The 36-year-old singer - who has been performing vocals for the 'Bohemian Rhapsody' group on tour since 2012 - has opened up about ''carrying a torch'' for the late icon.
Speaking backstage at The O2 arena in London in a behind-the-scenes video that has been shared with fans, he said: ''When I sing 'Who Wants To Live Forever' I think about Freddie. I think about Freddie sort of being taken away from us way too soon and him being so ahead of his time.
''I think about that because in a way he is living forever because we're still singing these songs, we're still performing them for the audience, we're reminding them of Freddie, Freddie makes appearances during the show, we talk about Freddie - he is living on through his contributions, through his art and that's one of the biggest treats of being able to do this many years later.
''It allows someone like me who looks to Freddie as an icon, as a role model, as a hero and sort of getting to, in my own way, sort of carry a torch for him in a way and keep it burning.
''It really means a lot to me, I love that.''
The former 'American Idol' contestant also spoke about how the frontman - who died of an AIDS-related illness in 1991 - was ''ahead of his time'' and would still be relevant in today's music scene.
Speaking during a meet and greet with members of the LGBTQ+ youth group Mosaic that he met with in June, which features in the video, he explained: ''I feel like Freddie is still ... kind of ahead of his time. There's like moments in the show where I think about him or some of the lyrics to some of the songs he wrote and I'm like 'wow'.
''I mean it still feels true to today like it doesn't seem like it occurred in the 70s or 80s it feels like it could've been written yesterday.''
Aside from praising Mercury's musical talents, the 'Ghost Town' singer was also quick to hail the star for his flamboyant style which he likes to channel when he's on stage.
He said: ''One of the things that I really love about performing with Queen - besides these incredible songs and these amazing musicians that I get to share the stage with - is thinking about Freddie and the way he performed.
''He was fearless, he was bold, he was over the top and he was wild and starting in the 70s his wardrobe was also really, really playful. It was whimsical, it was glam, it was camp. So when I pick out my looks for this concert, I always try to think of it from that point of view.''
Watch the BTS video here: https://youtu.be/g8wCwKJCZK0
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