The British Capital Radio DJ Kenny Everett played an instrumental role in making Queen one of the biggest rock acts of all time thanks to his full-throated backing of arguably their greatest song, 1975’s “Bohemian Rhapsody.” Though now considered a progressive rock classic which remains a popular radio song, upon its release both Queen’s record label was anxious that the track’s runtime of almost six minutes would make it unplayable for many commercial radio stations and delayed its release while they considered other options. However, the band themselves leaked “Bohemian Rhapsody” to Everett, who teased portions of his song to listeners before famously playing the song 14 times over two days, building excitement for its eventual release.

Everett and Freddie Mercury were also close friends for many years and spent a great deal of time together enjoying London’s burgeoning gay scene and nightlife. However, in 1986 Mercury was the victim of a series of exposés in the British tabloid newspapers that cast light on his gay lifestyle, which was a secret to many of his fans at the time, as well as his cocaine use. Shortly after, he and Everett, who was also a cocaine user, had an argument over the drug, and the pair fell out.

According to Mercury’s former lover Jim Hutton “They never made up … if we’d see him out and about around the gay clubs, they never spoke. All those newspaper stories about Kenny being at Freddie’s bedside were fabricated,” per “Freddie Mercury: The Definitive Biography.”

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