Mercury passed away at his Kensington home on November 24 1991, only 24 hours after confirming his battle with HIV/AIDS.
Marking the anniversary on Instagram, May shared two mirrored images of Mercury relaxing in a dressing room before a performance.
“Missing you Freddie, on this day. Rest in Peace. Rock in Eternity. Bri,” the Queen guitarist captioned the photo.
Freddie Mercury 🖤
5 September 1946 – 24 November 1991
📸Credit: Douglas Puddifoot ©️ Queen Productions Ltd. pic.twitter.com/t5spAoZEPF
— Freddie Mercury (@freddie_mercury) November 24, 2020
Paying their own respects, one fan wrote in the comments: “WE MISS YOU AND LOVE YOU FREDDIE! I’m sending good thoughts to you Bri and everyone else in the band and who knew our wonderful Freddie.”
Tributes also came from an official Twitter account run by Mercury’s management, which shared a photo of the singer in full flight during a Queen performance.
May’s tribute comes after he revealed how Queen initially thought their Live Aid performance was “kind of ok”, failing to realise that they had delivered one of the most iconic performances of all time.
The 22-minute set at the 1985 charity concert is considered to be one of the greatest live sets ever delivered, and was recreated for the band’s 2018 biopic Bohemian Rhapsody.
Reflecting on the experience of watching the movie being filmed, May revealed how the band had a modest opinion of their performance after coming off stage during the original show.
“It was so strange kind of reliving it for the movie,” May told TalkRADIO.
“They recreated it so incredibly faithfully, and to be there on that set was really spine chilling; it brought it all back. And at the time, we weren’t aware of what an epoch-making thing it was, really. We came off [thinking], ‘Well, that went kind of OK.’ But we didn’t realise that it had made such a lasting impression on the ether. … It sort of lives on, doesn’t it?”
Hailing the talents of Mercury, he added: “He had a great spatial awareness, and that’s something very important.
“If you’re working with people on a stage, you need to have musical contact, but you also need the kind of physical chemistry going on — the awareness of where you are and where you’re aiming your energy. Freddie was wonderful for that, and we just clicked from the very beginning.”
In July, Queen drummer Roger Taylor also revealed his belief that the band would still be recording new music if Mercury was alive.