Inside Freddie Mercury's life - Leaving fortune to ex-fiancée to unknown ashes location

Darcy Rafter September 5, 2022
Inside Freddie Mercury's life - Leaving fortune to ex-fiancée to unknown ashes location
Photo By Armando Gallo/Getty Images

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Freddie Mercury, a music legend, was known for his incredible talent and stage persona – but did you know what happened to his impressive fortune after he died?

He would have turned 76 today, September 5, had he not met his tragic fate on 24 November 1991 following a long battle with AIDS.

The rock and roll star’s passing led to The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, which raised further awareness and funds for the disease. The concert took place on Easter Monday, 20 April 1992 at Wembley Stadium, less than five months after Mercury’s passing.

The surviving Queen members also launched The Mercury Phoenix Trust, which raises funds and awareness for HIV/AIDS worldwide.

The singer was born Farrokh Bulsara on the East African island of Zanzibar in 1946. Freddie’s stage name took form 25 years later when he became the frontman of the legendary rock group Queen.

Let’s take a look at the huge fortune Freddie Mercury left to his former fiancée, and why Kurt Cobain was ‘envious of him’

Freddie Mercury left his huge fortune to ex-fiancée Mary

Photo by Dave Hogan/Getty Images

Mary Austin was born in 1951 in Battersea, South London. Both of her parents were deaf, her father worked as a wallpaper trimmer, and her mother worked at a small company.

Austin met Mercury in 1970 when she was a 19-year-old art student, they hit it off and quickly moved into a small flat together. They eventually moved to a bigger flat in London’s Holland Road and in 1973, the year Queen’s debut album was released, Mercury asked her to marry him.

After six years together their engagement ended when he told her he was bisexual, but the pair remained incredibly close friends for the rest of his life.

In fact, following Mercury’s death, he left Austin 50 percent of his future earnings. Then 25 percent went to his parents and 25 percent to his sister, as per The Express.

After the death of Mercury’s parents, Austin’s share increased to 75 percent. Not to mention, Freddie Mercury left her his 28-room west London mansion and the most part of his $17 million fortune.

Mercury didn’t want to be buried due to ‘obsessive fans’

Mercury asked Austin to collect his ashes and keep them safe in a private location, due to worries regarding his devoted fan base.

Two years after his death, Mary secretly took them from his house, where she currently resides, to scatter.

Austin revealed the real reason why Freddie didn’t want to be buried.

“He didn’t want anyone trying to dig him up, as has happened to some famous people,” Mary told the Daily Mail. “Fans can be deeply obsessive. He wanted it to remain a secret, and it will remain so.”

Why Kurt Cobain was ‘envious’ of Freddie

Kurt Cobain of Nirvana during the taping of MTV Unplugged at Sony Studios in New York City, 11/18/93. Photo by Frank Micelotta. *** Special Rates Apply *** Call for Rates ***

Freddie Mercury marveled at a giant crowd of fans who showed their adoration for him, Kurt Cobain even mentioned Freddie’s stage presence in his suicide note:

“When we’re backstage and the lights go out and the manic roar of the crowds begins, it doesn’t affect me the way in which it did for Freddie Mercury,” he wrote.

Cobain added that “[He] seemed to love, relish in the love and adoration from the crowd which is something I totally admire and envy.”

The two legendary lead singers had very different on-stage presences. Cobain compared himself to Freddie Mercury and admitted being jealous of how Mercury interacted with the crowd.

Freddie Mercury’s iconic songwriting

Photo by Paul Natkin/WireImage

Freddie’s trademark bottomless mic stand actually happened by accident at the beginning of his career. The stand snapped in half mid-concert and the star just continued singing. This then became iconic, and he ended up using the same bottomless mic for most of his career.

When he wasn’t on stage he was playing scrabble on a tour bus with his bandmates or he was writing songs. Whilst the logic behind Bohemian Rhapsody was simply “rhyming nonsense” the song Crazy Little Thing Called Love has poignant lyrics.

Hilariously, Mercury wrote the song whilst taking a bath in a hotel. He got so carried away with writing it that he had a piano be brought up to his hotel bathroom so he could finish composing it.

Freddie wanted to split his fortune between his cats and Mary

What many don’t know about Mercury is that he loved cats, he had 10 and even wrote a song for his favorite, Delilah. Six of them, including Delilah, lived with him at home in his final days – Goliath, Lily, Miko, Oscar, and Romeo. The last-ever photograph of Mercury shows him in bed with two of his furry friends.

At one point he even declared he would split his entire fortune between his cats and Mary Austin. However, he didn’t actually leave any of his fortunes directly to his cats.

For support and information on HIV or AIDS, please visit Terrence Higgins TrustPositively UK or National AIDS Trust.

For those in the USA, you can also call The Body’s 24-Hour HIV Hotline or visit the CDC. There is also a list of State HIV/AIDS hotlines and resources here.

If you are affected by any issues raised in the article or would like someone to speak to, please call the Samaritans for free on 116 123. You can also email them at [email protected] or visit samaritans.org to find your nearest branch in the UK. In the US, please visit Samaritans USA for more information.

You can also contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 800-273-TALK (8255) or text 741741 to get in touch with the Crisis Text Line. Americans can now call or text 988 to reach out and speak to a counselor.

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Darcy is an experienced journalist passionate about celebrity culture and entertainment. After gaining a degree in Media and Communications at Goldsmiths University she has also become a social media specialist, always keeping informed on the latest trends. With almost five years of experience in media, her expertise is analysing platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and TikTok. When she's not tracking the latest trending content, she’s watching films and eating lots of chocolate.