Freddie Mercury’s favourite singer of all time: “She sings like a dream”

Freddie Mercury is your favourite singer’s favourite singer. The Queen vocalist reinvented what it meant to be a frontman with powerful vocals and daring theatrics. From the six-minute opera of ‘Bohemian Rhapsody’ to the iconic ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’, Mercury is the voice behind some of the greatest rock songs of all time.

Accordingly, Mercury has been consistently lauded by the rock greats who succeeded him, and even Dave Grohl once dubbed him the greatest frontman of all time. He’s admired by countless artists, from peer and collaborator David Bowie to Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain. Mercury has secured a permanent and well-deserved place in the history of music, taking the title of countless people’s favourite singer along the way.

As for Mercury’s own favourite singer, he once revealed his pick as part of Freddie Mercury: A Life, In His Own Words. The frontman stated that he adored the Queen of Soul herself, Aretha Franklin, “above all other singers”.

Mercury is certainly not alone in this opinion, given that Franklin sold over 75 million records by singing hits like ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’ and ‘Respect’, many of which remain etched into the annals of music history. Mercury also suggested that Franklin had “one of the best voices ever, and she sings like a dream”.

Mercury shared his jealousy over how effortless Franklin’s vocals appear, gushing: “I wish I could sing half as well as she does. It’s so natural, and she puts her whole emotion into it. Each word she sings is so full of meaning and expression. I could listen to it forever. I can still see Aretha as part of my world”.

The Queen frontman was particularly fond of ‘(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman’, naming it as one of his all-time favourites. Written by Gerry Goffin, Franklin recorded and released the track in 1967. The beautiful piano ballad features soaring strings and Franklin’s layered, powerful vocals as she declares, “Now I’m no longer doubtful of what I’m livin’ for, and if I make you happy, I don’t need to do no more”.

Mercury’s admiration for Franklin’s work extends far beyond her most recognisable hits, however, as he shares his love for her entire catalogue, “She’s got so many singles and tracks that I like,” he said. “I love the Amazing Grace album. It’s a kind of gospel album, which I play from time to time and get loads of inspiration from. I’d love Aretha to sing ‘Somebody To Love’, actually.”

The influence of Franklin’s music on Mercury can certainly be found in ‘Somebody to Love’. Though we never got to hear Franklin cover the track, it’s not hard to imagine how her soulful vocals would have elevated the powerful song even further.

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