He Said No! Freddie Mercury Friend Recalls Singer's Denial After HIV Diagnosis

Nov. 1 2018, Updated 5:18 p.m. ET

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In the 1970s and 1980s, Queen was one of the most renowned bands in the world. With Freddie Mercury as its lead singer, the group released 15 studio albums and sold between 150-300 million of those worldwide. The stars rose to the top of the charts with their hit "Bohemian Rhapsody" and it seemed nothing could stop them — until 1991, when Mercury passed away from an incurable disease.

Just in time for the Queen-based film release this Friday, REELZ's new docuseries, Freddie Mercury – The Great Pretender, looks back at the band's rise to the top, and their sudden pitfall following Mercury's tragic HIV death.

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"I asked him I said 'Do you have AIDS or HIV?' and he said no, he had some blood condition. He actually answered that to me," recalls Mercury's friend, Paul Gambaccini, adding that the musician never told him about his condition until the very end, when he shared a statement with the world.

Mercury — who lived as an openly gay man during his final years — was determined to keep working despite his declining health. Less than one day after he admitted he was HIV positive, he passed away at the young age of 45.

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