argument top image

What makes star quality?
Back to question

Freddie Mercury's talent shows talent makes star quality

Freddie Mercury wrote the best-known hits for Queen that everyone knows and loves: “Bohemian Rhapsody” and “We are the Champions” to name a couple. Freddie Mercury won numerous awards and was posthumously added to the Rock and Roll Hall of fame. He is known as one of the greatest vocalists of all time.

The Argument

Queen may be a band of four, but Freddie Mercury was the name that everybody knew - and for good reason. Even after his death in 1991, Mercury was still widely regarded as one of the most talented rock musicians and vocalists to have ever existed. Mercury’s talent began to reveal itself during his boarding school years; at age 8, he was able to listen to the radio and replay what he heard on the piano[1]. Undeniably, it was Freddie Mercury’s singing and songwriting abilities that propelled Queen to the top of the charts. Songs such as “Bohemian Rhapsody”, “Don’t Stop Me Now”, and “Killer Queen” are complex in both a lyrical and instrumental sense; the first is widely regarded as one of the most masterful songs in history[2]. Although Mercury was a skilled performer and instrumentalist, his most impressive aspect is his supreme vocal ability. An analysis of the singer’s voice could not confirm a 4-octave range as was rumored,[3] but researchers concluded that his strong vibrato was likely due to employing subharmonics, an extremely complicated singing style that is mostly used by Tuvan throat singers[4]. Mercury’s musical talent lead him to be ranked #18 on Rolling Stone’s list of Top 100 Singers of All Time[5], as well as the greatest male singer on MTV’s 22 Greatest Voices in Music[6]. His immense impact on rock music has spanned several generations, and he continues to be an inspiration to singers and musicians all over the world.

Counter arguments

Freddie Mercury was undoubtedly an incredibly talented singer, but it was his theatrical and charismatic public persona that truly gave him his 'star quality'. Mercury's performance style, which involved extravagant outfits, props, plenty of crowd participation, and a high level of energy [7], made him stand out as one of - if not the - greatest frontmen in the history of rock n' roll. Mercury aimed to "shock" and "charm" his audience[8]; his bandmate Brian May stated that he could "make the last person at the back of the furthest stand in a stadium feel that he was connected"[9]. Queen's performance at Live Aid in 1985 was voted by music executives as the greatest live performance in rock music history[10] - one critic even went so far as to say that Mercury's performance was "Dionysian" and "godlike"[11]. Indeed, Mercury's theatrical, bigger-than-life style was the reason that Queen brought record-breaking numbers of people to their concerts; audiences wanted an immersive experience that listening to Mercury's voice on the radio could not give them.



Rejecting the premises


This page was last edited on Tuesday, 22 Sep 2020 at 13:28 UTC

Explore related arguments