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Elton John shares tear-jerking story about Freddie Mercury’s final days

Ella Braidwood September 5, 2019

Singer songwriter Elton John with star of musicals Peter Straker, and Freddie Mercury. Hulton Archive/Getty Images)

Freddie Mercury passed away from complications from AIDS on November 24, 1991, having only revealed to the public that he had the virus just days before.

Elton John, one of Mercury’s closest friends, spoke out about his final days – and a poignant last gesture from the Queen singer – in his book Love is the Cure: On Life, Loss, and the End of AIDS, which was released in 2013.

Elton John pays tribute to late Freddie Mercury.

The ‘Candles in the Wind’ singer explained that he was left “devastated” after Mercury told him he had AIDS soon after he was diagnosed in 1987.

“I’d seen what the disease had done to so many of my other friends,” he wrote.

“I knew exactly what it was going to do to Freddie. As did he.

“He knew death, agonising death, was coming.”

John, however, explained that Mercury was courageous as he battled the virus and kept performing with Queen.

Mercury gives Elton John Christmas present after his death.

He said that Mercury kept on being the “profoundly generous” person he had always been, adding that, even in his last few days, the Queen frontman “truly lived for others”.

John explained how on the first Christmas after Mercury’s death in 1991, he opened his front door to find a friend with a present from Mercury wrapped in a pillow case.

Elton John performing live onstage at Freddie Mercury Tribute Concert (Mick Hutson/Redferns)

Here was this beautiful man, dying from AIDS, and in his final days, he had somehow managed to find me a lovely Christmas present.

Inside the pillow case, he explained, was a painting by Henry Scott Tuke – one of John’s favourite artists – alongside a note addressed to “Sharon” from “Melina”, which were drag queen pet names the two had given to each other years earlier.

“I was overcome, 44-years-old at the time, crying like a child,” explained John.

“Here was this beautiful man, dying from AIDS, and in his final days, he had somehow managed to find me a lovely Christmas present.”

More: AIDS, Christmas, Elton John, Freddie Mercury

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