Okay, perhaps the headline is a little misleading.
A new study delved into how former lead singer of Queen, Freddie Mercury, was such a damn good singer. His range has been cataloged with sports arena classics, power ballads and epic stories told through the art of song. “We Are the Champions,” “The Show Must Go On,” and “Bohemian Rhapsody” are perfect, but not the only examples.
A group of Austrian, Czech, and Swedish researchers have used science to prove Mercury was just as good a singer as listeners thought. Well, not quite as good. Legend had it that Mercury’s voice was capable of spanning four octaves. The researchers weren’t able to confirm this from their data (they used a mix of archival Mercury performances and interviews for data) but still found evidence that Mercury was extremely skilled at modulating his voice. (h/t Entertainment Weekly)
I’m not too familiar with this vernacular. Before there was auto-tune and digitally modifying voices for marketing purposes, a man like Freddie Mercury was unique with that operatic range. Nobody could deny it if they tried.
One interesting element of Mercury’s singing was how he could sound finessed at times and more rough at others. The researchers noted this may have been due to his vibrato frequency, a few notches above the standard for classically trained vocalists. (h/t Entertainment Weekly)
Freddie Mercury was flamboyant and wasn’t afraid to show it. He made you feel like a rock star and could make you scream at the top of your lungs. He also could make you cry when describing a love story with either himself or someone else.
There are many singers out there who can hit the high notes. There are those who can sustain a scream during a metal riff or hard rock anthem. However, there’s only one man who’s been able to do all that and maintain the status of “Ultimate Rock Star” and “Best Singer Ever.”
With all due respect to many of the acts out there that have spanned numerous decades, genres and songs, I don’t think there’s much debate about this. If you’d like to take some time and read the full study here, knock yourself out.
Who are some of your favorite singers? Do you feel they had a better range of talent than that of Freddie Mercury? There are no wrong answers. I’m very curious to see who would rank up there with him.