google_freddie_mercury.jpgFreddie Mercury would have turned 65 years old on September 5. To honor the occasion, Google created a special version of its logo (a.k.a. "Google Doodle") on its search engine homepage.

The logo was online on September 5 worldwide, except for the United States in respect for Labor Day. The logo was online in the United States on September 6.

When users click on the logo, it starts a live-action doodle set to "Don't Stop Me Now," a 1978 hit for Queen, the band that he fronted.

Watch the video:

Here's an excerpt from a remembrance bandmate Brian May wrote for the Google blog:

"Freddie would have been 65 this year, and even though physically he is not here, his presence seems more potent than ever. Freddie made the last person at the back of the furthest stand in a stadium feel that he was connected. He gave people proof that a man could achieve his dreams--made them feel that through him they were overcoming their own shyness, and becoming the powerful figure of their ambitions. And he lived life to the full. He devoured life. He celebrated every minute. And, like a great comet, he left a luminous trail which will sparkle for many a generation to come."
All the hoopla surrounding his 65th birthday has drawn much-needed attention to the work of The Mercury Phoenix Trust, the nonprofit group established in his honor by bandmates Brian May and Roger Taylor with manager Jim Beach to fight HIV/AIDS worldwide.

I am a big fan of Queen and especially of Freddie Mercury. His voice was golden and his creativity was très gay. Every time I hear "The Show Must Go On," I get teary eyed. His Live Aid performance was legendary and his tribute concert is still one of my favorites.

Watch the Live Aid performance:

I remember very well in 1991 when Freddie told the world he was HIV positive, only to die a day later from AIDS-related pneumonia. I had received a negative HIV test result only a few months before he died and was ever so grateful. And though I didn't know it at the time, I realize now that soon after receiving my HIV negative test result was when I most likely became HIV positive, which was still before Freddie died.

Despite criticism from some gay and AIDS activists for not disclosing sooner, that final act was a gift. To me, he proved that it is never too late to tell your truth. The burden of keeping his HIV secret I hope was lifted by the relief I hope he felt when he finally disclosed his HIV status. I know that's how I felt.