Freddie Mercury Befriended Elton John Because of This Queen Song

When they first met, Elton John told Freddie Mercury he liked one of Queen’s songs. Subsequently, Mercury made friends with John. Later on, John and Rod Stewart performed for Mercury together on a special occasion free of charge.

Elton John, Peter Straker, and Freddie Mercury holding glasses
Elton John, Peter Straker, and Freddie Mercury | Hulton Archive/Getty Images

Freddie Mercury wrote 1 of Queen’s classic songs with very little effort

In the book Freddie Mercury: A Life, in His Own Words, Mercury said certain songs came together very easily. One night, Mercury scribbled some words on a piece of paper in the dark. He worked on the song all the next day. Mercury didn’t want to sound conceited, but he felt the song gelled with minimal effort on his part.

The song in question was “Killer Queen.” Mercury didn’t initially intend for the song to be a single; however, Queen decided the song was strong enough for a single release. Mercury felt this was a risk because it was so different from other Queen songs.

How Freddie Mercury’s friendship with Elton John began

Elsewhere in the book, Mercury discussed his friendships with a number of people. “I’m very close with a lot of people — like David Bowie and Elton John,” he revealed. “Elton’s a good old cookie. I love him to death and I think he’s fabulous. To me he’s like one of those last Hollywood actresses of any worth. He has been a pioneer in rock ‘n’ roll.”

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Mercury gave fans insight into the first time he met John. “The first time I met him he was wonderful, one of those people you can instantly get on with,” Mercury recalled. “He said he liked ‘Killer Queen’ and anyone who says that goes into my white book. My black book is bursting at the seams!”

Mercury also revealed his friendship with John extended beyond John’s love of “Killer Queen.” “I’m very fond of Rod [Stewart] and Elton,” Mercury said. “They both came to my last birthday party and sang happy birthday when the cake was wheeled in. I shouted out, ‘This is probably the first time the two of you have sung without being paid for it!'”

How Queen’s song ‘Killer Queen’ impacted the charts and pop culture

“Killer Queen” was a hit in the United States. It peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard Hot 100, remaining on the chart for 19 weeks. Its parent album, Sheer Heart Attack, was a hit as well. It peaked at No. 12 on the Billboard 200, staying on the chart for 32 weeks.

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“Killer Queen” was an even bigger success in the United Kingdom. The Official Charts Company reports it reached No. 2 in the U.K., staying on the chart for 12 weeks. Sheer Heart Attack peaked at No. 2 in the U.K., staying on the chart for 47 weeks.

“Killer Queen” had a major impact on pop culture outside of its time on the charts. For example, the sequel to the Netflix movie The Babysitter is called The Babysitter: Killer Queen. Killer Queen is also the name of one of Katy Perry’s perfumes and the name of a Family Guy episode about Stewie Griffin’s negative reaction to a Queen album.

John was a fan of “Killer Queen” — and it appears the world embraced the song as well.