Freddie Mercury’s ‘wife’ Mary Austin set to receive £187.5m windfall

Freddie Mercury’s ‘wife’ will reportedly come into another multi-million pound windfall after the record-breaking sale of the Queen back catalogue for £1billion.

Mary, 73, was the woman who won the heart of rock legend Freddie and has been the beneficiary of his fortune since his death in 1991.

According to The Sun, Mary is now set to receive £187.5million after the deal with Sony is signed, after previously getting half of Freddie’s estate and another 25 per cent when his parents died.

The London native also receives 18.75 per cent of revenues from Queen Productions, which controls the catalogue and pays surviving members Roger Taylor, John Deacon and Brian May, the publication reporters.

Mary is not in regular contact with the band mates but she is one of the trustees of a charity set up in Freddie’s honour, the Mercury Phoenix Trust. 

Freddie Mercury’s ‘wife’ will come into another multi-million pound windfall following the record-breaking sale of the Queen backlog to Sony for £1billion (pictured in 2002)

Mary, 73, was the woman who won the heart of rock legend Freddie and has been the beneficiary of his fortune since his death in 1991 (pictured in 1984)

It has been reported that after receiving the payout, Mary will enter the Top 100 richest women in Britain.

Mary and Freddie first met in 1970 when he was a young aspiring musician, who had moved to London six years prior from his birth country,  Zanzibar.

The former couple moved in together and got engaged in 1973, but three years later Freddie came out to her and told her he was gay.

Mary and Freddie would never legally marry, but he called her his ‘wife’ even long after he’d confessed his true sexuality, which ended their romance. 

In a rare interview, Mary, recalled: ‘He said, ‘I think I am bisexual. I told him: ‘I think you’re gay.’ And nothing else was said. We just hugged.’ Mary and Freddie remained the closest of friends throughout his life. 

Queen reportedly sold their iconic back catalogue of hits for a whopping £1Billion pounds following a bidding war.

According to The Sun the surviving band members and Freddie’s estate agreed to the sale with Sony Music, more than doubling the record set by Bruce Springsteen, who sold the rights to his music for £393M in 2021.

The publication reports that Sony will now own all the band’s hits including Bohemian Rhapsody, Don’t Stop Me Now and I Want To Break Free.

But unlike Springsteen and Bob Dylan who sold his own back catalogue for £315M, the band will retain the rights to perform their music live.

Founding members Brian May, 75, and Roger Taylor, 74, continue to tour live with Adam Lambert, 42, as their new front man following Freddie’s death in 1991. 

Mary and Freddie first met in 1970 when he was a young aspiring musician, who had moved to London six years prior from his birth country, Zanzibar (pictured in 1986)

Queen reportedly sold their iconic back catalogue of hits for a whopping £1Billion pounds following a bidding war (L-R Roger Taylor, John Deacon, Freddie Mercury and Brian May)

According to reports the surviving band members and Freddie Mercury ‘s estate have agreed to the sale with Sony Music, more than doubling the record set by Bruce Springsteen , who sold the rights to his music for £393M in 2021 Freddie in 1979)

While Bassist John Deacon, 72, retired from music in 1997. 

The deal is also said to include revenue from merchandise, cash generated by the 2018 biographic movie Bohemian Rhapsody and any other future projects and licensing deals. MailOnline contacted the band’s reps for comment. 

Springsteen’s deal was inked before a string of other artists including Bob Dylan, Neil Young and Justin Bieber, also bagged hundreds of millions of dollars for their own collections. 

But the market has cooled since and some major investors have devalued their song collections by as much as 14 percent.

Disney Music Group owns the North America rights to Queen’s music. But the band retains ownership of the global rights through the UK-based Queen Productions Ltd, which earned £39 million in royalties in 2021.

Investors view music catalogs much like owning shares in companies which pay dividends. The £1 billion valuation for Queen’s catalog is based on the annual returns an investor can expect throughout the next several decades.

Ahead of the reports Guy Blake, a leading music industry attorney who has worked on catalogue acquisitions, told DailyMail.com earlier this year that the Queen deal would be ‘seismic’.

‘In general, I don’t see a problem with this [$1.2 billion] number being accurate, I think there’s probably some degree of truth to it,’ said Blake, a managing partner at Granderson Des Rochers.

It’s said Sony will now own all the band’s hits including Bohemian Rhapsody, Don’t Stop Me Now and I Want To Break Free (pictured 1984) 

Springsteen’s deal in 2021 was inked before a string of other artists including Bob Dylan , Neil Young and Justin Bieber , also bagged hundreds of millions of dollars for their own collections 

But unlike Springsteen and Bob Dylan (pictured) who sold his own back catalogue for £315M , the band will retain the rights to perform their music live  

Founding members Brian May, 75, and Roger Taylor, 74, continue to tour live with Adam Lambert, 42, as their new front man (pictured)  following Freddie’s death in 1991.

‘There aren’t a whole lot of catalogues out there like Queen,’ he said.’

In the streaming age, catalogue valuations also rely heavily on a metric called ‘album consumption units’, which combine streams and downloads to estimate what the equivalent number of album sales would be. One album sale is equivalent to about 1,500 song streams, according to industry standards.

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Queen’s album consumption units in the US were 25.9 million between 1991 and 2017 then surged to 3.58 million in 2019 following the release of the Bohemian Rhapsody movie, according to Luminate figures reported by Billboard.

The popularity of the LK21 XXI Online Stream Movie & Series Netflix and continued airplay of Queen’s hits decades after they were released has helped the band earn a legion of young fans – something that’s also boosted the value of their catalogue.

‘Queen has found a much younger audience. And that’s unique to a legacy catalogue, Blake said.

‘I don’t know that there’s a whole lot of rock bands out there that could say that they had the popularity with people under 30 that Queen has right now. There’s just some uniqueness to so many of their songs that they just keep coming back, generation after generation.’

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