When Bohemian Rhapsody hit US Theaters and other cinemas around the world, it reintroduced the world to one of its most iconic singers, Freddie Mercury, who was played by the formidable Rami Malek, and in doing so, it also reminded the world of Paul Prenter, the former manager of the legendary singer.
For Hollywood purposes, Paul Prenter was largely turned into the villain of the film version of Freddie Mercury’s story but things were far more complicated and less straightforward in the real-life version of his story. Whatever truth the world decides to hold on to about Paul Prenter, there is no denying the fact that he was one of the influential figures in one of the most iconic bands in the history of music. You can read all you need to know about Paul Prenter below.
Age and Early Life
Before his uncelebrated death, Paul Prenter was the manager of one of the most iconic and successful bands in music history, a band that has sold over 300 million records. Paul Prenter was born in 1946 and was a British man like the members of Queen, which included Freddie Mercury, Brian May, Roger Taylor, and John Deacon. Much of his childhood life is unknown and his public personality status only began after he became the manager of Queen in 1977.
He engineered the released of multiple Queen albums such as News of the World, Jazz, The Game, Hot Space, The Works, and a couple more others until his firing in 1986. As part of his role as manager of the iconic band, which under his watch, further cemented its place as an international band, he led the band on several tours around the globe and popularized their status as a stadium rock band.
Although he became a villain in the Queen story towards the end of his time as manager, Paul Prenter will always be remembered for his work as one of the men who helped establish one of the greatest bands in music history. His life and time as manager of the band has appeared in media works like Jim Hutton’s book, Mercury and Me. He has also been represented by actor, Allen Leech in the film, Bohemian Rhapsody.
The Fallout with Queen
Paul Prenter was the manager of Queen and a personal friend of Freddie Mercury for about a decade from 1977 to 1986 and as a result, had access to the singer in a manner that gave him an insight into the private conducts of the renowned singer.
However, being friends and lovers, it was expected that the knowledge of his private dealings would stay between them and that remained the case for a long time until Paul Prenter sold his knowledge to the Sun.
If Judas Iscariot sold out Jesus for 30 shekels of silver, Paul Prenter got a much higher price at 32 thousand pounds to sell out his friend and artiste to the magazine. At the time, Paul Prenter, Freddie Mercury and other members of Queen were in a bad place following the release of Hot Space, an album that was heavily criticized by critics. Several members of the band blamed Paul Prenter for the quality of the album and other management decisions such as denying the band a chance to promote their work on radio.
The fallout from the album led to Paul Prenter selling the story of Freddie Mercury to the Sun, touching on several subjects, including Freddie’s childhood, lovers, revealing that Freddie was gay, and giving the newspaper pictures of Freddie with several of his lovers.
The story’s publication ultimately led to the firing of Paul Prenter as the manager of the band. The movie version took liberties with the timeline and the how of the betrayal, such as making it a TV interview rather than a newspaper interview and having Paul fired before the Live Aid concert instead of after, which was the case in real life.
Is He Dead or Still Alive?
Unfortunately, Paul Prenter did not have much say in the version of his story as told by the makers of Bohemian Rhapsody. Shortly before Freddie Mercury died of AIDS, Paul Prenter, who was also a lover of the singer, died of AIDS-related complications in August 1991.
Much like everything about him, details of his burial and internment remain unknown but his surviving family has made their displeasure known about his portrayal in the film.