Contact Us

21 Years Ago: Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert Dazzles London

Robert Plant Brian May
Michael Putland, Getty Images

The death of Queen singer Freddie Mercury due to AIDS-related complications on Nov. 24, 1991, left his legions of fans and fellow members of rock’s ruling aristocracy thoroughly shell-shocked.

But over the ensuing months, the surviving members of Queen put all of their considerable resources towards organizing a massive concert at London’s Wembley Stadium that would feature some of the era’s biggest superstars, performing together to honor Freddie’s larger-than-life memory and immortal influence.

A concert fit for a king…or a Queen, as circumstances would have it.

So on April 20, 1992, there were 72,000 fans gathered at Wembley, while an estimated 1 billion more tuned in via TV or radio (no, there was no Internet back then!), to pay tribute to this rock and roll monarch – a tribute which began with a jaw-dropping selection of world-conquering bands performing mini-sets, including Extreme, Def Leppard, Guns n’ Roses, Metallica and even Spinal Tap!

But to everyone’s amazement, these were merely the opening acts before Brian May, John Deacon and Roger Taylor took the stage to revisit some of Queen’s best-loved songs alongside legendary classic rock peers like Roger Daltrey, Tony Iommi, Robert Plant, David Bowie, Ian Hunter, Mick Ronson and Elton John – not to mention numerous pop stars, to boot.

By the time the remarkable event culminated, hours later, with all of the stars assembled on stage to the strains of ‘God Save the Queen’ (Queen’s traditional, show-ending background music), it’s fair to say that all those who attended or watched remotely had been treated to something much bigger than a star-studded rock show.

Indeed, what came to be known as “A Concert for Life: The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness” raised generous donations for AIDS research and incalculable awareness about the disease across the globe.

At the same time, Freddie’s public send-off doubled as much needed musical therapy for millions of Queen and rock fans, in general – many of them members of an entire generation that came of age under the shadow of AIDS, and, in Freddie, found a fallen champion to rally behind.

Next: Top 10 Queen Performances from the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert

Recommended For You

Around the Web

Best of Ultimate Classic Rock

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing VIP profile. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to using your original account information.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

(Forgot your password?)

Register on Ultimate Classic Rock quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a member? Sign up here

Register on Ultimate Classic Rock quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!