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17 February 2022, 12:30
Freddie Mercury became one of the world's most popular and iconic popstars after finding fame with his band Queen in the 1970s.
Freddie and Queen - Brian May, Roger Taylor and John Deacon - took on the world with many famous hit singles and legendary live performances until Freddie's untimely death in 1991.
But before Freddie joined Queen, he was known by his family and friends as Farrokh Bulsara.
Read more: Fascinating Freddie Mercury facts
As shown in the biopic Bohemian Rhapsody, Freddie was brought up in a loving family, even if they weren't too sure about Queen's prospects at first.
Freddie’s father Bomi Bulsara was one of eight brothers, and he grew up in the small town of Bulsar, near today’s Mumbai, India.
Bomi and his brothers eventually settled in Zanzibar, and he found employment with the British Government as the high court cashier. He also often returned to India for business.
Read more: First video of Freddie Mercury: Unearthed footage of the shy Queen star as a student in 1964
During one trip back home, Bomi met Jer, and she followed him to Zanzibar after they got married.
Freddie was born as Farrokh Bulsara in 1946, and his younger sister Kashmira was born six years later.
He spent most of his childhood in India, and he returned to Zanzibar in 1963. However, his family fled to England one year later, after the Zanzibar Revolution.
Freddie’s mother Jer later said that he never discussed his sexuality with his family, and avoided talking about work in general.
Read more: Freddie Mercury in private: Rarely seen photos of the star behind closed doors
“Freddie kept a strict division between his work and his home all his life. If I ever asked, he would say, ‘Mum, that is business, and this is family.’ He was kind and very respectful both to myself and his father,” she told The Telegraph.
Freddie's father Bomi passed away in 2003, aged 95.
His mother Jer died in 2016, aged 94. Queen’s Brian May paid tribute to her at the time, saying she was “a keen follower of [their] progress as a band”, and that she came to see them perform whenever they were near.
Born in 1952, Freddie's younger sister was Kashmira Cooke.
She has often appeared at various events about Freddie or Queen, including the premiere of Bohemian Rhapsody.
Now divorced, Kashmira was previously married to Roger Cooke, a sales rep for Singapore Airlines, from 1972. The couple has two children, including a son named Samuel.