Freddie Mercury's Longtime Friend And Heiress Mary Austin Will Make Almost $240 Million From Queen Catalog Sale

By on July 8, 2024 in ArticlesCelebrity News

When Freddie Mercury died in 1991, he was one of the greatest rock stars of all time, both as a solo artist and as the iconic frontman for Queen. He left a solid chunk of his estate to a woman named Mary Austin, said to be the inspiration for Mercury's "Love of My Life," and their relationship seems to have transcended many of the usual boundaries between friendship and love. Now, The Sun reports that Austin is set to get a massive payday as a result of a recent deal between Queen and Sony.

Sony reportedly paid around $1.2 billion for the Queen catalog and image rights, in a deal that is among the biggest such sales in a music business climate that has produced a lot of them in recent years. The deal also includes revenue from Queen merchandise, the smash hit 2018 film "Bohemian Rhapsody" based on Mercury's life, as well as any future Queen projects, and Austin's share is said to be nearly $240 million in US dollars. Given Queen's enduring popularity even with younger listeners, music catalog acquisition lawyer Guy Blake told the Daily Mail that even at over a billion dollars, the sale would likely prove a bargain for Sony:

"I don't know if there are many rock bands that could say they are as popular among people under 30 as Queen currently is. Many of their songs have something unique that keeps bringing generations back to them."

Dave Hogan/Getty Images

This windfall could make the 73-year-old Austin one of the richest women in the United Kingdom, all thanks to her engagement and lifelong connection with Mercury that started back in the early 70s. Certainly, when she met Mercury in 1970, three years before Queen's debut album, it's unlikely she would have imagined that her meeting with the aspiring singer and songwriter would lead to such a fruitful relationship or such enormous sums of money. But by the time of Mercury's untimely death a little more than two decades later, they were close enough for Mercury to have left half his estate to her and for her to have asked him to be godfather to her child.

Austin has stayed away from the limelight since Mercury's death and is said to lead a somewhat reclusive life, still living in the famous London Garden Lodge mansion he also left her in his will. But earlier this year, the mansion was put up for sale with an asking price of $38 million. And last year, she auctioned off much of the Mercury and Queen memorabilia that she had kept there for decades after his death.

As to the Sony deal, Austin has not commented publicly on it yet.

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