On This Gay Day: The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert

In 1992 musicians gathered to raise awareness about AIDS

On this day in 1992 an assortment of musicians came together to remember Queen vocalist Freddie Mercury, and raise awareness about HIV and AIDS.

Mercury passed away in November 1992, just one day after he let the world officially know that he was living with HIV. A few months after his passing, to raise finds for research and care of those affected by the virus, a star studded fundraising concert was held at Wembley Stadium.

In front of a crowd of 72,000 people Liza Minnelli, Def Leppard, David Bowie, Annie Lennox, Lisa Stansfield, Extreme, Seal, Guns and Roses, Elton John, Paul Young, Metallica and others joined the remaining members of Queen to perform their hits. The band’s collaboration with George Michael on Someone to Love became a chart topping hit.

The show was also remembered for a duet between Guns and Roses and Elton John. The band had been accused of including homophobic lyrics in their songs, but they joined Elton John – who had only recently come out – to perform one of Queen’s greatest hits Bohemian Rhapsody. 

Highlights of the show included Annie Lennox and David Bowie performing Under Pressure, George Michael’s powerful rendition of Someone to Love and Axl Rose leading the crowd in a rendition of We Will Rock You. 

The concert was also one of the final performances of guitarist Mick Ronson who passed away the following year. This was the last full concert Queen’s bassist John Deacon played with the band.

Luther Vandross was born in 1951

Singer Luther Vandross spent years as a backing vocalist before achieving success as an RnB crooner. He never spoke about his sexuality during his life, but after he passed away colleagues confirmed that he was gay.

Vandross was a backing vocalist for Todd Rundgren, Judy Collins, Chaka Khan, Bette Midler, Barbra Streisand, Carly Simon, Cat Stevens, Sister Sledge, Diana Ross, David Bowie and Donna Summer. In 1980 he found success with the band Change, but he soon launched a solo career that saw him develop a legion of mostly female fans.

His success as a singer was mainly in the USA, but he scored a massive global hit when he teamed up with Janet Jackson to record The Best Things In Life Are Free, later he scored another big hit when he sang Endless Love with Mariah Carey.

In 2003 he released an acclaimed album Dance With My Father, the title track, co-written with Richard Marx, won the Grammy for Song of the Year in 2004. Sadly he could only accept the award via a pre-taped acceptance speech.

In April 2003 he suffered a severe stroke and was in a coma for two months. The stoke affected his ability to sing and he has to use a wheelchair.  He died two years later of a heart attack. He left behind 16 albums of material.

George Takei was born on this day in 1939

Actor and activist George Takei was born on this day in 1939, today he celebrated his 84th birthday.

Best known for his role as Hikaru Sulu in the TV series Star Trek and it’s subsequent movies, Takei has enjoyed a career that has spanned eight decades.

Since he joined Facebook in 2011, his account which is filled with humorous comments and discussions about human rights has attracted over 10 million  followers. Takei announced he was gay in 2005 and had been in a long term relationship with Brad Altman. The couple wed in 2008.

OIP Staff

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