Anniversary of Freddie Mercury's Death

(Gibson) Freddie Mercury, the lead singer of British rock band Queen, died on this day in 1991 at his home in Kensington, London. He was only 45 years old. His publicist announced that Mercury had died of bronchopneumonia resulting from AIDS.

Mercury had looked terribly ill for some time over the past two or three years and there had been a glut rumors circulating as to his health. The day before his death, however, Freddie released this statement: "Following enormous conjecture in the press, I wish to confirm that I have been tested HIV positive and have AIDS. I felt it correct to keep this information private in order to protect the privacy of those around me. However, the time has now come for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth, and I hope everyone will join me, my doctors and all those worldwide in the fight against this terrible disease."

Mercury, according to longtime companion and confidante, Mary Austin, decided to take his own life by ending his medication: "It was Freddie's decision to finally end it all. He chose the time to die," Mary told OK magazine in 2000. "He knew it was coming. The quality of his life had changed so dramatically and he was in more pain every day. He was losing his sight. His body became weaker as he suffered mild fits. It was so distressing to see him deteriorating in this way. One day he decided enough was enough and stopped all the medical supplements that were keeping him going. The overwhelming thing for me was that he was just so incredibly brave. He looked death in the face and said, 'Fine, I'll accept it now I'll go.' But it was peaceful and he died with a smile on his face." - more on this story

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