The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert

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The Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness was an open-air concert held on Easter Monday, 20 April 1992 at London's Wembley Stadium, for an audience of 72,000. The concert was produced for television by Ray Burdis and broadcast live on television and radio to 76 countries around the world.[1] The concert was a tribute to the life of the late Queen frontman, Freddie Mercury, with all proceeds going to AIDS research. The show marked bassist John Deacon's final concert with Queen (save one live appearance with Brian May, Roger Taylor and Elton John in 1997). The profits from the concert were used to launch The Mercury Phoenix Trust AIDS charity organisation.

Contents

History

Following Freddie Mercury's death on 24 November 1991 from AIDS, the remaining members of Queen (John Deacon, Brian May and Roger Taylor) came together with Queen Manager Jim Beach to organise an open air concert to celebrate the life and legacy of Mercury, as well as raise money for AIDS research, and spread awareness about the disease.

In February 1992, at the annual BRIT Awards ceremony, May and Taylor announced plans for the concert. When tickets finally went on sale, all 72,000 tickets sold out in just four hours, even though no performers were announced apart from remaining members of Queen.

Concert

The concert began with short sets from bands that were influenced by the music of Queen (including many hard rock and heavy metal bands), including Metallica, Extreme (playing a Queen medley), Def Leppard (who brought Brian May onstage for a faithful version of "Now I'm Here"), and Guns N' Roses. Between bands, several video clips honouring Freddie Mercury were shown, while the roadies changed the stage for the following act's performance.

The second half of the concert featured the three remaining Queen members - John Deacon (on bass), Brian May (on guitar) and Roger Taylor (on drums) - along with guest singers and guitarists, including Elton John, Roger Daltrey (of The Who), Tony Iommi (of Black Sabbath), David Bowie, Mick Ronson (of Spiders from Mars), James Hetfield (of Metallica), George Michael, Seal, Paul Young, Annie Lennox, Lisa Stansfield, Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin), Joe Elliott and Phil Collen (of Def Leppard), Axl Rose and Slash (of Guns N' Roses), Liza Minnelli, and others. This was the second high-profile project with both Elton John and George Michael in as many years; the year before, they did a live reworking of John's song "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me".

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