Here's Who Inherited Freddie Mercury's Fortune After He Died

Classic rock band Queen's electrifying frontman with the four-octave vocal range Freddie Mercury had a net worth of somewhere around $50 million when he died in 1991, according to Celebrity Net Worth (adjusted for inflation). That's believed to be double what Mercury actually earned while he was alive, as Express reports. No doubt, that's a lot of coin. But, technically, a fair amount of it was tied up in real estate investments and various other non-liquid assets. Regardless, Mercury had no children nor a legal spouse to whom he could leave his money. Which begs the question, who inherited Freddie Mercury's fortune after he died?

When Freddie Mercury was diagnosed with HIV in 1987 it was then a terminal illness, as Men's Health reports. Also according to Men's Healthy, Mercury hid his prognosis from the public up until just before he died in 1991. Mercury wanted to keep his illness private, understandable given the stigma of HIV/Aids all throughout the '80s. Nevertheless, there was much speculation in the tabloids about Mercury's appearance. He had grown thin and it seemed likely he was unwell. Between the time that Freddie Mercury was diagnosed with HIV and the time that he died, the legendary rock singer had plenty of time to figure out who he wanted to leave his fortune to. For Mercury, the answer was obvious. 

He left half to his family

According to Ultimate Classic Rock, when Freddie Mercury died in 1991 he left a quarter of his net worth and future income earned from Queen to his parents, and a quarter to his sister, Kashmira Bulsara. Freddie Mercury was born Farrokh Bulsara in Zanzibar in 1946, a small island just off the east coast of Africa, according to Biography. He had only one sister. Income from Mercury's work with Queen continues to grow to this day, as the band tours and continues to release new music, but also as new generations get introduced to Queen through movies like "Bohemian Rhapsody," a movie which grossed more than $900 million, per NME. American Idol finalist Adam Lambert now sings for the band, as Smooth Radio reports.  

Both of Freddie Mercury's parents, Bomi and Jer Bulsara, died before the movie "Bohemian Rhapsody" came out, both in their 90s. Mercury's parents, unfortunately, saw none of the money that movie would gross (via Smooth Radio). When Mercury's parents died, though, the third individual from Freddie Mercury's past to whom he left half his wealth at the time he died, began to earn even more from Freddie Mercury's fortune than the generous amount she was given at first. That, too, was all part of Mercury's plan.

His common-law wife

The person that Freddie Mercury left half of his fortune to at the time that he died was named Mary Austin, whom Mercury considered to be his common-law wife. Though Mercury eventually accepted and owned his sexuality, he and Austin were once engaged and lived together for several years. After he came out to her, they remained very close.  Austin and Mercury met and began their relationship in 1969 before he'd even formed Queen, and through all of the fame and success, and into his illness and final days, Austin was an important part of his life — his most-trusted confidant. All told, the pair maintained their unique relationship for more than two decades before Mercury died.

Mary Austin is, in fact, the only person who knows where his ashes are, per his request, according to Biography. Also according to Biography, Mercury once said, "All my lovers asked me why they couldn't replace Mary, but it's simply impossible. The only friend I've got is Mary, and I don't want anybody else. To me, she was my common-law wife. To me, it was a marriage." For her part, Austin tried to change Mercury's mind, to which Mercury said, "If things had been different, you would have been my wife and this would have been yours anyway" (via Hello! Magazine). 

Austin now earns 75% of what Freddie Mercury is worth

To further emphasize Mercury's dedication to Mary Austin (pictured above), he even directed in his will that when his parents died she would then get their share. So now, Austin gets 75% of Mercury's estate, while his sister continues to earn 25%. That's significant because money is still coming in. According to New Zealand Herald, Austin received $75 million in royalties for the 2018 Mercury biopic, "Bohemian Rhapsody." 

In addition, Mercury also left his London home to Austin (via Express). Per Hello! Magazine, that home is estimated to be worth about £25 million, or about $33 million.  "Why would I want to change it?" Austin said of Mercury's home, where she now lives, according to Hello! Magazine. "It is his taste and style. It's beautiful. His presence is everywhere," she said. As well as who we've already mentioned, Freddie Mercury left about £500,000 to several friends, and his then-lover Jim Hutton, or today, about $650,000 after inflation (via Hello! Magazine).