Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles Nothing lasts forever. Not even life. No, no, I'm not scared of dying. I'm just a little sad to find myself at the finish line. You know me, Jim. You know I never like it when a party comes to an end. I somehow always want more. How do I look? Oh, Freddie, you look great. You're such a liar. November 24th, 1991, the man, the myth, and the legend, Freddie Mercury, died at the age of 45. In this episode, we'll celebrate the life of rock and roll's most engaging performer and show you how and why he died. It's hard to imagine Freddie Mercury as anything other than the front man of Queen, holding stadium audiences in the palm of his hand. But Freddie hadn't always been like that. In fact, Freddie hadn't always been Freddie. His story began on an island of Zanzibar, where, in 1946, Farrokh Bulsara was born. A musical prodigy who could play anything and sing anything. Little Farrokh was in the spotlight, but not for his musical talents. Look at this kid! Hey, what's wrong with you? You've got a mouth full of teeth. Buck-teeth-kid; there's a nickname for you⏤Bucky! Bucky, Bucky, Bucky, Bucky! Born with a genetic dental condition that left him with 4 extra teeth, Farrokh, indeed, had a unique appearance. He was teased by his peers, and was shy and quiet, except for when he was performing on his school stage. There, Farrokh would transform into someone else⏤someone confident and charismatic. That someone needed a name. I'm gonna be Freddie. Yeah! Freddie sounds rock and roll; much better than Farrokh or Bucky. Amidst the Zanzibar revolution of 1964, the Bulsara family moved to London. And for a 17-year-old Freddie, it was a head-first dive into the swinging sixties, with their sexual liberation, recreational drugs, and of course, music⏤really good music. That same year, Beatlemania began sweeping the globe. Suddenly, it was not just the American artists who were dominating the pop and rock and roll genres; it was the UK artists that were taking up the lead. Much like London was transforming into the musical capital of the world, Freddie stepped on his path to becoming the greatest lead singer, with not just a unique voice and appearance, but with truly unique vision. Formed in 1970, a decade after the Beatles, Queen became the quintessence of Freddie's vision. There was something unparallel about them. No other band had such a flamboyant stage presence, yet such complex music. Such outlandish costumes, yet such deep lyrics. For over 20 years, Freddie, Brian, John, and Roger were the powerhouse of British rock, until late 1991, when Freddie died of AIDS. Certainly don't have any aspirations to live to 70; it would be so boring! I've lived a full life, and if I'm dead tomorrow, I don't give a damn! How did Freddie contract AIDS? Well, as Freddie just said, he was living life to the fullest. During the day, a quiet gentlemen surrounded by 10 adorable cats. At night, a party animal. Freddie was known for throwing the most outrageous, wild, and lavish parties in the entire industry. Hey, I'm a sex machine ready to reload like an atom bomb, darling. Yeah, like there's no tomorrow, darling. Remember, dullness is a disease. OK, Freddie loved partying, but partying doesn't cause AIDS. Freddie's bisexuality wasn't the reason for his illness, either. It was the unprotected sex with random partners that killed him. Freddie contracted HIV in 1981 or 1982, and it was not until 1987 when he learnt about his diagnosis. But it was already too late. HIV had been slowly destroying Freddie's white blood cells for years. Those white blood cells act as the human body's shield against diseases. The fewer of them were remaining in his blood, the weaker his immune system was becoming. Eventually, Freddie's immune system collapsed, leaving him completely unprotected from deadly diseases. This is when his HIV turned into the final stage, AIDS. And since that moment, his death was just a matter of time, as there was no effective treatment up until 1996. Gentlemen, I need to tell you something. I'm dying. I have this AIDS thing. But don't worry. It's gonna be fine and I just want to focus on the music. Let's record as much as we can; let's go get to work. In the last 3 years of his life, Freddie Mercury recorded 2 more albums with Queen. His voice was thinning, but he kept going 'til he can no longer hit the notes. Whenever he wasn't working on music, he was spending time with his ex-girlfriend and best friend, Mary Austin, and partner, Jim Hutton, and, of course, his cats. This was Freddie's team who he loved dearly. One day before his death, Freddie issued a statement to the press and public, confirming that he, indeed, had AIDS. This brought an enormous amount of attention to the disease. He raised AIDS and HIV awareness in an era when much of the discussion was taboo. Yet the epidemic was just around the corner. This is the story of Freddie Mercury's death. This is how it was. All right, if you liked this video, please give it a thumbs-up. And don't forget to hit that notification bell so you won't miss new episodes.