New intimate photos reveal Freddie Mercury's private world

Story highlights

  • Freddie Mercury would have been 70
  • Celebrity photographer reveals intimate photos of the star in new exhibition
  • An asteroid has been named Freddiemercury in honor of the Queen frontman

London (CNN)It's been 25 years since the death of rock legend Freddie Mercury. But in London, the Queen vocalist's memory is being brought to life with a new exhibition.

Timed to coincide with what would have been his 70th birthday (he was born Sept. 5, 1946), "A Kind of Magic" brings together intimate photos from the performer's performances, parties and personal life as captured by celebrity photographer and close friend Richard Young.
    "This isn't a tribute to Freddie, this is a tribute to my friend, to someone who I really adored and loved as a person," said Young, who has also photographed the likes of Mick Jagger, Michael Jackson, Elizabeth Taylor, David Bowie and Princess Diana.
    "He was a joy to be with; he was a Virgo like me -- great sense of humor, great fun -- and he was just a lovely, lovely man."
    Though they'd long frequented the same clubs and parties, Young first met Mercury at a star-studded New Year's Eve party in a London bar. (Rod Stewart, Keith Richards and Ronnie Wood had also been in attendance that night.)
    "Freddie had a certain kind of elegance about him, and a certain frame mind of knowing what he wants to wear on stage, and it was always a combo of colors that always seemed great. He had a really good eye for fashion, and a great eye for clothes," Young said.
    The two spent most of the evening talking, with Mercury eventually suggesting that Young photograph him and the rest of Queen both on stage and behind the scenes.
    "I started being invited to the video shoots, and then I got invited to do private parties for Freddie, and then I got invited to come on the road and go to places like Rio, Munich, Budapest, Ireland," Young said. "I felt like part of the band."