Monday, September 5, 2011

Music Mondays - Freddie for a Day UNWRITTEN

Today marks what would have been Freddie Mercury's sixty-fifth birthday had his life not been tragically cut short by AIDS twenty years ago. His was a stellar career spanning two decades (both with Queen and on his own) and about four octaves. His death in 1991 sparked huge surge in publicity for the disease - second only to the death of Rock Hudson, I would say - as well as a huge storm of controversy regarding his private life.

Mercury with partner Jim Hutton, who died last year.

The surviving members of Queen founded the Mercury Phoenix Trust [MPT], which has raised over 15 million dollars to in the fight against HIV/AIDS since its inception in 1992. Among many other fundraising projects, they organize "Freddie for a Day" [FFAD]. The project was born last year when Liz Swanton - London banker and web editor to MPT - decided to dress as Freddie Mercury for 24 hours and asked friends, family, and co-workers to sponsor her. Read her entire story here.

Liz Swanton, the original Freddie for a Day in 2010

Well, MPT thought it was a brilliant idea and decided to pick up the event and advertise it world-wide. The FFAD website has costumes, accessories, and other merchandise for sale - proceeds going to the MPT, of course. This first official FFAD also comes just in time for the production of the Freddie Mercury biopic, which will star Sacha Baron Cohen as Queen's lead singer.

In honor of Mercury's birthday, here are some of his songs:

I'm only sad that I learned about this too late to participate, and so instead I decided to advertise their cause and maybe get some of you readers to do it with me next year! Perhaps, instead, we can chip in by buying some of their fabulous merchandise here - like this delightful mug:


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