Here is the official statement, for those who didn't get the email this morning:
Celebrating Freddie Mercury's 60th Birthday
September 5, 2006:
2 DVD Set "Lover of Life, Singer of Songs".
CD "The Very Best of Freddie Mercury".
"Freddie Mercury. A life, in his own Words", print and audio book. Freddie's story, told by himself.
Proud Galleries Photographic Exhibition - 8th September to 22nd October, 2006.
ITV and BBC Radio 2 Tributes.
And, of course, a party!
Had singer Freddie Mercury survived the fearsome onset of the HIV/Aids virus which overtook many of his generation, September 5 of this year would have seen Freddie reach the age of 60.
No doubt Freddie would have thrown an elaborate birthday party, something he approached with zeal every year, many of which have become legend: the black and white cross-dressing Munich event; the hat party at home at Garden Lodge.
"Freddie always loved a party," says Peter Freestone, his personal assistant for 12 years. "So much so, that he would often arrange one, and then think of an excuse for having it."
This year there will be a party: Tuesday, September 5, fans, friends, and family will celebrate with a birthday and special fundraising performance of the musical We Will Rock You. The evening's performance will feature guest appearances, script changes, and birthday presents, the presents subsequently to be auctioned in aid of The Mercury Phoenix Trust, the AIDS charity set up by the remaining members of Queen and manager Jim Beach, to fight AIDS worldwide.
The party will not be the only way in which Freddie will be remembered:
September 4th Parlophone will release a CD and special edition package of 'The Very Best of Freddie Mercury', with simultaneous release of a 2 DVD box set, 'Lover of Life, Singer of Songs', all of Freddie's solo videos and his story told by close friends.
The Official 60th Anniversary Photographic Exhibition, showcasing rare images of Freddie from both public and private collections, will take place at proud Central, 5 Buckingham Street, WC2N (www.proud.co.uk ) from 8th September-22nd October 2006.
Publication of the print and audio book, "I'm Mr Mercury", Freddie's life, told in his own words.
TV and radio tribute programmes on ITV and BBC Radio 2.
And, as we approach the date of September 5, 2006, when Queen's legendary front man Freddie Mercury might have been contemplating his bus pass, herewith a few facts about the man and events in history tied into his birth date you may not have know (a few, from a long list available):
- While Freddie plugged Moet Chandon in 'Killer Queen', his favourite was Louis Roederer Cristal.
- Freddie's favourite hobby was shopping, mainly for other people. He loved handing out gifts of expensive perfumes, cologne, watches and jewellery.
- For Freddie, the three biggest wastes of time were eating, sleeping and shaving. He felt you could always do something better with your time.
Freddie shares his birth date with:
- Louis V111, King of France (1187)
- Louis X1V, King of France (1638)
- Johan Christian Bach, composer (1735)
- Jesse James, American outlaw (1847)
- Raquel Welch (1940)
Events that took place on September 5:
Around the world:
- 1698, Tsar Peter 1 of Russia imposed a tax on beards.
- 1666, The Great Fire of London ended. 10,000 buildings including St Paul's Cathedral were destroyed. Amazingly, only 16 people died.
- 1946, the day of Freddie's birth, the first electronic digital computer was put into operation. It weighed over 30 tons and occupied a room 30' x 50'.
In the same year as Freddie was born:
- the first electric blanket was manufactured.
- President Truman officially proclaimed the end of WW II.
- The first jukeboxes went into mass production.
Freddie was one of the most technically accomplished singers to work in the pop id