“Freddie told me he had AIDS soon after he was diagnosed in 1987. I was devastated. I had seen what the disease had done to so many of my other friends. I knew exactly what it was going to do to Freddie. As did he. He knew death, agonising death, was coming. But Freddie was incredibly courageous.

He kept up appearances, he kept performing with Queen, and he kept being the funny, outrageous and profoundly generous person he had always been.

As Freddie deteriorated in the late 1980s and early ’90s, it was almost too much to bear. It broke my heart to see this absolute light unto the world ravaged by AIDS. By the end, he was lying in bed, too weak to stand, losing his sight, but, he was still definitely Freddie, gossiping away, completely outrageous:, ‘Have you heard Mrs Bowie’s new album, darling? What does she think she’s doing? Freddie Mercury was an amazing and innovatory singer. A great showman and one of my best friends. It is a privilege to have been close to him, he was very funny and at the same time completely excessive and extravagant but also very kind. I always had the best time with him. “

Elton John

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