Freddie Mercury was born just after the second world war in the Sultanate of Zanzibar and grew up in India, moving to England in his teens. He became the lead vocalist for the rock band Queen who had hits through the seventies and eighties.
Sadly Mercury died of bronchopneumonia brought on by AIDS at the end of 1991. He was much loved in the UK and abroad. A tribute concert was then announced at The Brit Awards, in February 1992 by the remaining members of Queen and their manager Jim Beach. The concert was to raise both money for AIDS research and awareness of the disease.
Within three hours of the tickets going on sale they sold out, even though the only announced act was the remaining members of the group. The concert was aired live on BBC in the UK and on global networks on 20th April 1992, Easter weekend. The biggest stars of the day took part.
This was also the biggest chance to date to spread awareness of the newly designed red ribbon. The last outing was a few months prior at the Oscars and the enthusiasm for the usage of the ribbon was almost at fever pitch.
The organises ensured that everyone in both the audience and on stage would receive a red ribbon in order to show the world a way to support awareness, also raising money for research and other projects, on the back of the concert.
The Mercury Phoenix Trust was launched soon after. In 21 years the trust has given away over 15 million dollars and funded over 700 projects globally in 57 different countries. The trust is always looking for donors so they can continue to give to AIDS awareness projects. They believe that education is the true answer to eradicating this disease and believe that Freddie’s memory, legacy and charisma is a driving force.