Freddie Mercury (1946-1991), singer with Queen, standing in front of a drumkit as he sings into a microphone on stage during a live concert performance by the band at the National Bowl in Milton Keynes, England, United Kingdom, in 1982.
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April 19, 2016 6:57 PM EDT

Researchers have pinpointed the scientific reasons for why Freddie Mercury was such a good singer.

The legendary lead singer and lyricist for Queen, who died more than two decades ago, could modulate his voice to make himself sound both smooth and rough on cue — possible because of his vibrato frequency, according to Entertainment Weekly, citing a new study.

A team of researchers studied Mercury’s voice, using sound recordings of his past performances and interviews in their analysis. Their findings were recently published in the journal Logopedics Phoniatrics Vocology. “Overall, based on perceptual assessment, Freddie Mercury seemed to have ample control over vocal registration,” the study states.

Mercury died in 1991 from broncopneumonia brought on by AIDS. He was 45.

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