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Digital Subscriptions > Attitude > 259 > Freddie MERCURY AT LIVE AID




13 July 1985 was Live Aid – The Day The Music Changed The World, The Global Jukebox. Bob Geldof’s grand plan, conceived as the main course to the entree of the Band Aid single from Christmas 1984. The concept was far from simple: two concerts in London and Philadelphia, with every major pop star on the planet performing before the eyes of the world to gather the donations of millions, all for the famine struck people of Ethiopia. Thirty years later, and multiple line-up concerts, cross continent events and global telethons are nothing new, but in 1985, the world had never seen anything like it. And, of all the memorable moments the day created – Bono leaping into the audience, Phil Collins playing both shows with the help of Concorde, and the rousing showstopper from Tina Turner and Mick Jagger – the most iconic moment of all was undoubtedly delivered by Queen, and a masterful, career-defining performance from Freddie Mercury.

Freddie performing at Wembley Stadium

When it came to organising Live Aid, Queen were high on Bob Geldof’s hit list, but the band weren’t immediately won over. Lesley Ann Jones is the author of Freddie Mercury: The Definitive Biography, who went on the road with the band many times, and covered Live Aid. She told me Freddie had been slightly miffed at not being invited to record Do They Know It’s Christmas? the previous November, and had to be asked extra nicely by Geldof to perform at Live Aid. “Eventually Bob called up Queen’s manager and said ‘Look, what’s up with the old queen? It’s the perfect stage for him. It’s the entire world’. When it was put to him that way, Freddie just got it, and said OK, because it couldn’t happen without him. It was very much Freddie’s day.”

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About Attitude

This very special edition of Attitude is our biggest ever. It marks our first annual Pride Awards, which were created to champion the unsung heroes of the LGBT community; all of our 11 recipients grace the cover, and their extraordinary stories are told inside. They will all be honoured at an event in London, hosted by Alan Cumming, on 26 June. This issue also marks Attitude’s 21st birthday, and inside we feature 21 ordinary 21 year olds from the LGBT community who speak about what matters to them as they come of age in Britain in 2015. The issue also includes interviews with Roisin Murphy, Little Mix, Mary Lambert, Aston Merrygold, Kavana, Collabro, actor Layton Williams, and director Bill Condon; as well as features on the rebranding of Switchboard, and a look back at Queen’s iconic Live Aid performance 30 years on. All this, plus our regular fashion spreads, columnists, real life features, travel and fitness.