Freddie Mercury, the man with one of the most powerful voices ever, an incredibly influential musical innovator, nowadays is also viewed as a gay icon. It wasn’t always so. The Zanzibar-born singer remained ambiguous about his sexuality up until his death in 1991, which was only shortly preceded by an announcement that he is battling AIDS.
Now, more than quarter of a century after his untimely death at the age of 45, intimate photos from the private life of the Queen frontman have finally emerged. The recently discovered pictures revolve around Mercury’s relationship with Jim Hutton, a hairdresser who was with Freddie the mid-1980 until his passing.
The two met in 1984 in a nightclub, but the coiffeur declined Mercury’s first two invites to a date as he was already in a relationship. However, when they kicked it off 18 months after their first encounter, they became inseparable. Two years into their relationship, Jim moved in with Freddie and stayed with him until his death from bronchopneumonia in November 1991.
Long before same-sex marriage was even discussed, the two considered themselves married and exchanged rings. When Freddie was diagnosed with the terminal illness, he offered Jim the chance to exit the relationship before things got too difficult. Hutton turned down the offer.
“I love you, Freddie,” Hutton told his lover, “I’m not going anywhere.”
Jim Hutton sadly passed away in 2010, from a smoking-related illness. Here are a few touching photos from his life together with the music icon.