Happy Birthday Freddie Mercury: Queen Performing On ‘SNL’ In 1982

By Andy Kahn Sep 5, 2017 10:00 am PDT

Among the most recognizable and inimitable voices in rock ‘n’ roll history belonged to late Queen frontman Freddie Mercury. The legendary singer born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar, Tanzania would have turned 71 today had he not died of AIDS-related complications at age 45 on November 24, 1991.

In celebration of what would have been Freddie’s birthday today, here’s a look back at Queen’s lone appearance on American television. The acclaimed British rockers were the musical guests on the eighth season debut episode of Saturday Night Live back on September 25, 1982.

Mercury can be seen playing a 12-string acoustic guitar, a rarity for the musician most inclined on piano, during a performance of Queen’s hit “Crazy Little Thing Called Love.” Freddie wrote the song on guitar as a tribute to Elvis Presley and it was issued on the 1980 LP The Game. The appearance in New York City marked Mercury’s final performance in North America prior to his death several years later.

Watch Freddie on SNL below:

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