Born Farrokh Bulsara, Freddie Mercury has emerged as one of the most notable vocalists in the history of rock music. With his powerful stage presence, a flamboyant persona, and an impressive four-octave vocal range, Mercury has helped his band, Queen, to the top of modern music history.
Mercury has had a hand in writing and performing Queen hits such as "Killer Queen," "Bohemian Rhapsody," and "Don't Stop Me Now." Aside from their band's anthems, Freddie Mercury has had a brief solo career. He has also appeared in songs by other artists. Hear Freddie Mercury sing with other big stars in these three hit songs:
"There Must Be More to Life Than This" with Michael Jackson
As a single, this was released as a Mercury-only track in 1985. "There Must Be More to Life Than This" was the eighth track in Mercury's solo debut, "Mr. Bad Guy." However, it was originally recorded as a Michael Jackson - Freddie Mercury duet. The single was kept under wraps and the song reworked as a solo.
Mercury died in 1991, while Jackson died in 2009. Soon afterward, the active Queen members Brian May and Roger Taylor worked to release all three Jackson - Mercury duets. This was the only one that both parties agreed to release and did so in the 2014 "Queen Forever" album. In the Mercury - Jackson version, both kings take charge of its rock and pop sounds in a harmonious back-and-forth of their own vocalist gymnastics against minimal backing music.
"Under Pressure" with David Bowie
What happens when The Champions team up with Ziggy Stardust? A timeless and outstanding rock classic is born, as is the case with "Under Pressure." This 1981 hit appeared on Queen's tenth album "Hot Space," with noted music critic Stephen Thomas Erlewine calling it the "undeniable saving grace" of the Queen album. Writing for AllMusic, Erlewine called it "an utterly majestic, otherworldly duet."
This David Bowie - Freddie Mercury duet makes the most of both their vocal prowesses. Freddie flexes his vocal ranges and provides scat singing as Bowie captures with his soothing pop voice. Not to mention that "Under Pressure" also spawned one of the most recognizable bass riffs no one seems to own - Queen bassist John Deacon said that Bowie created it, May and Taylor point to Deacon; Bowie himself that it was already there when he arrived.
"You Nearly Did Me In" With Ian Hunter
"You Nearly Did Me In" was the second track on the side two of Ian Hunter's sophomore work, "All American Alien Boy." Thanks to session musicians, David Sanborn on saxophone and Lewis Soloff on trumpets was a slow rock track with jazzy elements.
Contrary to the first two entries, this one is not an Ian Hunter - Freddie Mercury duet. Also, all four members - Mercury, May, Deacon, and Taylor - appeared on this track. Their role was to provide backing vocals. During the chorus, a group of voices fans would find similar to "Bohemian Rhapsody" would sing "you nearly did, you nearly did, you nearly did." Those are the members of Queen. Fans claim that it was also Mercury's voice that was standing out during this part.