Rock fans have been saying for years that Freddie Mercury is the world's greatest.
Now the world knows how right they are--because Freddie and his band, Queen, stole the honours at the star-studded Live Aid concert.
His blistering show, with its haunting finale, left all theother pop greats standing.
Freddie, a very energetic 38, cannot resist giving it all he's got once he is on stage.
He says: "I have to win people over, otherwise it's not a successful gig. It's my job to make sure people have a good time. That's part of my duty. It's all to do with feeling in control. That song We Are The Champions has been taken up by football fans because it's a winners' song. I can't believe that somebody hasn't written a new song to overtake it." In a revealing interview Freddie talks freely and frankly about his superstar friends, his astonishing song writing output and his sad love life.
His composing has brought him into constant with Elton John, Rod Stewart -- and the reclusive Michael Jackson.
He says: "I recorded about two or three tracks with Michael, but none of them are out at the moment."
It was Freddie who started recording State of Shock with Jackson, but he did not have time to finish it. Mick Jagger stepped in--and they had a hit.
A Mercury-Jackson duo was also planned for the smash-hit Thriller album, but that did not come off, either.
Not that Freddie worries over such set-backs. His recording career did very nicely, thank you, when he released his solo album Mr Bad Guy
"I was pleased with it," he says. "I was also pleased with my voice. I like it husky. It's all the smoking. That's why I smoke -- to get that husky voice."
So how did he reach the high notes? "I used the Demis Roussos method," he says. "You get a pair of pliers under the frock and go crunch!"
One of the tracks on Freddie's new album is entitled Love Is Dangerous. Is that his view? He says: "I can be a good lover, but I think after all these years I'm not a very good partner for anybody. Maybe my love is dangerous, but who wants their love to be safe?"
"I'm possessed by love--but isn't everybody? Most of my songs are love ballads and things to do with sadness and torture and pain. In terms of love, you're not in control and I hate that feeling. I seem to write a lot of sad songs because I'm a very tragic person. But there's always an element of humour at the end."
But for all his fame and adulation, Freddie remains a lonely man.
He says: "The album track Living on My Own is very me. I have to go round the world living in hotels. You can have a whole shoal of people you know looking after you. But in the end they all go away. But I'm not complaining. I'm living on my own and having a boogie time."
And this man, with millions of fans all over the world admits he has few friends.
Freddie says: "When you're a celebrity, it's hard to approach somebody and say: 'Look, I'm normal underneath.'
Then what happens is the tread all over me because by trying to be normal to somebody, suddenly I've come out of my shell and become far more vulnerable than most people."
"Because I'm successful and have a lot of money, a lot of greedy people prey on me. But that's something I've learned to deal with.
"I'm riddled with scars and