Possibly. Possibly not. Interesting announcement date. He was the undeniable poster boy for AIDS, and Queen was definitely on the outs.
On 22 November 1991, Mercury called Queen’s manager Jim Beach over to his Kensington home, to discuss a public statement. The next day, the following announcement was made to the international press on behalf of Mercury:
“ Following the enormous conjecture in the press over the last two weeks, I wish to confirm that I have been tested HIV positive and have AIDS. I felt it correct to keep this information private to date to protect the privacy of those around me. However, the time has come now for my friends and fans around the world to know the truth and I hope that everyone will join with me, my doctors, and all those worldwide in the fight against this terrible disease. My privacy has always been very special to me and I am famous for my lack of interviews. Please understand this policy will continue. ”
On the evening of 24 November 1991, a little over 24 hours after issuing that statement, Mercury died at the age of 45 at his home in Kensington. The official cause of death was bronchial pneumonia resulting from AIDS. The news of his death had reached newspaper and television crews by the early hours of 25 November.
The extent to which Mercury’s death may have enhanced Queen’s popularity is not clear. In the United States, where Queen’s popularity had lagged in the 1980s, sales of Queen albums went up dramatically in 1992, the year following his death. In 1992 one American critic noted, “What cynics call the ‘dead star’ factor had come into play—Queen is in the middle of a major resurgence”. The movie Wayne’s World, which featured “Bohemian Rhapsody”, also came out in 1992. According to the Recording Industry Association of America, Queen have sold 34.5 million albums in the United States, about half of which have been sold since Mercury’s death in 1991.