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Freddie Mercury was a better singer than anyone realized

Queen's front man might have actually been a baritone, researchers say.

freddiemercury.jpg
Hulton-Deutsch Collection/Corbis

The '70s British band Queen might be too campy for your taste, and "Bohemian Rhapsody" might send you screaming from the room. But it turns out the band's front man, Freddie Mercury, had an extraordinary vocal range, according to a study published online in the science journal Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology. (We won't even attempt to say that one out loud.)

While Mercury was known as a tenor, there's evidence from recordings of his speaking voice that he was a baritone, according to a group of Austrian, Swedish and Czech researchers. They also believe that Mercury's vocal cords vibrated faster than most people's. We don't know what that means, but it sounds impressive.

Researchers could not confirm the long-held belief Mercury could sing across four octaves. That's another one that bites the dust, you might say.

Mercury died in 1991 at age 45.