Bohemian Rhapsody was one of the biggest hits of 2018 no matter what metric you use. it did serious box office business and it also won its share of awards, including a Best Actor Oscar for Rami Malek as Freddie Mercury. The degree to which it was a success may have been a surprise to some, but apparently not to Marc Martel, who was one of the voices of Freddie Mercury.
While Rami Malek has said he did some of his own singing for Bohemian Rhapsody, we know that his voice isn’t the only one we hear in the movie. Marc Martel, a Canadian singer and musician does a lot of the heavy lifting sounding like Freddie Mercury, and the singer recently stated on SiriusXM (via Ultimate Guitar) that he was confident early on that the movie would be hit. According to Martel…
Marc Martel started out singing Christian music but has been fronting a Queen tribute band for years because the similarity between his voice and Freddie Mercury’s voice had been noted early on.
Martel doesn’t specify exactly which songs in the movie he performed, and he’s very clear that he is only “one of” the voices of Freddie Mercury that we hear in Bohemian Rhapsody, though he admits he doesn’t know who else may have contributed. Martel’s voice also isn’t heard alone. His singing is layered in with, at least, Freddie Mercury’s own voice, and likely Rami Malek’s as well, to create something a little different so we’re not simply listening to prerecorded lyrics from Queen albums.
Martel had apparently been approached by Queen manager Jim Beach years ago to potentially add his voice to the film that became Bohemian Rhapsody. It was something of a long road for the movie to make it to the screen, but when it was time to record the vocals, Martel got the call.
And he certainly wasn’t wrong that the movie “was going to do really well.” It brought in over $900 million in global box office dollars, won the Golden Globe for Best Picture – Drama, was nominated for five Oscars, and took home four of them, including the previously mentioned Best Actor statue for Rami Malek.
We’ve seen a few different musically inspired films follow Bohemian Rhapsody. Only the Elton John movie Rocketman is a straight biopic in the same way, but Yesterday and Blinded by the Light each use the music of a specific band or artist, The Beatles and Bruce Springsteen respectively in this case, to tell a story.