Watch Seal’s powerful tribute to Freddie Mercury from 1992 with ‘Who Wants To Live Forever’

6 August 2021, 15:19 | Updated: 6 August 2021, 15:34

Seal and Freddie Mercury
Seal and Freddie Mercury . Picture: Getty

By Thomas Curtis-Horsfall

Seal's powerhouse performance of Queen's 'Who Wants To Live Forever' was one of the standout moments from the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert in 1992.

Held at London's Wembley Stadium with 72,000 fans in attendance, Seal's spine-tingling rendition of the Queen classic had everyone in the arena close to tears.

He joined the remaining original Queen members Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon on stage for a one-off performance that lives long in the memory.

Read more: Brian May says Freddie Mercury would still be performing with Queen today if he were alive

The benefit concert took place in April 1992, months after Freddie Mercury sadly succumbed to AIDS in November 1991.

The fact that the iconic frontman had passed away makes 'Who Wants To Live Forever' even more poignant, and is widely considered as one of their most enduring, and moving songs.

All proceeds went to AIDS Awareness charity, and the concert was viewed by an estimated billion people worldwide.

Read more: Freddie Mercury shows off his spine-tingling acapella voice in backstage video from last Queen concert

A testament to Freddie Mercury's legacy as one of the world's greatest ever performers was the sheer amount of stars that were involved in his 1992 tribute show.

George Michael, Elton John, David Bowie, Liza Minnelli, Annie Lennox, Robert Plant, Paul Young, and Roger Daltrey are just a handful of names who performed, including Seal.

Seal
Seal performs on stage at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness, Wembley Stadium, London, 20th April 1992. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images). Picture: Getty
Seal
Seal performs on stage at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness, Wembley Stadium, London, 20th April 1992. (Photo by Michael Putland/Getty Images). Picture: Getty

Brian May famously said in his introduction to the concert: "Good evening Wembley and the world. We are here tonight to celebrate the life, and work, and dreams, of one Freddie Mercury. We're gonna give him the biggest send off in history!"

Slash & Brian May performing on stage at the Freddie Mercury Tribute concert  (Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns)
Slash & Brian May performing on stage at the Freddie Mercury Tribute concert (Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns). Picture: Getty

He was correct - the concert is regarded as one of the most impactful and beloved concerts of the decade.

Read more: The Freddie Mercury tribute concert: A guide to the greatest gig of the ‘90s

At the time the benefit concert took place, Seal was one of the newer artists on the lineup.

After this tear-jerking performance, however, he quickly became a global star himself going on to win the BRIT Award for Best British Male later that year.

Crowds watching the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, Wembley Stadium, London, April 20, 1992. (Photo by Phil Dent/Redferns)
Crowds watching the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert, Wembley Stadium, London, April 20, 1992. (Photo by Phil Dent/Redferns). Picture: Getty

Seal singing with one of the world's greatest ever rock bands was seen as an unlikely combination.

"I thought so too!" he said in a backstage interview during the concert. "It's a great honour to be given a chance - you're talking to someone whose career is only a year-and-a-half old!"

Read more: Seal facts: Singer's real name, wife, children and how he got his scars explained

"I found it quite amazing that they said 'Hey would you mind singing one' [song] you know".

Tested on whether or not singing a rock ballad was his style during the interview, Seal responded: "I don't think so, I don't think I have a particular style."

Regardless of that opinion his performance certainly did the song, and Freddie Mercury, justice.

Read more: 7 of Seal's best songs ever, from Crazy to Kiss From a Rose

Freddie Mercury of Queen performs on stage with drummer Roger Taylor behind on the Magic Tour at Wembley Stadium, London, July 1986. (Photo by Suzie Gibbons/Redferns)
Freddie Mercury of Queen performs on stage with drummer Roger Taylor behind on the Magic Tour at Wembley Stadium, London, July 1986. (Photo by Suzie Gibbons/Redferns). Picture: Getty

'Who Wants To Live Forever' was originally released in 1986 as the soundtrack for sci-fi fantasy film Highlander starring Sean Connery and Christopher Lambert.

Other standout performances from the evening include George Michael's take on 'Somebody To Love' and Elton John being joined by Guns 'n' Roses frontman Axl Rose for 'Bohemian Rhapsody'.

The concert culminated in a rousing version of 'We Are The Champions', led by Liza Minnelli with all the music icons taking the stage.

Lisa Stansfield and George Michael performing at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness, at Wembley Stadium, London, 20 April 1992. (Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns/Getty Images)
Lisa Stansfield and George Michael performing at the Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert for AIDS Awareness, at Wembley Stadium, London, 20 April 1992. (Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns/Getty Images). Picture: Getty
George Michael performing at the Freddie Mercury Tribute gig (Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns)
George Michael performing at the Freddie Mercury Tribute gig (Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns). Picture: Getty
John Deacon, Roger Taylor, Liza Minelli, Brian May performing on stage at the Freddie Mercury Tribute concert (Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns)
John Deacon, Roger Taylor, Liza Minelli, Brian May performing on stage at the Freddie Mercury Tribute concert (Photo by Mick Hutson/Redferns). Picture: Getty

You can still watch the iconic three-hour-long tribute show from a range of streaming platforms including both YouTube and Google Play.