
“Freddie Freddie to me is the man who gave the sporting arena it’s most emphatic (and now most used/abused) anthem ‘We Are the Champions’. When I was growing up, his high octane compositions and powerful vocals uset to give me goosebumps. On his 65th birthday, the best I could do to celebrate it is to listen to Freddie’s classics in the background while I work.
"I also loved the doodle that Google has created to mark his birthday! Three cheers to them for the mindblowing innovation,” said Soubhik Mukherjee, a media professional in Delhi.
Sonam Shah, 35, celebrated Freddie's birth anniversary by throwing a party where his fans remembered the great artist.
“Freddie’s songs still appeal so much. He was an incredible songwriter and a fashion icon. He was simply amazing. To mark his birth anniversary, I am having a get together at home, so that all the lovers of his music I know can sit and remember the great artist."
Freddie was named as one of the most influential Asian heroes of the past 60 years by Time Asia in 2006, but he usually stayed away from discussing his Indian roots.
“Queen’s music was great and Freddie’s vocal skill is unparalleled. But he spent his whole life denying his Indian roots, so I don’t know why we keep forcing ourselves on his memory. Let the poor guy be the Englishman he always wanted to be and just enjoy his songs,” Vishal Dadlani, composer and frontman of the band Pentagram, told IANS.
Others, however, feel that what matters the most is that Freddie was a great musician.
“Whether he wanted to acknowledge that he was an Indian or not was his personal viewpoint. Yes, it is said that he was a Parsi, but seriously, whether he was from India or Antartica, Fred was Fred and musically that really doesn’t matter to me,” revealed Malik of Parikrama.