Freddie Mercury: Vocalist Extraordinaire

Publish Date
Thursday, 21 April 2016, 12:36PM

Late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury had one of the most memorable voices in music, and now researchers have unlocked some of the mystery behind it.

For one thing, his vocal chords moved faster than normal. But the bigger part of the puzzle involves something called subharmonics, a sort of irregular vibrato. It is most famously employed by Tuvan throat singers, and while Mercury didn’t achieve Tuvan levels, it’s still quite a feat for a rock vocalist to even come close.

Researchers conclude that Mercury was likely a natural baritone but sang as a tenor with exceptional control over his voice production technique.

I love this clip of him warming up before a Wembley concert - it shows his great voice but more importantly his adorable sense of humour. Much missed.