Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody becomes most streamed song from 20th century

Clint Drieberg
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Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody” is the the most streamed song of the 20th century, racking up more than 1.6 billion streams.

The six-minute opus is also the most streamed classic rock song of all time, according to Universal Music who arrived at the 1.6 billion number by calculating streams from Spotify, Apple Music, Deezer and YouTube.

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It surpassed Nirvana‘s 1991 grunge rock classic Smells Like Team Spirit with 1.5 billion streams.

In response to the news, founding member and guitarist Brian May said “So the River of Rock Music has metamorphosed into streams! Very happy that our music is still flowing to the max!”

“Bohemian Rhapsody” is regularly cited as one of the greatest songs ever recorded. In 2004, the song was inducted into the Grammy Hall of Fame and Freddie Mercury’s vocal performance was named by the readers of Rolling Stone magazine as the best in rock history.

The instantly recognizable anthem also has been buoyed by the success of the biographical film Bohemian Rhapsody, which tells the incredible story of the band’s storied career. In just five weeks on release, the film has become the highest grossing music biopic in history.

Written by Freddie Mercury for the band’s 1975 album A Night at the Opera, the track was first released as a single on October 31, 1975 and has been a feature of pop culture ever since, namely following its use in the film Wayne’s World

Sir Lucian Grainge, Chairman and CEO of Universal Music Group, 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 Jim Beach on an incredible achievement that is a testament to the enduring brilliance of Queen.”

UMG represents Queen’s iconic catalog globally outside of North America, as well as providing support to the band across global merchandise, retail licensing and brand management through Bravado, UMG’s brand-management and merchandise company.  UMG also produces and distributes audio-visual releases from Queen via the company’s Eagle Rock division, the leading producer and distributor of music programming for broadcast, DVD, Blu-Ray, TV, and digital media.  These releases include Queen documentaries, concert films and their award-winning immersive virtual reality film ‘VR The Champions’. In North America, Queen’s recorded music catalog is represented by Hollywood Records.

The Soundtrack to Bohemian Rhapsody is available now and the film still in cinemas everywhere.