Universal Music Group announced that “Bohemian Rhapsody,” the iconic single by Queen, has officially became the world’s most-streamed song from the 20th Century, as well as the most-streamed Classic Rock song of all time.
On December 10th, the original song and official video for “Bohemian Rhapsody,” from the group’s epic 1975 album “A Night at the Opera,” surpassed 1.6 billion streams globally across all major streaming services, overtaking Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit”, Guns N’ Roses’ “Sweet Child O’ Mine” and “November Rain” to secure the top spot.
This is the third time that the song has reached the top of the charts since its release on October 31, 1975 – a rare feat usually achieved only by holiday tunes. The six-minute-long single was Queen’s first Top 10 hit in the US. In the UK it went to #1 for 9 consecutive weeks, a record at the time. “Bohemian Rhapsody” then shot to the top of the charts again when the original version was re-released following Mercury’s death on November 24, 1991. It is also the only song to have topped the U.K. charts twice at Christmas. “Bohemian Rhapsody” was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame in 2004.
Playing no small role in this third surge of popularity is, of course, the biopic by the same name. Bohemian Rhapsody (the movie) has recently become the highest grossing music biopic ever and is one of the top films of 2018.
“So the River of Rock Music has metamorphosed into streams!” said guitarist and founding member, Brian May. “Very happy that our music is still flowing to the max!”
Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of UMG, said, “’Bohemian Rhapsody’ is one the greatest songs by one of the greatest bands in history. We are so proud to represent Queen and are thrilled to see the song still inspiring new fans around the world more than four decades after its release. My congratulations to Queen and [longtime manager] Jim Beach on an incredible achievement that is a testament to the enduring brilliance of Queen.”
Fun Fact: The video for “Bohemian Rhapsody” is generally recognized as the first promotional music video ever aired, and was based on the group’s “Queen II” album cover, the photo for which was taken by Mick Rock. It was directed by Bruce Gowers and was shot in 3 hours for a cost of £3,500 at the time at the band’s rehearsal space.